Chances are, that if you’re reading this blog you have at least some level of interest in fly fishing. Since you’re actively reading a blog you must thirst for some additional form of angling stimulation other than the act itself of fly fishing. If that is the case, you’re like me and really enjoy a quality film where the focus is standing in a river, boats, road trips, beer, foul language, fishing, etc. The problem is, these DVD’s can get pricey, and sometimes you’re buddies are reluctant to let you borrow them, and it’s hard to tell if the sweet looking vimeo trailer makes pulling the trigger on a $30 metallic coaster worthwhile. Fear not! I took the plunge recently on 3 films that hit on three major aspect of fly fishing: Good friends, Ultimate Road Trips and Conservation. I suggest adding them to your own holiday wish list, or picking one up for a fishy friend of yours. They’re a great way to ward off the coming shack nasties of winter. All great work and excellent films, and I’ll tell you why…
The conservation film: Where the Yellowstone Goes
You may have seen a good bit of press from TU about this film. This film by Hunter Weeks follows the trip taken by local Montanans down (or up as it were) the length of the Yellowstone river from Yellowstone Lake to the river’s confluence with the Missouri river. This 30 day several hundred mile journey was taken to prove a singular and wonderful point. The longest and most beautiful UNDAMMED river in the lower 48 states must stay that way. This film was shot very simply to not detract or distract you from the scenery of the Yellowstone valley from the mountains in the Park to the rolling prairie in central Montana. There is some fishing, and it’s nice to see fishing from a novice’s perspective too. There’s a lot of rowing, most fishing films don’t show enough oarsmanship, this has plenty. Importantly, it’s not just about the fish, or the scenery, there are great stories about the people that live along the river’s course and the importance the river has had on their lives, livelihood and quality of life.
The buddy picture: Low and Clear
I wrote a post about this film a few months ago during Tyler Hughen and Kahil Hudson’s Kick Starter campaign and since I’ve received it, I’m surprised I haven’t wore out the disk. I waited a long time to see the full feature length film and had some high expectations for the final product. I was not disappointed. This is a documentary, but their isn’t that clinical documentary feel to it. You get drawn into this old, at times strained, but great friendship between two guys J.T. Van Zandt and Alex Xenie Hall. They’re a quintessential odd couple of fly fishing. J.T. is the Texas cerebral philosopher angler hell bent to catch a B.C. steelhead only on the swing with his spey rod. Xenie, is the bombastic, temporal, cussing at the wind, stack’m like chord fish guru/savant from Colorado. Two very different people who found a common way to relate, fishing. The cinematography (yes, this fish film qualifies as having cinematography) is stunning, particularly the opening scenes from coastal Texas. It’s just a great all around film. For you shop rats, the DVD version has a clean cut so you can play it without offending customers, because well, Xenie has a way with words in a few scenes. There’s also some nice chrome caught… mostly by Xenie.
Ultimate Road Trip Film: GEOFISH Volume 1: Mexico.
The word adventure is highly overused today. You’re highly unlikely to have an adventure at or going to the local shopping mall. I like how the guys at Expedition Portal put it, “Adventure is about overcoming the insurmountable utilizing the improbable.” Let that soak-in… The boys at Motiv Fishing (your old Trout Bum diary buddies) have embodied that statement in Geofish. Sure take a beat to hell diesel Ford F-too freaking big, covert it to burn veggie oil then drive it to and through drug war stricken Mexico to catch Rooster Fish, Marlin, Tarpon, Snook, and some big ass bass, that’s a great idea. I’m glad they did. This film has great fish porn, truck porn, Ghenoe porn and Tecate porn (lots of Tecate drinking not, stuff like after lots of Tecate drinking upstairs at the cantina). Yup, things go wrong, sometimes pretty bad like getting gear stolen in a mexican Wal Mart parking lot, but these guys have their own style of story telling that brings you along for the ride. You feel for them as they sleep in the Ghenoes on the roof of their rig while security pesters them and when they get carried away by bugs in the mangroves. You also get the excitement of them going to a place essentially blind and connecting with some serious fish. It’s awesome. Geofish is just the first part of many that this crew featuring Brian Jill, Jay Johnson, Chris Owens and Thad Robinson will take you on around the world. An extremely ambitious project and I look forward to future installments.
There you have it, a bug chucker film review. Go check them out. Also, keep an eye out for the 2013 Fly Fishing Film Tour if it stops anywhere within 200 miles of you, you need to go.
Before I go, I have a new favorite drink. The Negroni.
– 1 Shot Gin
– 1 Shot sweet vermouth
– 1 Shot Campari (hey intern get me a Campari! On the Rocks?)
– combine in a mixing glass with ice and stir vigoursly (you can shake but that’ll dilute the fun) and then strain straight-up or on the rocks. It my look festive, but it’s got some bite and the bitterness of the Campari keeps the delicate palates away.