After all these years and months and days, it’s hard to believe it’s actually ready. In fact, the North American screening tour for Artifishal kicks off this Friday, April 12th, 7:00pm at Patagonia Portland. The last few months have been absolutely crazy with political outreach, marketing materials, tour scheduling, and everything else Patagonia is putting behind the film. While it’s left me little time to do things like, say, actually keep up with this blog posting business, I am grateful for the full-court press. Hey, they even made some sweet HATS and T-SHIRTS!

Check out the trailer above, and if you can, come to one of the screenings. Tour dates, FAQs and other info available HERE. I will be at the Portland, Vancouver, San Francisco, Ventura, Dillon, Bozeman and SoHo events. There will also be a Seattle screening sometime in May, date TBD. The full film will be available online in September, so until then, best bet is to watch it in person at one of our events. I look forward to meeting you there. Hope you are all well.


Fish Film Progress

In a lot of ways, I started work on this film 18 years ago, when my beloved spring wild steelhead fishery on the Skykomish River closed. About 10 years ago, I’d read enough scientific papers and talked with enough scientists to understand that hatcheries were one of the primary factors in our spiraling wild salmon and steelhead populations, and that tax-paying citizens were spending billions of dollars to finance a system that didn’t work. I felt compelled to read and speak on the subject. After publishing a number of stories about the impact of hatcheries, I found myself traveling around giving a talk called “The High Cost of Hatcheries,” to crowds ranging from three people to about 100, and mostly preaching to the choir. I quickly realized that I was making almost no impact on a very contentious subject. People in the fish world had all, for the most part, made up their minds.

Fast forward a bit to three years ago. My buddy Yvon and I discussed the situation at length, and agreed that we needed to take the message to a larger audience. Patagonia, riding the success of DamNation, would make the film.

And after two long years of production, with a fantastic director, producer and crew, and the talented, guiding hands of the Patagonia film department producers, we are almost ready to show the resulting film. So yeah, I’ve been a little busy, especially during the last month, which is why I’ve been so negligent about keeping up with the blog. But I’m super excited to share the first public announcement of the project. Tomorrow morning, when the Denver Fly Fishing Show opens, these posters will be up in the Patagonia booth, along with an essay in the Patagonia Fly Fishing catalog. Still a ton of work to do, but the film itself, now called “Artifishal,” will premiere this spring. The home stretch is in sight. Here we go!

Pursuit Is Happiness

Tom McGuane once said he wishes he could just go outside and enjoy it, but that he needs a game to play. He was referring to fishing, but I think it applies to a lot of us in our outdoor pursuits. And “pursuits” is the key word here. For us, it’s fishing, clam digging, crabbing, oyster picking, the occasional bird hunt, and just about anything else we can “pursue.” And as we’ve recently learned, it doesn’t even need to be something edible. Our friend Danielle took us crystal hunting, and we had a ton of fun grubbing around in the dirt.

And we actually found a bunch.

Then, we took her mushroom hunting, which was so absorbing, we ended up completely lost in the woods. A bit more of an adventure than we were planning, but we eventually found our way back to the car before nightfall.

And we actually found a bunch.

Like McGuane, I wish I could just go out there and soak it in, but the games are so much fun I wouldn’t ever give ’em up. They give us reason, the push, to go outside, to watch weather and tide, to search. I realize now that what we find is happiness. Now, if only we could eat those crystals…

A Foreign Land

Ah…SoCal! After a quick turnaround, had to go to pretty much the polar opposite of northern British Columbia. Work trip with my buddy McCoy to check in at World Headquarters in Ventura, make a presentation, talk and meet about the film I’ve been working on the last couple of years. Aside from LAX and a 4-hour rush-hour drive in 12 lanes of brake lights, all good.

I will admit, it’s nice waking up with palm trees waving in a warm breeze outside my window, throwing on shorts, t-shirt and flipflops and heading off to work. A little different from the frozen spruce forest of BC, and the golden big-leaf maples of home, and in all truth, completely foreign to me. On my last night in Ventura, they were showing another film, which is always fun and festive. That’s the outdoor theater shortly before people started showing up. Outdoor movies in October? Incredible. Still, I was thankful to return home to the PNW autumn.

Quick Visit Home

Had three days between BC and the madness that is Southern California, so made the most of it with the kids and good food. (Like I needed more to eat after BC…) We were craving Mexican food, and the best bet for that around here is home cooking. Found some pork roasts on sale at the market and that sealed it for my dad’s chile verde recipe. Made a huge pot of it with lots of fresh cilantro, onions, jalapenos, tomatoes, tomatillo salsa, and the secret ingredient…jack cheese. That’s pretty much it–super simple and super easy. If you want to give it a shot, cut the pork into bite-size pieces, brown in canola oil, drain, then add the other ingredients and simmer for an hour or so. Can’t describe how good this makes the house smell while it’s cooking. Even if for just a brief time, it’s so good to be home.