The goal was simple: Travel to nearly untouched, far-northern waters to make a conservation film centered around steelhead. All we had to do was catch a bunch of fish for the cameras (the proverbial spoonful of sugar for viewers) while delivering some important information (the medicine) to anglers. At least that was what Conservation Hawks head and film producer Todd Tanner (That’s Todd sitting next to me on the way in…can you see the pre-shoot anxiety weighing on him?) told me when he called to introduce himself and invite me along as part of the crew. I figured with nobody else fishing these pristine waters, it would be a slamdunk. Ha!
The fish were late. Or we were early. Either way, Mother Nature had her say, and despite ideal conditions, we found fishing far from easy. Todd’s blood pressure rose day by day. Pictured above: This is what a fully intact, roadless steelhead watershed looks like. Awesome.
But we had a ton of fun anyway. Despite the tough fishing, I think we all enjoyed the company of like-minded filmmakers and anglers. Best part for me was time in an incredible place with my good buddy and fellow Patagonia Ambassador, Kate Taylor. That’s her enjoying a tasty pre-fish beverage. Also thoroughly enjoyed hanging with Tom Rosenbauer, of Orvis, and Tim Romano from Angling Trade. Lots of simpatico.
Fishing for cameras was…interesting. Okay, it’s flat out weird trying to focus on fish with a mic on, cameras moving around, and drones buzzing by. But I think filmmakers Jeremy Roberts and Rick Smith are going to come up with something good. Especially if they edit out my crap casting, which pretty much fell apart during the trip. That’s Rick with the camera, and Kate trying to act natural, above. Below, still-photographer and new buddy, Tim Romano keeps the competition down by splashing water on the lens of anyone else trying to take a picture.
Finally, after days of searching, we found fish. At least enough to qualify as “sugar” for the film, I hope. And certainly enough to calm the bulging veins in Todd’s forehead.