This spring Travis and I decided we wanted to film multiple days on the river and start out 2012 by creating a short fishing film. Well what was going to be only a handful of days turned into about 10. When your out there filming you learn a lot very quickly and the shots don’t always turn out the way you see them in your mind. We caught some great fish and lost some even better ones. All the biggest fish we hooked into other than one got away at the net. Looks like we just need a bigger net. We had hoped to tell a story through our film but without any pre-planning before shooting it turned into one big highlight reel. We didn’t want any cheesy recreations and gimmicky lines like so many other films. Highlight reels aren’t usually 10 minutes but we saved the best for last in this one. We’re excited by what we were able to produce and look forward to this summer and improving upon our previous works. Enjoy in HD!
Thanks for watching and we look forward to getting out with the camera and fly rods soon.
Finally some video is showing up here at Montana Wild. Check out the teaser for our 1st short film of the year, CONTRAST!
It took more time than I could have ever anticipated to sort and organize all of the footage we have captured for this short film (over 40 hours of HD footage). This piece contains our highest quality cinematography to date and this is only a tease of what’s to come. It is insane how much you learn everyday about filming and editing! CONTRAST is set to showcase a single river in Montana, which we fished over the course of the late winter and early spring of this year. We didn’t write a script or set out with a direction in mind for this project, we just fished and filmed. We were able to catch 5 species of fish and have a number of great hook-ups to show. It’s going to be a daunting task to sort through all the footage and piece something together that is captivating and unique. We should start editing shortly and hope to release this in it’s entirety by the end of April.
After a long week of school and work, we finally had some light poking through at the end of the tunnel. Sunday was forecasted to be in the upper 50s and we figured the fishing just might be worth a little excursion. Despite the great conditions we were hearing about on the Bitteroot, we decided to avoid the crowds and boat parade for smaller and lesser known water. We wanted to fish a long, winding stretch of river with no access that we had yet to fish, and decided to make the four mile hike downstream from access to access. We dropped Travis’s bike off around 11:30 AM at the lower access and drove the truck back upriver about 4 miles and got ready for a long day. We knew we would find some lightly fished water and hopefully a hog or two.
As we worked downstream things started off slow. Sometimes you go 10-15 holes without a fish out there, but once you find them they stack up. Travis unfortunately had some ill fate attempting to catch fish. He had numerous missed hook ups and a few spit the fly before making it to the net. I put him on the bench and grabbed the St. Croix and got to casting. With so many pockets of fishable water, we made slow progress. About two hours into the days adventure, I hooked into a bright red rainbow that was around the 20 inch mark. Unfortunately, Travis and I have had some rough times trying to net my larger fish this year. This one again broke off in an attempt to tote this beast up from the depths and allow Travis to get the net under him. Some choice words were had and we pushed on. Pushing past the halfway point and with the sun beginning to lower on the horizon, I finally got to net a solid chromer.
The water was looking better and better as we moved on. Over the course of the day we missed our share of good trout. I know between the two of us we probably lost/missed about 4-6 18+” fish. I guess we left them for next time eh. This unlucky trout was spunky and it felt good to get one solid one on camera for the day.
We pushed onward to the west. The only problem with the long hike was we couldn’t spend as much time as we would like to thoroughly fish all the holes. The good thing was that the walking was easy and the weather was in top notch form. We only saw two risers and one skwalla on the water. This river just doesn’t fish on top like the other rivers in the area. The character more than makes up for it I say. Soon we were forced to walk the last mile back to the bike as the sun was beginning to set for the day. Travis had to bike back on the highway and doing so while it was still light seemed like a better bet then a nighttime ride alongside high speed traffic. As I sat and waited I decided to battle the dropping temps by getting in a little fishing right at the access. Ironically, we walked all day to find good trout and I caught one of the biggest of the day right within view of the road and withing ten feet of the parking area. This stud of a bow took it upon himself to break the surface with aggression. After forcing him into submission Travis finally showed up to snap a few photos.
This fish was in stark contrast to the other rainbow I had caught that day. His mouth was at least 2-3 times larger and his teeth some of the sharpest I’ve seen on a fish of his size. He is a sure fish eater and must have been warming up his evening with an appetizer as he munched my stonefly nymph.
Overall, it was one solid day on the water here in Montana. With a little ambition and some free time, you can find an adventure in your own backyard. That’s the great thing about Montana. You don’t need a fancy trip to another state or country to get some solid thrills and feel miles from civilization. Check back tomorrow as we release the teaser for our new short film Contrast. Until then, tight lines to ya!
If you missed our last post, Travis landed a very respectable bull trout on Sunday. It was the last fish of the day and his biggest to date.
The very next day we were back on the river. The sun was out but the temperatures were a touch lower than in previous days. Cold hands and iced up guides were about the only bad thing we had going for us though. The very first hole I hooked into another bull trout. Back-to-back bull trout on film in two days. I guess the fishing is pretty good right now. This bullie came screaming out of the water at me after I set the hook, nearly spraying me with ice cold water. After attempting to keep him in the tail end of the pool, he decided to run downstream. The chase was on and soon I was tangled up in my line with both feet. I shuffled about 200 yards downstream through continuous riffles trying to get close enough to net him. Finally, he tired and I got in front of him. He drifted into my net and I had my best bull trout to date.
We continued fishing without much luck and decided to switch spots. After a short lunch we were back on the river. I wanted to fish a couple holes within throwing distance of the truck, and figured I could tough it out in my sweatshirt and without gloves. A stiff breeze had picked up and it got miserable quick. I was about to pack it up when my bobber sunk under once again. I had another solid fish on and once again got run over attempting to land him. My fish landing abilities have been far from beautiful, but once again I made it work out and we had another solid trout in the net and on camera.
I landed a few more fish but nothing too exceptional. We picked up our gear and headed to one last spot as the sun dipped low in the west. The only thing we caught were more cold hands and iced up rod guides.
We have gotten a chance to log some solid shots so far this winter/spring. Hopefully we can pull in some more fish on film in the following weeks as we hope to make a short video highlighting the exceptional early season fishing of Montana.
Well it’s officially one year since we started Montana Wild. When we started this blog we didn’t know what we were doing or where we would take it, and its still not quite clear. One thing sticks out vividly though, and that’s all the good times we had doing it. I’m sure glad we did because we have a lot of great memories to look back on and had a lot of laughs along the way. I guess I did have a vision of where it would hopefully take us though. I figured that outdoor media was behind the trend of other adventure sports and what better way to make your passion into a career than to start documenting our escapades with photos and video. So far it’s working out, and I’m pretty excited with the progress and the quality of work we produced in our first year. We’ve made this a full time job and hope to not look back. We’ve already surpassed our short term goals and were setting the bar even higher for 2012. I think there’s been a noticeable progression since our first post and video. In the next week we’ll have a post up that gives a recap of our first year and how far we’ve made it.
Today Travis and I decided that we’d celebrate the first year by hitting the river in hopes of logging some shots. We left the house early and made our way to the river. The weather wasn’t ideal for filming or fishing, but we were set on making the best of it.
After a few empty holes, I finally had a trout succumb to my trickery. I could tell he was a good fish and he decided to take me for a ride. The river was small and he decided he’d had enough of that pool for one day. He slipped back into the rapids and I had to follow him back to the next small pocket of slow water. With all the downed logs in this river I had to keep him on the correct side of the river to actually get another chance to net him. After some awkward angles and a few tense moments I slipped my net under his fat belly and had myself a very respectable cutbow.
After a few camera shots we got him back into the water to be caught another day.
We fished the rest of the day and caught a healthy number of fish but nothing worth writing home about. Hey it’s another day on the river and another blessing to be counted. Tomorrow we’ll be back out and Travis is going to be running the rod and reel. I’ll be running the Nikon and hopefully capturing some moments to be remembered. Until then tight lines to ya.
Winter has been more of a cold, dry spring. Trying to chase wolves a day at a time without snow has been difficult. The more we drive the more the rivers have been enticing me to bust out the fly rod and get back to swinging flies. In pulling together footage for a fishing highlight reel for 2011 I came across this fish Travis caught last year and thought I’d throw an edit together to get stoked to be back on the rivers soon. Check it out and drop by soon for more video from 2011.