How you can help- watch fish porn

Just down the road from us here in Smithers the picturesque town of Hazelton sits at the foot of the Hagwilget peak. A town with deep native tradition and a resource rich ethos, tourism is the backbone of the economy. The official Hazelton Tourism Instagram posted a statement the other day under a picture of an angler bent into their catch “dream now, #exploreBClater.”  Echoing the calls from the public to limit travel in these trying times it also speaks to the timeline of northern steelhead anglers- hibernate and plan followed by emerge and conquer. Maps, google earth, packing lists, books and yes movies. Here from self isolation is a great place to start planning the next trip and here some of my personal fav fishing flicks to pass the time.

Stay home and plan… fish later!

 

Okay no seriousness beyond this point…

 

Best Short- Gangsters of the Flats

This was like my first playboy. I knew girls were around I just didn’t know how much I needed them until I saw this. This video, another one of many by Jako Lucas of Capt Jack productions follows the cool kids through the Seychelles blowing up GT’s to a chorus of pump up anthems and heavy cursing. It has the feeling of you and your buddies on a dream trip to an exotic place being harassed by a very capable guide and agro fish. Much like your first playboy, follow it up with the second and watch Gangsters of the Flats 2.

#5 – Home for the Salmon

This is about the wild rivers of the Atlantic Salmon Reserve on the Kola Peninsula of Russia. Part PR flick, part fishing video this is an hour-long journey through all the interesting red tape it takes for a British billionaire, Peter Power to invest in a dream in Russias Wild West and all that it entails. From data collection, to hiring biologists and ex poachers as guides, royalty clients, heavily armed fisheries officers, to tidal salmon, this video almost makes you want to brave $20,000+ peak trip costs to go there. It’s also lesson in the benefits of personal bluster. All that aside try and watch this and not want to brave the ledgerock to stand in one of these suicidal tailouts. Challenge accepted!

#4 – 3 Trout to Dream About with Lee Wulff

Watching this as a child was pretty magical. The 1964 video by one of flyfishings most celebrated ambassadors is a portrait of Labradors forested wilderness and of trophy Brook Trout. I can’t imagine a scenario where 3 fish would eat 3 flies on a line or a reality where I’d even want that, but here Wulff demonstrates, if anything the health of these Atlantic streams. It was one of those moments that stuck with me through my youth and nurtured a fascination with wild places. I’d love to make some snarky comments about the David vs Goliath nature of the movie but Lee’s one of the greats and I’d fear heavy backlash- that and we share hair styles.

People often say we are the same.

#3 – Running Down the Man

This was the first time I’d seen Roosterfish Fishing?? Rooster Fishing?? Rooster Fish Fishing?? Also the first time I’d seen wind sprints and flycasting combined like some sort of outcasts decathlon. Other events include buggy racing, tequila drinking, sun tanning, tequila drinking and tequila drinking. Despite the fact that all of this video seems ridiculous and the cast is completely aware of it, the dedication is next level. Following characters I assume are running from outstanding warrants to the Baja, the desolate beaches teem with Roosters (the fish).  That doesn’t make it any easier though because these pescados have attention deficit on a level that makes any commitment near impossible.

#2 – The Challenge of Giant Tarpon with Billy Pate

This is from a different era like Blazing Saddles or listening to Baby its Cold Outside- it will leave you wondering “is it okay to like this as much as I do?” The respect for fish, or lack thereof is pretty evident from the outset and this is a real man taming beast kinda of flick. One angler, armed with nothing but a cute fly pole must find his prey and destroy it for the future of the world depends on it. The arc seems like the design of an aspiring film student but still this is a pretty amazing display. A trophy anglers quest to get the biggest and badest tarpon imaginable on the fly back before Brad Pitt made it slick. Spoiler it ends with a giant dead tarpon but it’s still one of the best videos out there. Genre comedy.

#1 – Flyfishing for Trophy Steelhead with Lani Waller

The theme song to this video could send my parents into fits of rage when I was a kid. I remember my stepsisters obsession with the movie Grease and my love affair with this 3M feature about the Babine would be dueling on Saturday mornings. At 10 years old I think my parents were longing for a kid with calls from the principal about fighting or finding drugs under my bed instead of listening to my repeating regurgitations of Lani explaining why 20 lbs steelhead like to sit in the Goose run.

If you love flyfishing for steelhead and you haven’t seen this video you need to. Another video from a different era, and the wardrobe will attest to it, there is no greater steelhead flick out there – period. From background, to biology, to planning, this 3 video in a “Mastery Series” feels like you’re being taken through the full trip experience. It even sets up the runs for you, potential lies, different techniques and ultimately catches. In some respects it resembles the appeal of video game more than fish porn because you’re included in all the decisions even if you’re not making them. This video single handedly spawned (sorry couldn’t resist) my love for steelhead and freakish obsession with the Babine. Must watch.

 

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