Posts Tagged ‘A River Runs Through It’

I guess every fly fisherman who writes about fly fishing eventually writes about this topic… I think this particular rant must be a kind of “right of passage” for fly fishing writers…

Since I have started fly fishing, one thing that I have noticed is that even though a fairly small number of people actually fly fish, it is instantly recognizable. At least a fairly small number of people in Nebraska. People walking by while I am fishing may have no previous experience what so ever with the sport, but can still lean to their friend when they whisper what is he doing and respond “he’s fly fishing…”

I can even tell people in a conversation that I am a fly fisherman. And they instantly have an image of a person majestically waving a fly line in the air…

The only problem? They always come up with the same image… of A River Runs Through It…

Yes, fly fishing is most renowned as a method for taking trout in mountain streams. But for some reason people think that since that movie took place in the mountains of Montana, that is the only place you can go fly fishing.

I get asked constantly, “Don’t you have to go to the mountains to do that?”, “So you must travel to Colorado a lot?”, and my personal favorite “You can do that in Nebraska?”

It’s almost mind blowing for people that, yes, fly fishing works in warm, still water. And works well. It works well enough that I rarely ever touch any other type of tackle. In fact, I will only get the spinning rod out if I am fishing with Little E, or my dad.

I was aware of a River Runs Through It before I started fly fishing, but I had never seen it before I picked up my first fly rod. After saying several times that I fly fished and having people respond “like on a River Runs Through It?”, I had to check it out.

It was a good movie. I did enjoy the movie. There were great shots of Brad Pitt and Craig Sheffer fly fishing in a river. The movie has several memorable frames; whose images last with people.

That’s great.

But I fail to see how people think that because the movie takes place in mountain streams, that is the only place you can ever do it.

That is like someone saying “I like to drive”; and me saying “Like on Days of Thunder?”. And following that up with “But I thought you could only drive in the Daytona 500???”

It doesn’t make any sense to me.

(Okay, that example might be a bit extreme…)

I realize that there is not a lot of popular media covering fly fishing. That is part of the reason why I full expect that this blog will never become a commercial success. While people recognize the act of fly fishing, they do not know a lot about it… and therefore it may be valid to question whether or not it is possible out of their only frame of reference.

I think what bothers me the most is how people will ask me those questions; like I don’t know what I am doing. As if everyone else knows that fly fishing doesn’t work in Nebraska, and nobody has bothered to tell me…

I guess the only thing to do is submit and keep fighting the good fight. Maybe if I talk about fly fishing long enough I might be able to turn the tide on this question… so I will keep answering the way I always do…

“Yes, you can fly fish anywhere there is water and fish!”

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