Monday, March 2, 2009

Another Big Screen Fly Fishing Flick?

I know I am late to this conversation as other bloggers have discussed the controversy and, to some degree, the measure of excitement for the movie version of David James Duncan’s The River Why. Outside magazine recently ran an article discussing the movie, contentious issues, and recent court settlement. When I first heard about the controversy surrounding the film (movie rights, who is writing the screenplay, who works with who, money, law suits, money, et. cetera) I had to own up so something few fly anglers who fancy themselves remotely literate would admit: I hadn’t read the book. What a wonderful read. Family, community, youth, rebellion, coming of age, love, fishing, God, the list goes on and on. I wish I had read it when I was 18 but then again maybe my middle aged life view made me love it even more.

David James Duncan now holds a special place alongside Harry Middleton, Jim Harrison, Thomas McGuane, Edward Abbey, William Kittredge, Sherman Alexie, and plenty of others whose words I read with awe.

As for the movie, it would not be the first time that an author has wanted to distance themselves from a film version of their work. It would also not be the first time that the movie turns out to be pretty good. Time will tell. Early indications are that, at the very least, it will be a great looking film. Impossible as it may sound, it may be best to view them as two entirely separate works of art. The last time a fly fishing movie took off lots of money found its way to fly shops, fishing guides, and equipment companies. As great as that would be in this economy, what we really need is money for licenses, trout stamps, and conservation projects. They all go together. So despite my love of total privacy on my local streams, a few more anglers – young ones to boot – could only help the cause.

Trout Buddha

Just for fun – Check out this Powell Books interview with David James Duncan from a couple years ago.

PS - The Buddha predicts that Amber Heard who plays Eddy in the movie will send many a man to the stream looking for their own fly fishing goddess.


  1. Trout Buddha,

    To say my opening day was a success is definitely an understatement. See the link below for an article giving a plug for UW-Madison Fly Fishing Class. Also, the brown pictured here was landed on my first 2009 cast. Quite the story for years to come as Jerry Davis, Wisconsin State Journal, was there to capture the moment. I'll have to classify the olive woolly bugger as my favorite March fly.

    Hope all is well.

    Keep up the blog as I check regularly for your extensive links regarding great fly fishing coverage.

    Zach Berghouse


  2. Nice opening day! Catch on the first cast - The Buddha is impressed.