Cold Waters: The Inside View

The view from the inside of a film about what climate change means to anglers.
Cold Waters
A still from the film.

You might think that putting together a fly fishing movie with Patagonia’s Yvon Chouinard, Craig Mathews of Blue Ribbon Flies, Steve Hemkens of Orvis and Tim Romano of Angling Trade would be an absolute blast. And while that’s true (you can’t fish with Craig, Yvon, Steve and Tim and not have a good time), the pressure was intense.

And I don’t mean the pressure of working with a new film crew, or waiting for the participants to fly in from around the country, or having a single day to shoot a movie with no guarantee that the fish would cooperate, or knowing that great companies like Patagonia, Orvis, Scientific Anglers, Costa, R.L. Winston, Sage, Redington, RIO and Abel expected a solid film in return for their financial support.

No, the real pressure was talking about climate change.

It’s hard enough to make a movie about a contentious, partisan subject like climate. Creating a film that also engages anglers - that informs and enlightens, and gets folks to sit up in their chairs and pay attention - is an absolute son-of-a-bitch.

We pulled it off, though. We filmed Cold Waters last October under bluebird skies, with the afternoon air temps climbing to 80 degrees in southwestern Montana. The bright, sunny conditions didn’t exactly lend themselves to great autumn angling, but we still hit it out of the park. Craig was awesome. Tim and Steve were rock stars. Yvon literally brought down the house. Jeremy Roberts, our director and producer, did an amazing job. It ended up being the movie we were all hoping to make.

So now the message needs to get out there. If you didn’t catch Cold Waters during the 2015 Fly Fishing Film Tour, please watch it on the web. Climate change is the single most important threat we face. As an angler, you should know what we’re up against, as well as what we can do about it.

On a personal note, if you decide to check out Cold Waters, keep an eye out for a 9 year old boy hanging out with Yvon. That’s my son Kian, and he’s the reason I spend so much time working on climate change. Long story short, our kids and grandkids deserve a shot at a decent future. There are 37 million sportsmen in the U.S. If we push hard enough, our politicians in DC won’t have a choice. They’ll have to do the right thing and steer America towards a more sustainable future.