This isn't the first time I've written in order to gush over Eastern Rises. It was only a couple of years ago, in a post titled Can't. Stop. Watching. Eastern. Rises. that I noted my inability to stop watching the film. Quite embarrassingly, I'm taking the time to do it again. Several years out, there's still no film on the sport I'd rather watch. More importantly, and as I've noted before, I've still found nothing that even comes close to explaining to the uninitiated why someone one would develop an obsession with fly fishing.
I think it is fair to say that fly fishing film making is currently at its pinnacle. More filmmakers are hitting the water and/or the water is turning more people into filmmakers. Whatever the case, more and more of those who fish -- and most specifically fly fish -- are being driven to record their experiences on film. Festivals like IF4 and F3T are chock full of wonderful, contemplative films that share with the viewer what a deeply moving and important role fly fishing plays in our lives.
Sometimes, though, I wonder if we're spending too little time focusing on how important fly fishing is, and too little on how much goddamned fun it is. Lest we forget, we've got Eastern Rises to remind us. The film is no doubt contemplative at times, significantly so. But, the main focus is on the joy of the on-the-water experience. And not an overly spiritual joy. Simply the joy that comes on those days when you laugh yourself off the water because you lack the words to describe your cumulative sense of awe and splendor.
If you're not familiar with Eastern Rises, it documents a trip to the Russian peninsula of Kamchatka. It is the product of Telluride-based Felt Soul Media, who also put together the incredibly well done documentary Red Gold and the coming documentary DamNation, just to name a few. So, if you haven't yet seen it, go do so. If you have, go watch it again. And if you're still not convinced, watch the teaser below. The real fun starts at 1:56. Just be prepared, like me, to have an ever-aching hole somewhere deep in your chest that you'll also know will only be filled by making your own way to the Russian far east.