I must admit, before I started fly fishing I had little interest in the rocky mountains. In fact, the only interest I had in the Rockies was watching them turn blue on my beer! Then fly fishing happened and now I’m interested in mountain streams, clear waters, native trout, etc.
Recently I was the winner in a contest held by Howard over at Windknots & Tangled Lines. The Prize was a DVD called, Fly Fishing Rocky Mountain Park: Preserving it's Future by Josh Rickard. Did I mention it was a signed copy? Well it was!
The film encapsulates everything that has to do with fly fishing and leads me to believe that the Rocky Mountains are a true Mecca for fly fisherman. Even on the small screen, the Rockies seem breath taking; an outdoorsman’s (or outdoorswoman’s) paradise.Now perhaps I am idealizing it but Rocky Mountain National Park seems the epitome of what a fly fisherman would want to fish. Snow covered mountain tops, wild life frolicking about, clear streams and lakes, it has it all. It’s like Josh Rickard, creator and narrator of the film says, “One of the best reasons to fish trout are the places they thrive in.” And when you watch the film, its like this natural gem and the art of fly fishing go hand and hand like peanut butter and jelly, or lamb and tunafish!
The film starts off with Josh fishing a small creek in the dead of winter, surrounded by snow packed banks resembling clouds while fishing in heaven. Josh artistically captures the beauty of the park with the sun coming up, water rushing and animals hanging around God’s country. So many of these parks and waterways are outstanding, it is like a massive collection of the most beautiful places in the US, all in one national park.
Josh takes you into Morraine park and flaunts the natural beauty of the Big Thompson, which looks like every movie set where you have ever seen fly fishing taking place; absolutely breath-taking and you realize that these areas don’t have to be created by Hollywood or touched up by set designers, they just exist and demand our respect. Josh does a great job of reminding us to enjoy the park but also respect it. He explores Lily Lake and Lake Haiyaha, homes to the greenback cutthroat and Yellowstone cutthroat trout, respectively. But as Josh mentions, this film isn’t just about the fish, it’s also about the adventure. I think of those as words to live by and words that remind me to enjoy fishing whether or not I catch fish.
There is one specific scene that really stands out to me and that is one where Josh is sitting in Fern/Odessa Lake, and he is at the bottom of the screen, meanwhile you see the overwhelming view of an immaculate lake and behind it a mammoth peak. While it looks like Josh is simply taking a break while enjoying the scenery, you suddenly see him hook into a fish, reminding you that the park is gorgeous and seems to be a great fishery.
Josh also reminds you to respect the Rockies themselves in more ways than one. While fishing Haiyaha he notices a storm coming and gets caught in a hail storm while reminding us that if we’re going to come to the Rockies, to come prepared. He also reminds us to stick to paths, fish on top of rocks and boulders and to pick up after ourselves in order not to destroy the natural habitats and resources. Great advice, not only for the Rockies but in general for any fisherman.
The film takes you through many other marvelous areas of the park including Lake of Glass, the Loch, Sky pond, Calypso Cascades and the last secret lake that holds the Colorado River Cutthroat. If you ever thought about visiting the Rocky Mountains, you love nature, you are a fly fisherman or thinking about getting into fly fishing, this film is definitely for you. If you’re anything like me this film will give you a taste of the Rocky Mountains and make you desire the real thing.