“The biggest mistake about fishing is that it is about catching fish.” Provocative statement by JT, one of the two fly fisherman involved in this documentary. JT is a deep thinker, a thoughtful philosophic type, and a fisherman living in the gulf of Texas, spending his free time catching redfish on the fly. His friend Xenie is a firewood salesman living in Colorado. Xenie is an avid fly fisherman and spends most of his time slaying trout in Colorado waters. Xenie is more of a numbers kind of guy, fishing passionately and with zeal, documenting every catch with a photograph of him and his conquest.
Upon watching them fish and hearing them speak, JT and Xenie seem an unlikely friendship. JT is soft spoken, enjoying his moments fishing with a reverence and contemplation of the art of fly fishing. Xenie is a wild and frivolous fly fisherman, chasing the adrenaline rush that comes with each fish caught.
JT and Xenie were friends in another lifetime, one where both lived in Colorado, Xenie was a local legend and JT was a fly shop worker, desiring to fish with Xenie. The two strike up a friendship over the hook and Xenie becomes somewhat of a mentor for JT. JT eventually improves at fishing and their friendship becomes more of a competition with both equally respecting each other as friends and fisherman.
Eventually life happens, the two drift apart and JT moves to Texas. He is a business man, engaged and patiently tosses flies to red fish in the salt water. He decides he wants to take a fishing trip to Canada with Xenie to catch steelhead.
Xenie, an expert with coldwater fish, spends the trip doing as he always does, slaying fish with a salmon egg imitation under an indicator and taking pictures. JT however uses a spey rod with streamers, working more on the art of casting and presentation. The more fish Xenie catches, the more the rift in their friendship becomes apparent. Xenie is seen celebrating and gloating with every catch, trying to give JT tips, which JT takes as an insult, visually appearing disgusted by the fact Xenie would even try to offer him advice. The differences in their styles and reasons for fishing stand out reflecting their personalities and their reasons for clashing. Over time the two have grown up and grown apart, fishing appearing to be the only thing keeping them together and yet being tested on their trip to gorgeous British Columbia.
This film is about fishing and yet about so much more. The film takes a look at the dynamics of friendship and time and how the two of them impact each other. The film also vividly depicts the beauty of Colorado, the gulf of Texas and British Columbia during the winter, covered in snow. The film is also littered with amazing insights into the sport of fishing, showing two separate sides of the sport through each man. As with any good film, it’s not only about the plot or well shot scenes but Low and Clear artistically uses an amazing soundtrack to convey the differences between the two fisherman and their lifestyles proving to be a well rounded film and a masterpiece.
If you haven’t checked out Low and Clear, you are definitely going to want to do so. HERE is a link to the movie website; do yourself a favor and watch the trailer. Low and clear is a brilliant documentary that I absolutely enjoyed, watched a second time and enjoyed it as much as the first time. I can’t say enough about this film so I will just tell you give it a try.
As for me, there is rain in Northern Cali and I am not complaining. Hopefully I will find my way out onto the water soon. Take care folks and thanks for reading!