Two buddies grew up in the village of Walden, New York, took diverging paths, then reconnected one day and hatched a plan to make a movie. Retired businessman and full time fly-fisherman, Bruce Concors, partnered with producer/director Aaron Weisblatt to craft an insiders’ ode to anglers and the region known as the Land of Little Rivers, a network of tributaries in the Catskill Mountains known as the birthplace of American fly fishing. The documentary premiered at the Woodstock Film Festival and will be released on DVD and Streaming platforms (Amazon & Vimeo with additional to follow) starting May 19, 2020 by Cinema Libre Studio.
The beautifully shot 4k imagery, the personalities and camaraderie distinctive to the sport, and the healing power of the river, makes this film a joyous and educational diversion for the already obsessed and others who appreciate the singular pursuits of the great outdoors. Filming the tricky prey was challenging, says Weisblatt. “It was hard being in the right spot at the right time to capture the moment when an angler hooked a fish. I spent hours and hours watching, waiting and, frankly, drinking beer only to wrap that day without a single fish being caught.”
Fishing has traditionally been a boy’s club, however the participation numbers for women are on the rise with a 35.8 percent increase of female anglers recorded in 2017. Considered the first lady of the sport, Joan Wulff, who started a well-regarded school (Wulff School of Fly Fishing) with her husband Lee, says, “We opened the school in 1979. It was three years before a woman came to the school alone. Otherwise she came as an appendage to her husband and he was trying to show her he really did go fishing when he disappeared on the weekends. But overall, Robert Redford brought women to fishing with the film, ‘A River Runs Through It,’ in which women got to see the beautiful areas in which we fish, the mesmerizing unrolling loops of fly casting, and all the attractive men I used to have all to myself.” At the age of 93, Joan still runs the school.
Synopsis: The Land of Little Rivers, a network of tributaries in the Catskill Mountains of New York, is the birthplace of fly fishing in America and the mecca for resident and visiting anglers obsessed with the sport.
Fishing legends such as Joan Wulff, the “first lady of fly fishing,” and Dave Brandt, the preeminent fly tier and authority on traditional Catskill fly tying, convey the angler’s passion, from the art of casting the perfect loop, to the sport’s origins where secrets are fiercely guarded by local anglers.
Other personalities include Rachel Finn, head-guide at the Hungry Trout Fly Shop in the Adirondacks, who enjoys whiskey and cigars while instructing both men and women on the famed Ausable River. Expert Delaware River guides, Robert Lewis and Ben Rinker, offer insights into the sport. Marty Yi, an Iraq War veteran and Wounded Warrior, speaks to how the sport literally saved his life. Mike Canazon, who crafts custom bamboo rods, is driven both by a search for excellence and the one that got away.
Uplifting and warm, this beautifully shot documentary delves into the lives of fly fishers, the wounds they heal, the bonds they form and the history and conservation they preserve in the sport they love.
For more information, visit:
* Amazon: https://amzn.to/2YwVdMs
* Trailer: vimeo.com
* Website: landoflittlerivers.com