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High In The Lowlands

High In The Lowlands Everglades Fly Fishing Video

In the past, Dave and I tried hard to get people excited about fly fishing. Our goal was to make the audience feel what we feel every time we head out on the flats. The final result was a high action, high intensity, visual montage with hard hitting music to convey the emotion. Needless to say, it got lots of anglers out there fired up, and it was a blast to create! But then there were the nay-sayers, the grumps that didn’t like what we were doing to their sport, didn’t like the attitude, and called our films porn. Great! Everybody has to start somewhere and lots of folks in Hollywood began in the porn industry. Dave and I didn’t go to school for film, we barely knew how to run a camera when we started, but we were tired of the same old crap that failed to communicate what fishing was really about to us. So, we tried harder than we’ve ever tried at anything to make films that showed how much fun you can have with a fly rod living the life of a saltwater fish bum.

After a while though, we knew we’d have to grow up. If we wanted to be part of the Fly Fishing Film Tour and call ourselves film makers, we’d have to create an actual film with an actual story. So, I began reading Peter Matthiessen’s Shadow Country… the ultimate story about the Everglades to find inspiration. Dave and I wanted to make a story about something meaningful, something bold and powerful, something that really drove to the core of what fly fishing is for us. We wanted to tell a rich and complex story about the Everglades history, the Indians, the animals that live there, especially the fish, and why we were there. We wanted to talk about Robber Barons, drug smugglers and fisher folk, the birth of saltwater angling in the Everglades… and we really wanted to make the connection, to equate ourselves and fly fishing with them. We wanted to use words like narrow creek system, jagged branches, nooks and crannies, hidden shadows, gator filled swamps, mosquito infested lagoons, and labyrinth mangrove mazes. We would paint our picture with every detail and ultimately transcend the human drama and reveal the Zen of flyfishing. The Discovery Channel would be envious, and National Geographic would weep, and our critics would be silenced. At the end, we would close with a glorious aerial shot and a narrative that summarized 1,000 years of history, the deepest meaning of fishing and the symbolism behind our adventure deep into the soul of the Shadow Country.

Problem was, we were two dudes and a laptop, and neither one of us could even come close to saying all that, much less shoot it, edit it and deliver it in one month. I wasn’t Peter Matthiessen, and Dave wasn’t Spielburg. We didn’t have Pixar or Industrial Light and Magic to digitally enhance our snook. Really, all we had was 2 broken cameras, a skiff that lent to us, a couple of fly rods, and a bunch of our best friends that were always down for an adventure. But, off we went… a procession of flats boats headed south into the Everglades to camp and fish for a week, and with any luck, make movie magic on the sands of Turkey Key.

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