When planning a to shoot a multiple day film in a territory you are unfamiliar with, you need to plan ahead of time for every detail of the trip. The success of such a film/fishing project is no easy task, and one forgotten piece of gear could put the outcome of the film in jeopordy. The planning started back in January 2014. A night of tying flies for an upcoming steelhead trip, soon turned into a business meeting, accompanied by talk of searching the unknown waters of Oregon.
After picking our location and deciding on what dates would best fit our schedule, the plans were made. What gear to bring? What flies to fill our boxes? Food? Beer? Cameras? The list of unanswered questions seemed ominously long. First on our list was fly selection. After plenty of online research and phone calls, we found a man by the name of Nate, who owns Dry Fly Innovations. Nate runs an Idaho based fly tying company that produces some of the most detailed handcrafted flies we had ever seen. The word that kept pulsing the air was ‘small’. The bugs for success would be size 18-22 dry flies. After rummaging through a small selection of microscopic bugs that Nate had sent us, we knew this caliber of bugs were out of our fly tying league. I was used to tying large streamers and fluffy mouse imitations.
The location we were headed was full of mean, thuggish browns. With our dry fly stock planned, we also spent time filling our streamer boxes full of our own hand tied Lord of the Rings inspired streamers. We are firm believers in mouse patterns as well, and stocked a large quantity of foam mouse patterns.
Next was fly rods. With the notion of catching 20″+ browns, we made sure to load our rod case with a couple Orvis Helios2 7wts 9′ tip flex rods. Our dry fly presentations would be slung by Orvis Helios2 5wts 9′ tip flex rods and an Orvis Superfine Glass 4wt (the ultimate miniscule bug slinger). The fly rods would be accompanied with an assortment of Bozeman Reel Co RS Series reels and Orvis Mirage reels. Using some of the best rods, fly lines, and reels on the market, we had no excuses other than angler performance for bad casts.
We had recently visited with some fellow anglers about the new Scientific Angler Sharkwave fly lines, and the talk was impressive. After numerous calls and emails, we were stoked to have Scientific Anglers on board for our project, and even more hyped to put some of their new lines to the the test. The Scientific Anglers Sharkwave Ultimate Trout lines would be our go to on 5wt and their Mastery Series VPT 4wt line on the Superfine glass. For our deep running 7wt lines we chose to spool up the Streamer Express WF-200-S, which is still the best sinking line I have ever casted.
Tippet and leaders were full on SA fluorocarbon, keeping the end of our lines hidden from even the spookiest brown trout.
Our trip would occur during Montana’s runoff. This time of year has weather that can change daily, so waders were a mandatory item on our trip. The Simms G4 & G3 waders were packed, alongside the new easy on/off G4 Boa Boot. We beat the crap out of our boots and waders, being predominantly wade fisherman. Nothing ruins a fishing trip like leaky waders, and knowing we were backed by the best waders in the business had our minds at ease.
Glasses. Our #1 tactic for hooking fish and filming it at a top notch level during this trip was to spot fish from high overlooks and then plan an attack. We needed our sunglasses to cut through surface glare and the Polarized ChromaPop Smith Optics were the perfect lens for the job.
Most of our filming shots took lots of time to plan in order to be executed correctly. Pulling double angles without interference required us to first, spot a bucknasty brown trout, and then setup the cameras appropriately. Without knowing where the fish was going to feed on a size 20 bug made the chance of capturing the shot very difficult. Fortunately, we had great success finding fish from above and capturing some amazing fish eats during the trip.
Once our main fly fishing gear was dialed, we planned food, camp locations, and beverages. Doing multiple days, we needed our food to stay cold without spoiling and chose to bring both the Yeti Tundra 75 and Yeti Tundra 50 for beverages.
We loaded the Yeti 50 with an assortment of our favorite Big Sky Brewery beers and energy drinks.
With our Decked truckbed unit, we were able to organize and pack all our cameras, fly fishing gear, food, coolers, and other misc items for three people to live comfortably for numerous days.
If it weren’t for the extra layer of storage in the DECKED drawers, I don’t think the trip would have been possible in one vehicle. After grabbing our last odd and ends at the Grizzly Hackle Fly Shop, we were set and ready for adventure.