The 25th anniversary of the film, A River Runs Through It, is coming up shortly (October 9). Below is a link to a good read about some aspects of the film’s pre-production/production and post-release influences. I’ll be posting a few memories of my own related to the fly-fishing scenes closer to the anniversary date.
Since I’ve been posting a bit about A River Runs Through It, I figured I’d also add link to George Croonenberghs. If you don’t know who George was, the link below should fill you in (he’s in Norman’s novella, too).
I first met George on-set and immediately liked him (as did everyone else I can think of). He was big, happy, eager, and had a giant box of vintage Montana fly patterns that would make any red-blooded fly angler weep.
After I doubled for the film’s shadow casting scene, George was waiting. He said something to me that was for me only. I’m not going to get into what it was, but it changed my perception of my own life in some ways.
George died more than a decade ago, and sometimes I think about him, and the words he said, and I feel like I want to go back. I can’t, and he can’t come forward, and that’s just the way it is.
George and I did see one another after the film, but I was too busy in my own head to realize the potential friend I had there. That’s a regret that time can’t erase.
Listening to the ARRTI soundtrack. Still swirls up such nostalgia and longing for me after all these years. Days perfected into memories that remain forever despite the endless flow of time.
So, in a rather interesting turn of events, I’ve had a request for built rods from my dormant SC20 project. As a result, I’ve decided to open up the last 10 rods for sale (out of 20 total). There are currently six rod numbers available as of this writing: 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, and 19.
Here’s the low-down for any readers interested:
I once worked on a film, sometimes called “The Movie” in certain circles. It was a film that made fly-fishing a part of the narrative, and made Montana a backdrop for its telling. The film’s title, A River Runs Through It, speaks to the flow of life and water and all that relates them. The film was based on a novella by Norman Maclean, itself a masterpiece in measured and bittersweet storytelling. The silver-screen adaptation of Norman’s words introduced a generation to the lives, loves and losses of a Montana family.
As one of the film’s fly-casting and fishing doubles, I spent a fair amount of time with bamboo in my hand. In one scene I “shadow cast” across the flow of the Gallatin River only a couple of miles from where I caught my first ever trout on a fly.
In creating the SC20—commemorating the twentieth anniversary of the film’s release—I wanted to retain an essence of the classic bamboo rods I used on the set, but re-interpreted to provide sensations that are distinctly modern. The SC20 is the type of rod that I think would have felt at home in early twentieth-century Montana. It is also a rod that I think feels at home today.
The SC20 is available in limited edition run of 20 rods total. Each rod is numbered with individual deep-laser engraving on the reel seat and rod-tube cap.
With the SC20 I wanted a rod that felt like that its purpose was clear: to catch trout. If you’re looking for a “parking lot rod,” to use that well-worn term, this isn’t it. The SC20 is designed to be most at home at the most-used trout-fishing distances—-let’s call that a range between 30 and 60 feet. The rod is also meant to work with you across a spectrum of real-world casting skills, including aerial and water-mends, roll and Spey casting, and handling sinking lines and a few split-shot.
The SC20 is 9 feet long and is designed to handle both 5-weight and 6-weight lines (although some like a double-taper 4 on it, as well). Line preference is up to the caster.
The SC20 could be described as tending toward a full action with a fast recovery. I find it light in the hand, with a distinct sense that the rod has enough reserve to handle being pushed to full-line distances. Because of the sense of lightness and the rod’s thin profile, the SC20 looks far from old-school. The friendly action, though, reminds me of rods that I grew up with and loved as fishing companions.
The SC20 is built with an aesthetic meant to remind one of hand-made components of days gone by, while still having distinctly modern overtones. The blank is jet black gloss with black wraps and silver accents. The nickel silver reel seat (with dyed and stabilized ash burl insert) is matched to the chromed, stainless-steel snake guides. Cork is highest grade Portuguese rings, shaped by hand. A custom-cut cloth sack and exceptional quality aluminum tube are also included.
The blanks are manufactured and built-up in the USA by a small group of dedicated artisans.
Rods are $725 shipped anywhere in the USA. International shipping extra. As these rods are made individually for each client, payment is required prior to rod build. Build times are approximately
six eight weeks.
Contact me via comments if interested. Thanks.
So my little daughter, Brooke, wanders over to me:
“I had a sleep show [read: dream] last night.”
“Yeah, what was it about?”
“I was fishing for sharptooth minnows [read: prehistoric minnows] with my fly rod.”
“Oh. Did you catch any?”
“Yes. I was using the rainbow fly from your fly box [her favorite sparkle woolly bugger].”
“Did you fin tag them and release them?”
“Yes, they were snapping at me!”
She’s a really cool kid.
I’ve been talking with disabled angler Martin Clemm about a new film project entitled, 30 Reasons. The production is of real quality, and Martin wants to do it right in order for the film to be an inspiration to many. Funding is only partially there at this point, but that’s a topic for another post. For now, take a look at what Martin’s 30 reasons are all about, and the beginning of his focused journey back into a fly fishing life.