Review: ‘Low and Clear’ is good stuff. Watch it.
Been fishing lately? Me either.
Been tying flies for when the ice retreats? Good for you. I’m real happy for you. No need to be smug about it, though. I should be winding up patterns to do something productive while waiting for the fishing to turn back on. But I’m not. My default approach is a frantic session at the vise late at night before an early morning fishing start. It works for me. That way I don’t have near as many flies tied as I hoped and I believe this makes me fish better, out of fear I’ll break off the few decent flies I did manage to get ready. After I lose those, it forces me to go to the bullpen and partially clear out the inventory of crappy-looking patterns that were also tied at the last minute and really have no business going in the water. This sparks a resolve to finally get off my lazy hindquarters in the off-season and tie up a squadron of flies to avoid a shortage in the future.
But thankfully my fishing buddy Mike Baird hooked me up for Christmas with the fishing documentary ‘Low and Clear’ and that’s got me charged up about fishing so let’s talk about that instead. I’ll have plenty of time to sit down at the fly tying bench later.
‘Low and Clear’ follows fishing amigos Xenie and J.T. on a steelhead mission reunion to British Columbia. J.T. is John Townes Van Zandt – son of songwriting heavyweight Townes Van Zandt. Xenie is a flyfishing Jedi figure, famous back in the day, we’re told, for being a fishing powerhouse with intimate home water knowledge and pretty much unlimited access from friendly local landowners.
Fame is an interesting side channel in Low and Clear. You’ve got J.T. being kin to a well known and loved musician – in some circles – and Xenie having some hero status in the fly shop during the time these two guys meet, in the good ol’ days before their Colorado stream access is plastered with No Trespassing signs threatening the law if you slip in to fish.
Yoda introduces J.T. to the force. Rich folks buy up all the riverfront. J.T. has moved back to Texas, got into the boatbuilding business, has a sweet house on the water and a sweet boat to go out fishing on the flats.
They stay in touch and a camera crew is arranged to capture them planning, going on, then reflecting upon a fishing trip. There’s great footage. Nice shots of takes, runs and Xenie landing multiple fish using an indicator with an egg pattern. Cut to despondent casts by J.T. while Xenie hoots at another hookup. Some back and forth about J.T. being dedicated to the noble path of swinging with the spey rod while Xenie enjoys catching a bunch of fish.
Watch it. It’s good.
So good me and Baird are going fishing tomorrow. Water’s cold but at this point I’d be thrilled with hooking a whitefish. Please. At least let me hook a whitefish.Happy New Year from Winding Waters River Expeditions and the Gearboat Chronicles.Look forward to seeing you on the water in 2014.