“We went to Iceland to catch big fish,” writes filmmaker RC Cone on Patagonia’s The Cleanest Line blog. “It was that simple. We wanted to bask in the late Arctic sun while bringing dreamy metre-long Atlantic salmon to hand. We wanted to drink whiskey afterwards, go to bed and do it again every day we could.
What surprised us wasn’t our ability to check that mission off the list – it was the insignificance that those goals held compared to what we actually discovered.
We didn’t talk to Elli until we were wheels down in Iceland. No introductions, no planning, no asking, “Hey Elli, can you fit us into your schedule?” We just dropped in. The amazing thing was Elli was 100% the entire time. He surfed in the snow and less-than-favorable surf conditions. He’s new-ish to fly fishing but walked confidently on to fabled Icelandic salmon rivers and walked off having out-fished the visiting Americans. With his mellow temperament and the best Icelandic reggae dance moves you’ve ever seen, Elli could easily be described as a stand-up guy.
Then, there’s Shane. As storytellers, we brought Shane for a variety of reasons but most importantly the dude has passion. He’s got it coming out of his gills. Sometimes, Shane is like a puppy that wants to chew on every damn thing in the house. He’s on the move and fish are on his mind. Living in Montana will do that to you. The real kicker with Shane is when something gets in the way of his fun—for example, losing an Atlantic salmon to faulty physics and user error—he gets pissed. A 50-foot radius of clearance is required to avoid the fallout. Expletives are thrown, rocks hurled. He cares, a lot. And that’s exactly why we love him.
So here we had the kindest, most welcoming Icelandic soul surfer contrasted with a firecracker, country boy fisherman. With those differences in tow, we found our waves and we found our salmon but what we left with was a shared experience, and that is more important than any wave or salmon or tangible accomplishment. Although we were passionate about two seemingly opposite activities, we found a connection, all brought about by chasing water every day. We found the true power of being in the experience.
The Chase is a short film that we feel encapsulates the most important part of us going to Iceland last summer. Yes, we made a 45-minute film – Yow: Icelandic for Yes! – that has toured the globe, but this minute and a half is the soul of what we did and discovered. This is exactly what we’d like to share with you.”
Watch Yow on the 2015 Fly Fishing Film Tour. High-def downloads and DVDs are available now at icelandicforyes.com. And check out RC Cone’s article about his film Tributaries on Patagonia’s The Cleanest Line.