Tuesday, June 06, 2023

New fly fishing film premieres this weekend

This weekend, "Mending the Line" premieres in select theaters nationwide. The movie is about a wounded Marine who meets a Vietnam vet at a VA facility and learns from him how to deal with the emotional and physical trauma through fly fishing.  It stars Brian Cox, Sinqua Walls, Perry Matfeld and Wes Studi.

The film has not received as much fanfare as the 1992 film, A River Runs Through It, directed by Robert Redford and starring Brad Pitt in his first major role.  THE MOVIE, as it's sometimes referred to, sparked a surge of interest in fly fishing that lasted for 8 years. After which a steady decline in the sport took place until 2010.  Since 2010, fly fishing participation in the USA has increased to the point where we have the largest number of fly anglers in nearly 60 years (8.1 million).

Some believe the current trend began with the release of another fly fishing movie, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.  Much less heralded than "River Runs", the romantic drama (and sometimes funny) film became a cult classic with a younger audience.  Most of the showings were in college towns and college campuses. Starring Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt, "Salmon" also received 3 Golden Globe nominations.

So will "Mending the Line" bring another surge in new folks to our sport?  Perhaps.   But perhaps the films message will be more important... that fly fishing can be a means of isolating the difficulties of life and establishing new friends and relationships.

As of now, only 2 theatres in Louisiana will have showings beginning this weekend.  AMC Elmwood Palace 20 (Harahan) and AMC Westbank Palace 16 (Harvey).