Anglers and fledgling fisherman unite for a fly fishing film festival Friday
March 22, 2023 Updated Wed., March 22, 2023 at 8:38 p.m.
Within minutes of experiencing Ben Meadows’ two most recent fishing films, “Steve’s Red” and “The Holy Well,” viewers are hooked.
The action is compelling and the stories are entertaining.
“I think what I present is interesting for those that aren’t into fishing and those who are fishermen will enjoy what is captured,” Meadows said from his Birmingham, Alabama, home.
Meadows can’t make it Friday to the Bing Crosby Theater for the Fly Fishing Film tour, but “Steve’s Red” and “The Holy Well” will be screened.
It’s a drag for the mellow director, who doesn’t just wish he could be present for a Q-and-A after the film. Meadows would love to fish in the area.
“I know how passionate folks are in (the Inland Northwest) when it comes to fishing,” Meadows said. “I would love to get out there and cast or shoot a film there. I know people in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene will be into these films.”
“Steve’s Red” focuses on an all-around Southern fly angler. The fisherman, Steve Talist, has caught an array of fish on the fly, such as sunfish, smallies, largemouths and even gar.
Talist’s white whale, however, is the crown of Southern saltwater, the redfish.
A simple plan is hatched. Travel to an overwater camp deep in the Louisiana bayou and score a thick piece of gorgeous copper glory.
It’s not as easy as it sounds.
“Steve has caught everything but the redfish,” Meadows said. “When he tries to catch the fish that he dreams about, well, shenanigans happen. It’s a lighthearted film.”
Meadows is skilled when it comes to humorous fishing films. “Dan’s Pain,” is about his friend, Dan Lantrip, who can’t catch a fish.
“It’s a funny story,” Meadows said. “Dan is a hell of a hunter and outdoorsman. But when you put a fly rod in his hand, it’s all over. It doesn’t matter what Dan tries to catch – tuna, tarpon or bass. It just doesn’t work for him. He’s cursed and it’s funny to see that. ‘Steves Red’ is funny in some similar ways.
“If humor can be added to a fishing film, that only makes it better.”
“The Holy Well” is a fine follow-up to “Dan’s Pain.” For 15 years, a group of friends has dealt with bad timing and unfortunate luck. After weathering hurricanes and being marooned on an uninhabited island, the group connects with the sage of flats fishing, Nick Denbow, who hopes to unlock their fishing issues as they embark on a venture to the Holy Well.
“It’s a classic fishing documentary,” Meadows said. “You get to see cool footage of tarpon and there’s some fun slo-mo action and I captured some tarpon doing acrobatic things.”
Meadows’ films move quickly and there are always fun spontaneous moments.
“I love capturing cool stuff as it happens,” Meadows said. “People are surprised how entertaining these films can be.”
Perhaps Meadows will make a film in Washington at some point.
“I’ve never been to the state of Washington,” Meadows said. “I would love to come out, but now I’m the father of a (5-month-old) child. One of these days I’ll come out and it would be so cool to shoot out there since from what I’ve seen, it’s beautiful.”
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