You might remember that we found out about Mikey Wier and Burl Productions while fishing the Florida Keys. When a guy who poles a flats boat 300+ days a year tells you that someone is "the real thing" in the world of fly fishing I take notice. Mikey Wier is just that guy.
I had reviewed and enjoyed his work on FishEye 3 Video Magazine so when I got an email from him asking if I would care to see what two years of his life's work looked like, I jumped at the chance. SoulFish arrived at the FlyFishMagazine.com HQ a few days later and immediately found a home in the DVD Player.
SoulFish describes its self as one angler's search for the soul of fly fishing. At first glance I was skeptical about the possibility of success for any such venture. How could anyone, even someone as talented and devoted to the sport as Mikey Wier, capture the soul of something that has become an addiction to so many through out history?
The DVD takes the viewer through Mongolia, the Amazon, Belize, Christmas Island, Key West, Louisana, California and Utah. Along the way Mikey, and the folks he features, catch everything from Tarpon, Redfish, Permit, and Bonefish to the prehistoric Hucho Taimen.
As you might guess, there is enough fish porn and excellent music to qualify this as a card carrying member of the new fly fishing video movement. However, the part of the film that really brings out the soul of fly fishing comes in the form the people that Mikey meets and profiles along his journey. Icons of the sport like Lefty Kreh, Jack Dennis and Brian O'Keef make appearances, as do hard working guides like Captain Justin Rea of the Florida Keys and Andy Burk of the Reno Fly Shop. Youthful fly fishing prodigy, Loren Elliot who we met up with in Fish Eye 3 is here again, this time going for something few anglers manage to achieve in a long lifetime, a saltwater grand slam.
As you watch "SoulFish" the fact that the soul of fly fishing resides in the people who practice the sport becomes very clear. One scene from the film stands out in my mind and may be one that best typifies the "soul" of the sport and this films maker. Mikey Wier has just hooked a Taimen and broken his only fly rod. He is literally miles from the nearest civilization can see the fish of a lifetime swimming in the river in front of him. I won't spoil it for you but lets just say he doesn't let a broken rod stop him.
Burl Production's "SoulFish" is available from BurlProductions.com for $29.99 +1 cent and runs 90 minutes with 45 minutes of extras.