As kids, we explored our backyards. Local creeks, lakes, rivers, and ponds were all worthy of endless hours of what seemed like exploration at the time. Every moment was filled with senses of hope and anticipation that were fueled by the imagining the possibilities. And in the film Tidewater, anglers carry this spirit on as they explore their coastal homewaters for billfish on the fly in Virginia.
The film begins with Chico Fernandez who frames the essence of the film. Chico articulates his passion for fishing but notes that it’s more than the catch … it’s also the pursuit. And for Art Webb and Brian and Colby Trow, the pursuit of billfish in Virginia becomes a venture that ignites passion and a spirit of exploration, even if relatively close to home.
Art Webb is an adrenelene junkie. A climber who needed to redirect his energy after a bad fall, Webb set his gaze at fly fishing for billfish out of Virginia Beach. And for brothers Brian and Colby Trow, the ability to travel and explore is constrained by the demands of fly shop and home life. For all three anglers, the challenge and thrill of bluewater fly fishing satisfies these passions and extraordinary angling achievements are attained not far from home.
Make no mistake. The coastal waters of Virginia have been both fished and navigated. However, for fly anglers, these waters, especially those offshore, have been largely untouched. And in many ways, there is a great deal to learn, including the behavior of migratory species ranging from striped bass to albacore and even tarpon and redfish. In Tidewater, Webb and the Trow brothers head two hours offshore to explore these waters and the possibilities for fly anglers.
So, the result? Tidewater takes viewers along for a thrilling ride that follows Webb and the Trow brothers as they assemble gear, anticipate expectations, and venture to waters known but also relatively untapped on the fly. The filmmakers highlight what is also part of the fun for us anglers — the preparation and capture the entire process with beautiful imagery and thrilling aerial and underwater footage. And as we watch this process unfold, the culminating event is about as epic as the saga can be — an unofficial record for a blue marlin on the fly in Virginia landed by Brian. Perfect.
Tidewater is an excellent film. For bluewater-lovers, Tidewater helps satisfy a deficiency of bluewater fly fishing films available. And for anglers of all interests, Tidewater beautifully captures the spirit of fly fishing, the passion of anglers, and the possibilities of what can be discovered in our own backyards.
To check out more about Tidewater, please click here.
– Tim Harden