Traveling Angler Profile: Fly Fishing the World with Gilbert Rowley

Gilbert Rowley is a filmmaker who has traveled throughout the world making fly fishing films with Capture Adventure Media. Gilbert recently sat down for an interview about his travels:

Where in the world have you filmed fly fishing?

I’ve been very blessed to travel, film, and fly fish in some amazing places throughout the world. A few of the most memorable include Costa Rica, Mexico, Belize, Canada, and all over the Western US.

What is your favorite destination and why?

That’s a tough one! Right now it’s the middle of Winter where I live, so I’ve been thinking a lot about warmer weather and saltwater flats. Belize is really high on my list for Saltwater locations. It has a ton to offer, and the fishing can be incredible down there. It’s where I landed my first permit, my first tarpon, and from a film standpoint it’s a beautiful country with some amazing culture.

What is the most memorable travel experience you have and why?

Sticking with Belize since it’s now fresh on my mind, my last trip there was one I’ll never forget. It was special because both me and my filmmaking friend Phil Tuttle were able to bring our wives along on this trip. It was one of the first times I’ve been able to share one of my travel adventures with my wife first hand. Not to mention, the fishing was incredible! One day in particular we found a group of large migratory tarpon in a spot with no other boats or fishermen. Phil and I jumped tarpon after tarpon, landing a fish here and there until we had to head back to the lodge that evening. It was unforgettable!

What has been the best trip so far and why?

Last year we made a film about catching striped bass at Lake Powell. Hands down, this was the BEST trip I’ve ever been on. Once again I had Phil Tuttle along, and again the fishing was incredible, but even more incredible was the fact that we were on a houseboat in paradise for an entire week with our families. I’ve never felt so spoiled, even though it’s one of the closest destinations I’ve ever filmed. We would fish and film from sun up until mid morning, then return to the houseboat to play with the kids all afternoon. After dinner we’d head back out for the evening boils (stripers crushing baitfish on the surface in large schools) and fish until dark. I’m not sure I could dream up a better trip than that! Much of the joy is shared in our film “Sunshine for Days” which is a part of this year’s IF4 film festival.

Do you have any travel or new film projects coming up?

Most certainly! Last year we decided to stick close to home with all the issues associated with COVID. However, this year we are hoping to do a bit more traveling. Nothing is set in stone yet, but if possible I really want to make a project happen somewhere in the Pacific Islands. I’ve never traveled to that part of the world, and it is really appealing to me.

Is there a species that you are dying to catch? What is it about that fish?

I really want to catch a roosterfish from the beach. I’ve caught them from a boat, but I’m dying to get back down to Baja to try again from the shore. Roosterfish are an incredible species that are far more voracious than I thought possible. The last time we were down there we saw them completely annihilate schools of baitfish while ignoring our flies for the most part. It’s one of the greatest challenges in our sport, and I’m looking forward to getting another chance to try and check that off my list.

What is your dream trip and why?

My oldest son is 12 and I’ve been dreaming for a long time of taking him on a week long backpacking trip somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. A week of hiking into some of the most amazing drainages filled with gorgeous trout, just the two of us. Eating over a campfire every night and enjoying the time together. It’s not as exotic as some trips, but I’ve waited 12 years for it to be possible.

If one song were to play in a video short of your most recent fly fishing trip, what would it be?

“Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow”, we might be past the Christmas season, but the “weather outside is frightful” has been the case with my last few outings.

What is the one piece of gear you couldn’t bear to leave at home?

My camera! As I’ve shared my experiences by means of video over the past decade I’ve realized how much joy it brings me to document and share these experiences with others. I’ve hoped that my films not only entertain, but also inspire others to get outside and create memories of their own.

As you have traveled, what environmental issues have most concerned you?

The world is such an amazing place, and it’s up to us to take care of it. One thing that has been concerning for me, no matter where I find myself is single use plastic, and litter in general. Whether it’s a beach littered to the edge of the ocean, or a balloon stuck in the trees high in the mountain country it’s unfortunate. We can all do better to reduce the impact of single use plastic whenever possible.

To check out more from Gilbert Rowley and Capture Adventure Media, please click here.