Film: Burning River – A Fly Fishing Story with John Fabian

Ohio rivers are known for a frightening history with water pollution. Most famously, the Cuyahoga River would actually catch fire. In a film short, angler John Fabian shows just how far these waters have come.

From the filmmaker:

“John Fabian knows a thing or two about Northeast Ohio’s rivers. Born and raised in Ohio, he has spent the last three decades studying these waterways. Since then, it’s gone from a relatively unknown waterway for fly-fishing to a regional hotspot stocked with steelhead and trophy fish.

Although, It wasn’t always this way. Cleveland had one of the most polluted waterways in the country. The Cuyahoga River was littered with pollution and unregulated industry, often dumping waste in the river. This caused the river to catch fire over thirteen times.

To no one’s surprise it caught fire again in 1969, but this time it sparked an environmental movement that prompted President Richard Nixon to pass the Clean Water Act in 1972. Today, the rivers have been restored, but river stewards like John often fight to keep it this way.

As an Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide, his purpose to share one of America’s greatest past times and show how beautiful Ohio’s rivers can be. Often providing a sense of escape and relief to his clients. After experiencing loss in his own life, John feels connected by getting out on the river. Wether it’s enjoying the 5am stillness, having a beer, or enjoying one of John’s famous deli sandwiches, fly fishing is about more than catching fish. It’s about enjoying the time on the river with others. He hopes that by sharing his passion, he can help others find peace in this sanctuary as he does. And as a result, it will help protect this beautiful place John calls home.”

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