We are excited to announce a new blog series presented by The Fly Fishing Film Tour. We will be conducting behind the scenes interviews with all of the filmmakers in this years film tour. Make sure to check out the F3T website, to see when they will be in your town! Get your tickets before they sell out!
From the producers: Fly fishing and adventure go together like pizza and beer. By nature, an adventure is not defined by some pre-canned success story. Adventure is defined by an unknown outcome. And, as it turns out, the Alaska wilderness is a perfect canvas for genuine adventure and the unexpected. In the words of one of Alaska’s great explorers and bush pilots Paul Claus, “Everything here is bigger, larger, harder and tougher than it looks. It doesn’t matter who you are, what you’ve done, or how great shape you are in if you come here, you’ll contend with the Alaskan factor.” For this group of anglers, that’s exactly what the doctor ordered.
We sat down with Cory Luoma of Alaska Fly Out, to talk about his new film 100 Miles, premiering in this years Fly Fishing Film Tour.
Flylords: Tell us a little about your film “100 Miles”.
Cory: “We really wanted to bring a lighter mood to the film, fly fishing’s about having fun, and we wanted that to resonate in this project. It was about portraying the camaraderie of the sport, versus a deeper meaning type film. Which are great, and people connect with those, but that was a big thing that we outlined from the very beginning. We said let’s not take ourselves too seriously on this project. Let’s have a blast.”
Flylords: So how long have you had the idea of making this film?
Cory: “It wasn’t something that we had in mind for three years, it sort of developed over time as we started using pack-rafts, and tools for our own fishing exploits. And of course, with that, you get all kinds of ideas in your head. We thought it was a good opportunity to do something different, go on an adventure and bring some cameras along.”
Flylords: Was this a stretch of river that you were familiar with? Had you done this trip before?
Cory: “We had not fished this stretch before. This particular fishery had been on my radar for a while. We just found the right opportunity to tackle it, and just jumped in.”
Flylords: Was it everything that you dreamed it was gonna be?
Cory: “Yeah, I mean, I didn’t have a ton of preconceived notions about what it would be like. And that was part of the fun with a trip like this. That’s one of the main takeaways in the film as well, we didn’t know what we were getting into. We had heard some rumors about this place… but had no real expectations. Every mile was new, and that was definitely part of the intrigue, as far as the adventure goes.”
Flylords: What were some of the rumors that you were hearing?
Cory: “It’s not like it was an unnamed river, and it’s not a first decent or anything. We heard it was solid fishing, and that it was a tough river to float. A ton of the braids had probably never been fished before. Since we brought pack-rafts in we could fish it a different way than most people had.”
Fylords: Tell us a little about the gear you used for a 100-mile Alaskan float trip.
Cory: “This was a no-frills trip. We used pack-rafts, so you can’t have a boat full of gear. You can’t bring the cast irons and the cheeseburgers, and the cooler full of beer. So in that sense, we brought all freeze-dried meals. That’s basically what we ate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We had to be able to carry all of our equipment, including the boats on foot. So in preparation, everything’s needed to be lightweight. The same went from a filmmaking standpoint. For me, it was a solo mission. I’m on the adventure as well and paddling my own pack-raft with all my camera gear. It was pretty much a one-man show with handheld cameras, a few light stabilizers, a lightweight tripod and a drone. We didn’t know what was coming around the next corner, It’s sort of point and shoot, and see what happens. Nothing’s staged, nothing’s orchestrated.”
Flylords: Floating for 100 miles in the backcountry sounds pretty hardcore, did you have any sketchy experiences on the trip?
Cory: “You know, not really. We had such a good crew with a lot of experience. Not just in fishing but in backcountry travel. A lot of white water folks were negotiating rapids and navigation. So in that sense, we didn’t have any scary moments. We definitely had some suffering, as far as just normal Alaska stuff goes. Bugs, weather, we had a lot of rain throughout the entire trip, which of course makes the camera work hard. We scouted out a few rapids beforehand, and some of our guys wanted to run that stuff, some of them didn’t. So there’s some decision making, but it’s all apart of it.”
Flylord: For people who might wanna consider doing their own raft trip in Alaska, what would you recommend?
Cory: “If you’re going to do a DIY trip, you need to have some backcountry experience. There’s a certain level that you should be at. After that, there’s a million different trips you can do, a wilderness of options. As far different rivers go, I always let people do their own homework on that front. There’s tons and tons and tons of options and unexplored stuff. I think a float trip’s worth it for anybody that wants a genuine wilderness experience. Whether you go with an outfitter, or by yourself, they both will be a rewarding experience.”
Flylords: Do you remember ONE fish that was super memorable?
Cory: “For us, it was all about mousing for fish, we weren’t going for a 30 inch Rainbow or 50 inch Pike. It was more about consistency and quality, we found some really hot Silver Salmon, which was awesome. But we never had one fish that stuck out. It wasn’t that kind of a trip.”
Shoutout to Cory for the interview. Be sure to check out more content from him on Instagram @AlaskaFlyOut
And be sure to grab your tickets for The Fly Fishing Film Tour. Premiering in Bozeman this weekend!
Check out our other “Behind the Lens” interviews!