Behind The Scenes With Western Waters Media

It seems like everyone nowadays is a photographer or videographer. With the rapid expansion of cell phones and mobile devices equipped with cameras, everyone is taking pictures and creating videos. However, I don’t think this is a bad thing… The rise of social media has allowed people to communicate, cultivate, and collaborate instantaneously with people across the globe. I could sit on my couch and flip through Instagram for hours, looking at different posts about fly fishing while still being entertained.

With this, a few media companies have risen above others, giving fly fishermen across the world the opportunity to experience what it is like to catch a Tigerfish on the Mnyera River in Tanzania or stalk the flats for Bonefish and Giant Trevally near Providence Island in the Seychelles. Western Waters Media has done just that.

Comprised of four dedicated outdoorsmen and fly fishing enthusiasts, Western Waters Media has released some incredible films for the International Fly Fishing Film Festival and more. Western Waters Media was founded by Cortney Boice, Phil Tuttle, Spencer Higa, and Derek Olthuis.

Cortney Boice (picture above) is the founder and president of Bluehalo Fly Rods. He is also a professional photographer and videographer with a degree in Recreation Management. Every group of fly fisherman has to have one guy who loves to chuck meat. Cortney loves throwing streamers for big fish. 

Professional fly designer and co-owner of Tacky Fly Boxes, Spencer Higa (pictured on the left) is the fly fishing manager at Falcon’s Lodge and a part-time videographer. Spencer is the gang’s dry fly specialist. He has a knack for finding the single rising fish in the river and picking him out. Living in Utah, Spencer spends most of the time fishing the freestone rivers in the high Uinta Mountains. Fly fishing has taken Spencer to incredible places and introduced him to some incredible people who now he calls lifetime friends. His go-to fly is his own SOS nymph. It is a cross between a zebra midge and a pheasant tail nymph.

Last but not least, Derek Olthuis (pictured below) is a photographer, author, fly fishing instructor and guide. He is also the founder of Trout Academy Fly Fishing Instruction and an ambassador for the American Museum of Fly Fishing. Derek has been fly fishing for over 28 years. Like most fly fisherman, Derek loves the challenge of sight casting to big fish and throwing big, meaty streamers to predatory fish. Having fished all over the world, Derek still remains a sucker for any Char species. 

Together, the four have produced four films, including, Arctic Unicorns and the soon-to-be-released The Hidden. Originally, the group of four started with Derek and Spencer producing A Change Of Pace, a film about bull trout and cutthroat trout. After the group realized they had a very unique dynamic and enjoyed fishing and filming together, they set out to create another. Soon after Cortney and Phil came long, the group had a handful of short films.

Arctic Unicorns was released for the International Fly Fishing Film Festival (IF4 for short). The film was nominated for many awards and won film of the year for the IF4. While chasing native browns in Iceland, The Hidden is Western Waters Media’s next film to be released for the 2017 International Fly Fishing Film Festival.

Western Waters Media has a few different locations in mind for their next adventure. From chasing Taimen in Slovenia to Minipi in Labrador for wild brook trout to Japan for sea-run taimen and rainbow trout, these guys can tackle any environment and any fish.

Western Waters Media is constantly looking for new places to explore for film and photography. They hope to continue to produce films for IF4 as well as release some projects through Vimeo and/or YouTube. Watch for their film, The Hidden in the 2017 IF4 cycle and any future projects as they travel the world in search of trout!

Check out the Western Waters Media team for more great work at their website and Vimeo, Derek Olthuis’ Instagram and website, Cortney Boice’ Instagram and website, Phil Tuttle’s Instagram, and Spencer Higa’s Instagram and website

Tanner Poeschel, The Taylor River Trout Bum, is a creative content intern and ambassador for The Fly Lords. Tanner has grown up fly fishing in Colorado, specifically on the Taylor and Gunnison Rivers. For more of his work, check out his websiteFacebook, or Instagram.


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