Have you ever thought that your fishing destination is a special place or that what you’ve grown up doing is pretty unique? Well, Andrew Braker and Eric Braker thought so. They grew up in Maryland fishing the Chesapeake and its surrounding watershed. From high mountain babbling creeks, slow-moving wide rivers, to the shellfish shoals of the Chesapeake Bay. These boys grew up fishing and exploring one of the country’s most unique ecosystems and waterways.
One day during Quarantine Eric and Andrew were out walking around the neighborhood and eventually started to discuss how special of an ecosystem the Chesapeake Bay watershed is. Andrew is currently working on his master’s in Environmental Studies and Eric studied film and is currently a videographer. They wanted to combine their passions of videography and Environmental studies with their love for fly fishing. This film is a personal overview and reflection of their love for their local watershed. A view into how things have changed and how two pivotal species can distinguish the health of this massive ecosystem.
“We want this film to create a spark in people.” We want people to say, Oh wow there’s a connection between Brook Trout and Striped Bass. What about my watershed what is my home species connected to.”
Flylords: What gave you the idea to create a film like this?
Andrew: “We are native Marylanders’, We’ve spent the majority of our time fishing between the Chesapeake and chasing trout in the surrounding rivers. We’ve always had this vision of creating fly fishing films but just never had the time. Then Covid hit and we were stuck in the house for countless hours. It gave us the time to create a game plan for a film that really meant something to both of us. We wanted the film to focus on one of the watershed’s native fish, we immediately thought of Striped Bass but then Brook Trout came into the picture as well. We thought how in the hell can we tie these two species together. But we realized that they are all connected to the same watershed.”
Flylords: So what were some of your favorite moments from the film?
Andrew: “In the beginning, we were both stoked just to go fishing, then we realized that in order to create the film we visualized we had to focus on the videography side of things more than we ever thought. Which was a really cool take into some of these moments. When you’re fishing you’re so focused on the water in front of you. I’m not saying that you don’t realize how amazing the area you are fishing is, but to put down the rod and actually pick up each little detail about a particular fish rising or how the water moves across a shoal was pretty cool. But going into this film we thought it was going to be difficult to find influential people in the industry to talk to about this piece. But when people heard about the film, we started to get a lot of interest. We talked to two legends of Maryland sportfishing John Neely who is the chairman of the Maryland Sportfishing Commission and then Shawn Kimbro who is known as one of the best light tackle fishermen on the Chesapeake.”
Flylords: How long did it take you guys to film this?
Andrew: “It took us 6 months to just film the project and then a few more to just edit it and put it together. We are still tweaking the film a little here and there. The higher point or the overarching point that we are trying to portray in the film is that we are trying to get people to think outside of their own fishery. I think as anglers we dive headfirst into the fishery and a lot of times we seem to just focus on that area. We need to be thinking on larger scales, what’s happening in the watershed. What’s happening below that section or above that section.”
Flylords: Unrelated to the film but what were the go-to beverages of choice on the bay versus the mountains?
Andrew: “We are huge New Belgium fans our go-to is Fattire or Voodoo Ranger 1985 IPS. But those are for the bay. As soon as we get into the mountains its whiskey time.”
Flylords: What is in the future for the Braker Boys?
Andrew: “After putting down the rod and really focusing on the production side of things I’m looking forward to picking up the rod again. Eric and I loved making this film and are already bouncing ideas off of each other for the next one. Fishing is such a strong passion that my brother and I share and we cannot wait to see what the future has in store!”