For our latest Video of the Week, we had the chance to sit down with Andrew McNeece of Bluff Line Media to talk about their latest film.
Fly Lords: What motivated you to start documenting the Ozarks?
Andrew: I’ve been a photographer for years, and fly fishing was a burgeoning hobby of mine. I met Ben Woodard of Woodard Rod Co. back in 2017, and he came to me with the idea of filming “Fly Fish Arkansas”. That experience was so rewarding that I decided to start up Bluff Line Media. I’m meeting amazing people, having amazing experiences, and combining two of my favorite hobbies–videography and fishing!
Fly Lords: The contrast between tattoos and fly fishing is really cool. What made you decide to do that?
Andrew: Drew Wilson is an outstanding angler and tattoo artist based in Fayetteville, Arkansas. I knew of him through social media, and thought he’d be a perfect fit for this series. We are seeking to tell stories, as well as showcase the rivers and fishing, and his story is a pretty unique one. Luckily, he was excited to work with us!
Fly Lords: What tactics were you using to catch these fish?
Andrew: The big thing on the White River is targeting large fish by throwing streamers. Everybody has their favorites. Drew wanted to try something a bit different and threw a meat whistle on 10lb line under a giant indicator at about four feet subsurface. When filming, sometimes it’s smart to rig for numbers instead of size. Of course, we threw some streamers are well.
Fly Lords: Tell us a little about the fly fishing culture on the White River.
Andrew: Increasingly, we’re seeing more drift boats and fly fishermen on the White. Growing pressure in recent years has worried some, but the fish seem to be weathering their popularity really well. Because it is such a prolific tailwater, winter stays busy as folks from all over make the trip while their rivers aren’t fishable. The most quintessential scene on the river is throwing a big, articulated streamer on an 8-weight rod, getting that hero shot of a hog, and then releasing the beast in hopes of catching it another day. It really is an amazing experience!
Fly Lords: What’s next for Bluff Line Media?
Andrew: We are shooting VOL4 this weekend on the Current River in SE Missouri with Jon Link and Grady Powell (American Grit, Dual Survival). It will discuss the calm that fly fishing can offer anglers and raise awareness for veteran advocacy group, Project Healing Waters. Over the next couple of years we plan on completing ten episodes of the “Ozarks on the Fly” series. Once completed, it will be the most comprehensive documentation of fly fishing in the Ozark region to date. We are set to film in WY and CO this summer with artist Brooke April Belohlavek and Ryan Herbert of Yampa Valley Anglers as well. As long as people keep watching, we’ll keep filming!
Interview conducted by Fly Lords team member Conner Grimes.