We had the chance to talk with Gilbert Rowley about his epic award winning film, “The Midnight Mission” Check out the interview below, as well as the full film which was just released today!
FlyLords: What gave you the idea to create a film about getting Kohler back out on the water?
Gilbert: When you have a fishing buddy that’s been a part of your fishing adventures for years it’s hard to see them grow out of the sport due to the demands of life. I firmly believe that each of us needs a healthy hobby to keep us motivated in life to make solid decisions. Something to look forward to, something to talk to our buddies about, and something to dream about! For us, that’s been fly fishing for many years and it was time to get him back in the action. I guess what I’m saying is I missed my fishing buddy, and what better way to convince him to come fishing than to tell him we were going to make a night fishing video…. I might have left out the part that the story was going to be mainly about him 😉
FlyLords: Walk us through the difficulty of fishing at night.
Gilbert: Night fishing isn’t a numbers game, and mentally it can be really tough. It’s the middle of the night, there’s often not a lot of action, you’re exhausted mentally and physically, and you just don’t know if there are even fish around! No visual cues whatsoever to convince you whether or not you’re fishing in the right spot, and there are just a lot of unknowns. Because of the difficult nature of night fishing I almost always rely on the help of my great fishing friend Chris Cutler. He has a ton of experience with night fishing and has sharpened his senses to know what’s happening in the dark around water. This guy is a wizard at finding big fish especially at night! I feel fortunate to have him as a friend and the success of the film and our rescue mission is largely due to him.
FlyLords: Walk us through the difficulty of filming at night.
Gilbert: Hands down the hardest part is light and the lack there of. Light is what makes a good shot and when you have zero natural light available you have to get creative. We acquired all the specialized camera equipment necessary and some small lightweight cube lights called Litra Torches. These small portable lights made everything work. Also, by having three guys on each shoot one would run the camera, one would run the lights, and the other would handle the fish, or cast, or whatever it was we were filming at the time. Every shot required a high level of planning, and a lot of effort by the three of us. More creativity went into this shoot than any other I’ve ever been a part of, and it was a real team effort for sure!
FlyLords: What was the most memorable part of the trip?
Gilbert: We had many highlights on this project, some involved fish while others did not, but for me the most memorable part wasn’t so much a highlight but rather a nightmare. After fishing three nights in a row and almost not sleeping in between (hard to sleep in a car during the day) we were utterly exhausted with a long drive back to home ahead of us. We stopped filming early the third night, around midnight or 1 AM. Kohler and I hopped in my car and hit the road. About two hours into our drive I was so tired I couldn’t go any further. It was snowing outside and there were no lights of any kind around. I pulled off the road and decided to take a short nap before continuing. We were both instantly asleep on the side of the road, I behind the steering wheel and Kohler in the passenger seat. After only a few minutes of sleep I had the most terrifying nightmare that I had just ran us off the road and we were both going to die a terrible death! I immediately woke up to the pitch dark, reached out and grabbed the steering wheel while stomping the brake as hard as I could. All while screaming at the top of my lungs like a little child! Kohler!!! Kohler!!! We’re going to die! AHHHHHHH! Or something like that. Imagine how he must have felt being woken up like that! Needless to say that moment is unfortunately ingrained in my memory forever.
FlyLords: Has Kohler continued to get out on the water since the film has been released?
Gilbert: There’s no doubt he’s back in the game! For a while there he was calling me a couple times a week just to tell me how good the fishing was in his neck of the woods. Really made me jealous that I wasn’t getting out as much as him! And I’m also happy to report that just this week we put another day on the calendar to get back out before the end of the year. You know your buddy is back when he’s the one calling to make the fishing arrangements.
FlyLords: What’s next for Capture Adventure Media?
Gilbert: We have some amazing projects for this upcoming year, and for those not familiar with our work we have an adventure series called the Buffet Series on YouTube which we hope to continue next year. These are short fly fishing adventure films that capture the details of what we love most. This next month we will launch the second half of the Buffet Series on our YouTube channel which includes, tarpon and permit from Belize, BC bull trout, and some amazing trout fishing films. We are always on the lookout for fresh inspiring ideas to capture and share with others in the hope that it will help others get outside and enjoy this great world we’ve been given to enjoy!
This interview was conducted by FlyLords team member Conner Grimes (@doublehaulmedia).