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Top Rated Fly Fishing Documentary

Fly Fishing Documentary

After researching the highest rated feature films on fly fishing, I came across many great documentaries on fly fishing. I figured it would be best to write a separate post just for these as they are more on the educational front, versus the big Hollywood entertainment films.  

If you watch these documentaries, you can learn an absolute boatload of information that can help you land more fish in your net. We all like the short videos on YouTube, but real time and money went into these documentaries which I was very impressed with! 

I broke them down from lowest to highest ranked on IMDb. Most of them were not rated on Rotten Tomatoes. Let’s see what the highest ranked documentary is! 

 

 Great fishing documentaries 

Only the River Knows  

only the river knows

IMDb 6.5/10  

Rotten Tomatoes N/A  

Documentary  

A large portion of the film takes place by the legendary Lethe River on New Zealand's wild and breathtaking South Island. Back in 1988, one of the most known fly fishers of our time, Lars Lenth, spent three months exploring the Lethe River and fishing for its exceptionally large trout. At night, he would sit down in a cabin and write down his experiences in a journal. Almost 25 years later, Rolf Nylinder loses his way in the wilderness near Lethe. By chance, he finds the lost journal, full of insights about the very soul of fly fishing. The old journal becomes a moral compass for Rolf, who gradually becomes more and more obsessed by the poetic adventures Lenth wrote down. Fate forces the two fly fishers together, but what will happen when their worlds collide? 

 

 

Where the Yellowstone Goes  

Where the Yellowstone Goes

IMDb 7/10  

Rotten Tomatoes 53%  

Adventure, Documentary  

Where the Yellowstone Goes covers a 30-day drift boat journey down the longest and winding undammed river in the United States. Up close and personal portraits of locals in both booming cities and dusty, dwindling towns along the Yellowstone River, illustrate the history and controversies surrounding this river leading to questions about its future. While watching these great characters you will get lost in the hypnotic cast of a fly rod, and experience amazing moments of fireside stories on this heartfelt river adventure. 

 

Low & Clear  

Low & Clear

IMDb 7.2/10  

Rotten Tomatoes 83%  

Documentary, Drama  

A movie on friendship and life in the disappearing wilderness of the West, 'Low and Clear' follows two past close friends who reunite for one last fly fishing trip. Throughout their time together they come to understand how much they have each changed and how these changes now threaten the friendship. 

 

A Backyard in Nowhere  

A Backyard in Nowhere

IMDb 7.3/10  

Rotten Tomatoes N/A  

Documentary, Western  

A Backyard in Nowhere is an independent film that mixes Western and Gonzo elements with fly fishing.  Three fly fishers set out to explore the remote Innoko River in Alaska. They end up getting a whole lot more than they bargained for. Moving deeper into the Backyard, the fly fishers land some of the largest pike ever caught on film. Keep in mind, this movie does contain drug use, violence, swearing, and nudity.   

 

The Rocky Mountain Fly Highway 

The Rocky Mountain Fly Highway

IMDB 8.4/10  

Rotten Tomatoes N/A  

Documentary  

This film follows U.S. Highway 20 as it passes through some of the most amazing fly fishing waters there is. It was filmed in the heart of the Northern Rockies throughout Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and Oregon making the film a scenic beauty.   

 

Land of Little Rivers  

Land of Little Rivers

IMDb 8.6/10  

Rotten Tomatoes N/A 

Documentary  

The Land of Little Rivers, a network of tributaries in the Catskill Mountains of New York, is the birthplace of fly fishing in America and home to anglers obsessed by the sport who just cannot get enough. This documentary has great information and footage. I would definitely give it a watch. 

 

Rivers of a Lost Coast  

Rivers of a Lost Coast

IMDb 8.9/10  

Rotten Tomatoes N/A  

Documentary  

Tom Skerritt finally returns to fly fishing since he was in “A River Runs Through It” to narrate this awesome documentary on coastal fly fishing in California. It breaks down the history behind it, showing never seen before footage, archival headlines, vintage photos, and exclusive interviews. This documentary is sure to wow you.   

 

Live The Stream: The Story of Joe Humphreys  

Live the Stream

IMDb 9.1/10   

Rotten Tomatoes N/A  

Documentary, Family  

This film is about Joe Humphreys, an 86-year-old legend. By legend, I mean he is the man when it comes to fishing trout in streams. He was born to fly fish, loves to teach, and hopes to pass on the respect for our local waters onto others. 

 

There is no shortage of great fly fishing documentaries. I wanted to make a list of more notable films to check out.  

  • Bluefin Tuna on the Fly 
  • Tributaries 
  • Rise 
  • Blue Charm – Salmon Fishing with Ian Gordon 
  • Providence
  • Chalk – Bedrock of Fly Fishing 

 

Fly Fishing Movies 

If you would like to see Hollywood feature films on fly fishing, I wrote a blog on some of the best fly fishing and standard fishing movies that are out there. There are not too many that exist, but they are entertaining! You can check the Zinger Fishing blog out here.