You saw the film festival version of Jungle Angler at the 2016 Fly Fishing Film Tour, but as of today — April 20th — the final cut is now available. Get the digital download or the DVD and prepare for an overwhelming desire to pack your bags and see the Tsimane culture for yourself. This was a fantastic collaboration between our friend RA Beattie at Off the Grid Studios and the Untamed Angling team.
Marcelo Perez and Rodrigo Moreira Salles of Untamed Angling, both “jungle anglers” involved in the project, shared this insight on the film:
“The history of fly fishing dates back hundreds of years, evident in many of its contemporary traditions. The sentiments of a European angler stalking an English chalk stream today are certainly very similar to those experienced by Sir Edward Gray, Halford, or Walton, centuries ago. Those feelings projected through time form a collective spirit that encapsulates everyone holding a fly rod.
Fly fishing in the jungle has a much shorter narration, but deep in the jungle lies an emerging history, known only to the native peoples of the South American forests. These Indian Nations, each with unique traditions and varying world views, harmonize with mutual respect for their natural environments.
Many of these tribal groups also express a special admiration for some unique fish, usually the top predators in their habitats. Their mythologies and belief systems frequently represent these special fish as deities or sacred beings that should be treated with utmost respect. Even in societies where fish equal subsistence, some species are not to be killed.
These sacred fish in turn become the same ones that anglers pursue with equal reverence within jungle rivers. Can we imagine a bridge – a connection – five hundred years later, between those indigenous peoples and modern jungle anglers with fly rods?
It was only by fishing with the Tsimane that we found out. They taught us to interpret the rhythms of water, the fish behavior, and the interaction with other beings of the forest; to stalk very stealthily, to observe the attitude of the prey fish, the movements of the birds in the river. It was a shared ancient knowledge, cultivated over generations, which shaped the collective spirit of the people of the jungle. The water and its inhabitants are their lifeblood; and we quickly learned that both the Tsimane and us were defined as anglers by our romance with jungle water.
Fishing in the jungles with the indigenous people has brought us a different perspective. And with every step deeper into the heart of the jungle, with every cast exploring un-explored pools, a new door opens which could lead to a new way of fly fishing: new techniques, specific equipment, and overall, the unique experience of being submerged in those cultures that are connected to its water. From this point, with this uncertain luggage in the backpack, we began our journey towards the last real savage border to be explored in the world of fly fishing.”
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