TROUT UNLIMITED: How the team behind “Mending the Line” film got the fishing right
June 15, 2023
Hollywood gets a lot of things right. When it gets things wrong, it’s often because writers (and directors and actors) are forced to try to mimic something they know little about but that avid practitioners are adept at.
Consider fishing and hunting, which aren’t exactly atop the list of most-practiced hobbies of the La-La Land crowd.
It’s one thing if it’s a short scene. “Wedding Crashers” was great despite a ridiculously unrealistic quail-hunting scene. And we can even forgive the horrible fishing-from-horseback scene in “Yellowstone.”
But when the activity in question is a key part of the film’s narrative, inauthenticity can be painfully obvious. If the fly angling scenes in “A River Runs Through It”, for example, had been cringeworthy, there’s no way it would have resonated as well as it did (and still does).
Now, more than 30 years after the release of what is generally considered the best fly-fishing-centric movie made, the team behind another film with a strong fly-fishing theme wanted to make sure they got things right.
“Mending the Line” is the story of a Marine veteran Colter (Sinqua Walls, “Friday Night Lights” and the upcoming reboot of “White Men Can’t Jump”) being treated for PTSD at a fictional VA hospital in Montana. Languishing in his treatment, Colter connects with Vietnam vet and avid angler Ike Fletcher (Brian Cox, “Succession”) as he works to recover from his physical and emotional trauma.