Honestly, we went to Iceland to catch big fish. It was that simple. We wanted to bask in the late Arctic sun while bringing dreamy meter-long Atlantic salmon to hand. We wanted to drink whiskey afterwards, go to bed and do it again every day we could. What surprised us wasn’t our ability to check that mission off the list it was the insignificance that those goals held compared to what we actually discovered. The Chase: a tiny film is an ode to the friendships and experiences that were shared while chasing our passions.
We didn’t talk to Elli until we were wheels down in Iceland. No introductions, no planning, no asking, “Hey Elli, can you fit us into your schedule?” We just dropped in. The amazing thing was Elli was 100% the entire time. He surfed in the snow and less-than-favorable surf conditions. He’s new-ish to fly fishing but walked confidently on to fabled Icelandic salmon rivers and walked off having out-fished the visiting Americans. With his mellow temperament and the best Icelandic reggae dance moves you’ve ever seen, Elli could easily be described as a stand-up guy.
Then, there’s Shane. As storytellers, we brought Shane for a variety of reasons but most importantly the dude has passion. He’s got it coming out of his gills. Sometimes, Shane is like a puppy that wants to chew on every damn thing in the house. He’s on the move and fish are on his mind. Living in Montana will do that to you. The real kicker with Shane is when something gets in the way of his fun—for example, losing an Atlantic salmon to faulty physics and user error—he gets pissed. A 50-foot radius of clearance is required to avoid the fallout. Expletives are thrown, rocks hurled. He cares, a lot. And that’s exactly why we love him.
So here we had the kindest, most welcoming Icelandic soul surfer contrasted with a firecracker, country boy fishermen. With those differences in tow, we found our waves and we found our salmon but what we left with was a shared experience, and that is more important than any wave or salmon or tangible accomplishment. Although we were passionate about two seemingly opposite activities, we found a connection, all brought about by chasing water every day. We found the true power of being in the experience.
The Chase is a short film that we feel encapsulates the most important part of us going to Iceland last summer. Yes, we made a 45-minute film and a festival edit that has toured the globe but this minute and a half is the soul of what we did and discovered. This is exactly what we’d like to share with you.
The Full Film
Yow—Icelandic for “yes”—is not just a word, it’s a feeling. It’s smiling with a pull of whiskey after a long day in the rain; it’s believing in the unknown. From rendezvousing with 16th generation farmers while discovering unfished rivers to sitting in lonely lineups while the snow falls, Iceland’s landscape and culture is an incredible background in which to chase the Yow.
Yow: Icelandic for Yes! is a 45-minute surf and fly fishing film, shot using the latest in digital cinema technologies. Watch Yow on the 2015 Fly Fishing Film Tour and the RISE Fly Fishing Film Festival. High-definition downloads and DVDs are available now at icelandicforyes.com.
RC Cone is the director and founder of Tributaries Digital Cinema. Graduating from the University of Montana with a degree in Environmental Studies and a concentration in Photojournalism profoundly shaped his worldview and sense of aesthetic. He and his camera have traveled around four continents and dream every day of new adventures.
For more from RC, check out his previous post, “Tributaries – An International Fly Fishing Film of Contrast and Commonality.”