Fishing with friends

Published Jul 11th 2012

Travis Swartz spends a lot of time on the water alone, but this past weekend he spent a couple days on the Big Wood River in Ketchum, Idaho fishing with his friends Reese, John and Zach.


If you're reading this blog post prior to July 17th PLEASE visit our Kickstarter fundraising page and contribute to our efforts. We're in the final days & hours and very much need your help right now. We offer some awesome rewards in exchange for your much needed contributions. Click here.
I spend a lot of time on the water alone. I get up early, throw my gear in the car, turn up the music, sing along completely out of tune, watch the sunrise, chug my coffee and head for the water. Alone means I do whatever I want. I fish where I want for as long as I want without concern for anyone. I fish the best holes, the best riffles, the best currents, the best whatever the river or stream has to offer. I do not have to share. I'm the youngest of three children in my family and have never been very good at sharing. Fishing alone offers a freedom that I enjoy very much. Fishing alone is also "fishing alone" and that can get… well… lonely.


This past weekend I spent a couple days on the Big Wood River in Ketchum, Idaho fishing with friends Reese, John and Zach. It reminded me that sharing the fishing experience with friends is usually preferable to fishing alone. Fishing with friends gives me the opportunity to talk to others as opposed to talking to myself like some sort of maniac. Fishing with friends gives me somebody to yell "Fish On!" to when I hook into a trout. I can't tell you how many times I've had to yell that at complete strangers who look back at me as though I've lost my mind. Fishing with friends gives me a chance to connect with folks who share my love for rivers, the outdoors and fly fishing.

Fishing with friends also, unless your friends are terrible fly fishermen, gives you a better chance at catching fish. It's good to have more than your own limited perspective on how to fish a certain stretch of water, what flies to use or whether to sink a nymph or float a dry fly. The thrill of the catch is also no longer limited to just your line. "Yes", we all want to out fish those we're with and "yes" we all want to brag about being a better fisherman BUT we also take great pleasure in celebrating a catch made on someone else's line. When fishing with friends, we are all connected and share in the thrill of every fish caught. Fishing with friends is a damn fun thing to do.

This weekend also reminded me of the bonds and companionship that we aim to capture in our documentary Fish On - A Reel Retreat. Reel Recovery Retreats offer participants phenomenal fishing accompanied by the lasting bond of friendship. When talking with folks who have been to a retreat, they always mention two things: "Fishing" and "Friendship". The experiences that life throws at us whether good or bad are always made better when we share them with others. Companionship reminds us that we are not alone. Many people have experienced and understand our hardships no matter what they are. Many people share the same passion for whatever we are passionate about. Many people have experienced the same laughter, joy and happiness that we have had in our own lives. The men I will be with in September will not only share in the beauty, fun and thrill of fly fishing they will have the opportunity to surround themselves with others who can truly identify with the difficult times they are currently facing.

I caught a few nice fish on the river this weekend. The Green Drakes were on in the heat of the afternoon and heads were up. The hamburgers at Grumpy's in Ketchum were the perfect filler for a very empty belly. It was definitely my favorite fishing trip of the year made possible by good friends. I'm looking more and more forward to September when I get the opportunity to document a group of men sharing some good times on the water amongst new friends.


All entries in Travis' diaryThe entries are being published as the project progresses.
When new entries are ready, they are announced here and then linked when they are published.

The Kickstarter page for the project.
The Facebook page for the project.
The organization Reel Recovery.
Our first blog entry about the project.

User comments
From: Megan · Megan_plantenga·at·  Link
Submitted June 12th 2014

I just watched Fish On. Real men are the men in Reel Recovery. God ,our Creator, made us perfect and then man fell. The greatest challenge is knowing God did not give these men cancer. It is a disease that was produced in the fall. But Jesus is a Fisher of men and I pray as these men continue to see the awesomeness of God and that they will each have a Divine encounter with God who gives eternal life through His son Jesus. God bless these brave hearted men. Fish on. Many thanks to Reese.

From: Dad & Mary · mmferguison·at·  Link
Submitted July 13th 2012

Reese we're very proud of you Travis. We wish you the very best in this project.

From: Travis Swartz · fishonmovie·at·  Link
Submitted June 10th 2012

Hello Raymond. Thanks so much for your comments. Would be honored to have you sharing our decal. Currently we offer the decal on stickers, t-shirts & hats through our Kickstarter campaign (link is on this page). The "rewards" are listed on Kickstarter on the right side of screen. Later in the summer we will likely have them for sale directly from the website we are creating. We definitely want to get you something whether or not Kickstarter works for you. Please feel free to email us at Good luck teaching your girlfriend to fish! I'm taking my wife out this summer!

Comment to an image
From: Raymond Richard · mww·at·  Link
Submitted June 10th 2012

it is so true that fly fishing brings them therapy that no one can buy,i also have a few fly fishing friends who are fighting to beat cancer ,and they forget that they are sick when they fish ,i would like to know where i cold purchase a decal like yours to offer them and show them they are not alone,i also am suporting and fighting with my girlfriend who was diagnose with breast cancer,i want to introduce her to fly fishing when possible,she is doing good and hopefully it will be over soon with healling, thank u so much for this i also fly fish and it takes me to another world even if only for a few hrs,an if she feels to it,she will be learning how to fly fish this summer with me.

Want to comment this page? Fill out the form below.
Only comments
in English
are accepted!

Comentarios en Ingles
solamente, por favor!

Your name Your email
Anonymize my information. Name and email will not be shown with comment.
Notify me on new comments to this article on the above email-address.
You don't have to comment to start or stop notifications.

All comments will be screened by the GFF staff before publication.
No HTML, images, ads or links, please - we do not publish such comments...
And only English language comments will be published.
Name and email is optional but recommended.
The email will be shown in a disguised form in the final comment to protect you against spam
You can see other public comments on this page