Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Last Great Place

A beautiful and thought-provoking film that raises the big question: Why haven't I ever stopped to fish when crossing the Clark Fork eighteen times on Interstate 90?


The Last Great Place from Zangs Films on Vimeo.

The massive Clark Fork watershed comprises an area of over 14 million acres, with its vast network of streams and rivers cascading and meandering for over 28,000 miles through the rugged, mountainous landscape of western Montana. This hard-working watershed supports an intricately woven ecosystem of plants and wildlife in its upper reaches; steep slopes of dense, mixed coniferous forest line the banks of cold, clear streams, with Montana’s native westslope cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii lewisi), and wild brown and rainbow trout holding in almost every lie.

Unfortunately, this beautiful system is also heavily relied upon downstream by the agricultural industry in the region. Many cold water tributaries that would otherwise provide suitable spawning habitat, or adequate refuge for native and game fish species during warmer summer months, actually run dry prior to their confluence with the Clark Fork; their flows having been critically reduced by increasing irrigation demands. In an effort to learn more about some of the issues at hand, we connected with Andy Fischer, a Project Manager for the Clark Fork Coalition, to fish a recently restored headwaters stream and discuss some of his organization’s innovative and effective approaches toward conservation and cleanup within the Clark Fork watershed.

Join us as we embark on a week long, self-guided fly fishing trip to explore the unbelievably beautiful, natural landscapes that characterize the headwaters of the immense Clark Fork watershed, and document the sights and sounds of the abundance of wildlife that inhabits this ever-shrinking expanse of western wilderness – an area that many have come to call, The Last Great Place.

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