Patagonia and co-sponsors Far Bank Enterprises, Yeti and Costa today announced the release of the feature-length downloadable version of Finding Fontinalis. A 70-minute feature film by Travis Lowe, Finding Fontinalis explores how the search for a new world record brook trout in Argentina ultimately leads the anglers involved on a mission to conserve and protect much more than just the fish itself.
Shot over a nearly four-year span on location in Canada, Argentina, Montana, California and Florida, Finding Fontinalis is the brainchild of angler and filmmaker Travis Lowe. A short festival-length cut was first released to great audience acclaim at fly fishing film tour screenings in the spring of 2016; the full-length feature now brings the incredible full story and its accessible conservation message to a broader audience.
The film is available to be screened in local markets globally to fly fishing dealers, grassroots conservation groups and individuals.
Finding Fontinalis—Film Background
In the summer of 1915, John William Cook disappeared into the vast boreal forests of northern Ontario, emerging seven days later with a 14.5-pound brook trout from the Nipigon River—the largest the world had ever seen. But the record was almost immediately embroiled in controversy: Some said Cook didn’t take the fish on the fly, some said it was one of Cook’s native guides who caught the fish, some even said it was no brook trout at all. Nevertheless, the record persisted.
One hundred years later, three anglers—fueled by an old gaucho’s tale that told of “el lugar con el pescado rojo grande,” the place with the big red fish—descend upon the Chubut province of Argentina in search of giant brook trout that are no longer found in their native North American range due to habitat loss and degradation.
Photographer Bryan Gregson; Patagonia’s Director of Fishing Bart Bonime; and environmentalist, angler and founder of Patagonia Yvon Chouinard follow Agustin Fox, the charismatic and hardworking owner of Las Pampas Lodge, into an uncharted watershed to chase down the rumors. It is there that Fox shares his vision for something much greater than a new world record: the protection of not only the fish, but the land, water and culture that surround it.