Click through all the images above to see photos from trip.
I’ve always felt that the best adventures in life are those that simply cannot be described by words. Perhaps that’s why Motiv Fishing’s Brian Jill, Chris Owens, Thad Robison and Jay Johnson opted to film the fly-fishing odyssey of their lives. The expedition known as GeoFish will take them to all seven continents in search of some of the world’s finest fisheries that have remained untouched by the hand of man. As of now, the team has completed the first leg of the journey and has released the first of seven volumes, GeoFish: Mexico. I sat down with the four obsessed explorers to chat about their thoughts on risk versus reward and also dug deep to find out exactly what it is they hope to achieve through this project. Following our conversation and after watching the film twice, I think it’s safe to say that, compared with these guys, few anglers truly know what an honest-to-God fly-fishing adventure really is.
FFSW» In 2010 Ed Stafford completed walking the length of the Amazon River as a feat of self-endurance and also to raise awareness about the ongoing destruction of the Amazon rainforest. In many ways, his project reminded me of GeoFish. What is the purpose of this film project?
Thad: I think that, collectively, we want to show everybody, not just fly-fishermen, that there are still places out there worth protecting.
Chris: Our thing is to get out and try to find new water and new fisheries that haven’t been documented yet. We are trying to get beyond what is known to the fishing community. That’s definitely one of our motivations. But also, we are always trying to explain the value of protecting the resource to the locals.
Brian: Getting out there and getting a chance to fish some of the last great fisheries that haven’t been destroyed by human contact and having the opportunity to document it.
Jay: Personally, I’m afraid of dying — when I’m about to die, I’m pretty sure I’m not going to say “I wish that I’d played more video games” or “I wish I would have watched more TV.” To me, it’s kind of my way of doing my best to do my best while I’m here.
FFSW» So far, you’ve made it about 6,000 miles — can you name one thing that you didn’t have that you wish you’d had up until this point?
Chris: A winch and a big bumper to put the winch on should have been factored into the budget.
Thad: Basically, we suffer everywhere we go because we didn’t have a winch on the truck.
FFSW» Can you go into a little more detail about going on the hunt for vegetable oil, which your truck was powered by? Just how disgusting was it?
Brian: It’s definitely not for the weak of stomach. Basically, we’d pull out the laptop and look for hotels and restaurants, and then we’d kind of case the joint out before actually going in to see if they were willing to give it to us. You have to make sure that it’s not too disgusting because there are limitations to what the truck can burn through. If it smells that horrid, you probably don’t want to use it.
Chris: It’s a dirty mess, let me tell you. All of our clothes — they were greasy, then the dirt settles in. Getting the oil is one thing but trying to explain to people in a foreign country that your vehicle runs on vegetable oil — whole different animal.