How was the fishing?
Beattie: We got off the boat and hit the first island before we set up camp or anything. Everyone grabbed a rod and set out on their own. Personally, I walked about 50 feet down the beach and saw a huge tail. It was actually a pretty nice bonefish.
I even saw a few permit. When I turned the corner, the whole crew ended up in the same spot and everyone was doubled up. It was really cool because we had no idea what we were getting into, so it was nice to hook up right off the bat.
Also, the bonefish ranged from 8 to 10 pounds, which is pretty big, especially for the Yucatán.
What did the documentary end up being about?
Beattie: There are two versions. The one that’s complete now is under 20 minutes because it’s for the Fly Fishing Film Festival. Basically it’s a comprehensive look at the overall trip; we try to dive into the film with a few story lines with interesting happenings. . It starts off with a pretty funny wrestling scene, and then it takes you on a whirlwind tour of the journey from the planning stages through the whole expedition with the high points of the fishing content, and then it comes full circle back to the wrestling scene.
Can you sum up what the most challenging part was of getting to a location like that?
Beattie: Being a gringo on a Mexican schedule. We want to know on this day we are going to get here, we are going to get the bags, we’ll get on the boats this time, etc. With our Mexican buddies, it’s like everyone is going to get here on this day [but] this guy might get here on Tuesday, this guy might get here on Wednesday, [and] we are going to try to get all this stuff on the ferry but we aren’t sure it’s all going to make it.
It took us about seven days to get all the gear ready and get everything staged to start the expedition. The logistics were definitely the hardest part.
What did the crew get out of the trip?
Beattie: I think everybody was blown away by the entire experience, because when you invest that much time and it actually comes together, it’s almost a surprise. Also, when fishing isn’t the only focus, you get a much better experience. We were out there on these vacant flats where next to nobody has ever fished catching 10-pound bonefish, and then we’d grab a panga and haul a surfboard behind it. Those were some of the best times we had.
I also learned from the trip that, when you are exploring or doing something new, you always think it’s going to be a challenge, a ton of work and a ton of effort. To a certain extent it is, but it’s amazing how much can actually go right.
In a few words, why are you so proud of this project?
Beattie: I think this project has the strongest storytelling, the best crew and some of the best footage I’ve ever shot.
Any other projects in the hopper?
Beattie: Yeah, we are looking into phase two of the trip we just did. There are some other atolls we are looking at, so we’ll rally the crew and get back at it and hopefully have a part two.