2024 F3T Behind the Lens: Transitions – The Bow

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The 2024 F3T Schedule is set and tickets are NOW AVAILABLE to purchase  – click HERE to find a local showing and purchase tickets.

Next up in the 2024 F3T Behind the Lens series is a film that showcases the beauty of  spring’s ‘shoulder’ season, where the lines between snow and sun are blurred. Transitions, a film by Kate Wilson, features herself, Garrett Wilson, and their friends as they search for large brown trout between turns on their local ski hill within the Bow Valley of Alberta, Canada. We sat down with Kate to find out more about what it’s like to spend her Spring days skiing world-class slopes in the Canadian Rockies and fishing the banks of one of the most productive fisheries in Canada. 

Flylords: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Kate: Hey, my name is Kate and I was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, but now call the Crowsnest Pass home. I grew up as a competitive freestyle ski athlete and now work as a fisheries biologist and ski coach. When I’m not skiing or working, you can find me on the river fishing for trout in southern Alberta. 

Flylords: What was the inspiration behind making this film a reality? 

Kate: I have been making films in the ski industry for quite a few years, but decided I wanted to showcase both of my passions (fly fishing and skiing) within one film. I hadn’t seen a lot of crossover between the two activities, so I decided to pitch the idea to a few of my sponsors and see if I could make it happen, so here we are! The main inspiration was just to film something super authentic to me and something that would inspire others to take advantage of the ‘shoulder’ season.

Flylords: What was your favorite part about the filming process?

Kate: I think my favorite part was working with my team and rolling with the punches throughout the entire process. Filming trips rarely go according to plan in my experience, but it was fun to work with my husband Garrett and our friends to make my dream come true. I was also super stoked to be able to include my friends in the project and work with our amazing filmer, Renaud, who put his heart and soul into the entire project and process. I also loved filming within my own backyard instead of traveling super far to an unknown place; Having that familiarity was really special. 

Flylords: What parallels have you found between your two loves of skiing and fly fishing? 

Kate: I think the main parallel between the two activities is that connection you have to nature during both. They’re both totally unique in a lot of ways, but what I love about both is getting outside with great people, connecting with the natural environment and the challenge of the activities. From trying to master your cast to your turn on the hill and seeking out those special moments like hooking into a big brown or landing a trick in the park, it takes a lot of time and effort to make those things happen. The pursuit of both is something that really drives me. 

Flylords: What significance does the Bow play in your ability to take advantage of the spring season?

Kate: Well, the glaciers that feed the Bow River are also a big part of why the skiing in the area stays good well into the spring and also supports the fishery year round. We’re also lucky that the Bow River is robust and can sustain year-round fishing opportunities which really lets us take advantage of the option of fishing within the spring. 

Flylords: What role has both the skiing and fishing community played in how you take advantage of the shoulder season?

Kate: In the skiing community that shoulder season is really when I see people come out of the woodwork and hit the hill. It’s a great vibe and it’s just super nice to know that you can roll up to the hill and find a posse to go ride with. From a fishing standpoint, a lot of my friends are fly fishing guides, and the spring is the calm before the storm for them; It’s the best time for me to get out with them and catch up before the season gets busy. It’s also generally a time of year when I have more time off before the heavy fieldwork season gets going, so it’s kind of the perfect storm. 

Flylords: Describe the draw of hunting those big spring brown trout.

Kate: Oh man, it’s super special just because it’s such a grind usually, that when you do find one of those fish it makes you realize how special they really are. You know they exist, but when you hook into one there’s no better feeling. It’s also a cool opportunity during the spring because the rainbows are off-spawning, so you can really hone in and target those big browns.

Flylords: Were there any challenges you ran into during filming?

Kate: Oh there are always challenges during filming, but I’m lucky to have had the crew I did, no complaints!

Flylords: How do you hope Transitions inspires audiences to take advantage of their spring?

Kate: I hope I inspire people to look beyond the peak season for things I guess and to really take advantage of what’s in their own backyard.

Flylords: As a rad woman doing what you love, how do you hope Transitions inspires other women to get after their outdoor passions? 

Kate: Aw, thanks! I just hope that by getting out there and making this film other women will see that they can do things within the outdoor space too. We’ve got some other talented women in the film (Billie Slip and Paula Shearer) and I think the more women we see within the outdoor space the more it will inspire someone to push past their comfort zone and try something new.

Flylords: Is there anything else that you would like to add or anyone you want to thank for helping make this film possible? 

Kate: I’d like to thank the title sponsors for making this film happen, Flylow Gear and Simms. I’d also like to thank Paul Laframboise, Paula Shearer, Billie Slip, Garrett, our filmer Renaud, and our photographer Steve Reed! Also major shoutout to Mike and Noelle with the IronBow Fly Shop in Calgary, Alberta for their support and connections throughout the process. 

Special thanks to Kate Wilson for taking the time for an interview. Stay tuned for more iterations of the Fly Fishing Film Tour, F3T Behind the Lens series by clicking here. All photos in the article are provided by Stephen Reed. 

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