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

For the next film in the 2024 F3T Behind The Lens series we turn to the Yucatan for the film, “What Lies Above.” Some fantasize about catching a permit, and some fantasize about dry fly fishing… so, why not combine the two? The ultimate fantasy of catching permit on dries comes alive with “What Lies Above.” To learn more about what went into the creation of this film and what went on behind the scenes moments, we caught up with Simon Kay from Fly Fishing Nation.

Flylords: What was the original inspiration behind this film?

Simon: Believe it or not, going permit fishing in Mexico wasn’t actually a part of the original plan. My family and I were traveling and we ended up having to detour our travels through Mexico after running into Visa issues. Chase from Xcalak on the Fly reached out and offered for us to stay at the lodge as we traveled through the area. While I was there, I ended up casually catching my first permit (and not just any old permit) – a permit on a floating crab! That moment would be ingrained in my brain forever.

After my amazing experience in Xcalak, Chase and I began talking about trip number two. This time, the camera gear came along, and we did our best to film the experience that I loved so much on my first visit.

Flylords: Catching a permit is hard, but catching one on a floating crab is even harder. Getting that on film has to be nearly impossible. How did you get that shot?

Simon: I failed many times. The final shot is the result of multiple trips and many interactions with permit. It involved hard work by everyone: the guide, the angler, and the videographer. The angler probably hooked fifteen fish, two of them were captured semi-well on film, and one of them ended up being the final shot. Some eats happened just outside of frame, some had small waves that blocked the shot, some were out of focus. The final shot is still not perfect in my mind, but you could spend a lifetime trying to perfect that shot.

Flylords: What do you hope that viewers take away from this film?

Simon: My hope is that this film will give viewers a glimpse into this unique fishery in Xcalak. Catching a permit on a floating crab is an incredibly unique occurrence that deserves its own spotlight, but there’s more to this story than that. The reason these crabs are floating in the first place is because of the sargassum algae, and the sargassum is wrecking havoc on coastal waters in these areas. My hope is that viewers will pick up on the beauty and excitement in the film, as well as the nuance and complexity of the situation.

Flylords: What is your greatest memory during the creation of the film that had nothing to do with fishing?

Simon: The lodge has a deck that we referred to as “The deck of destiny.” After fishing and filming all day, we would get back to the lodge, have some fresh margaritas, play corn hole, play with the dogs (Captain and Fern), and eat the best empanadas I’ve ever had. The time spent with the guides and the locals on that deck were some of the best moments.

Flylords: What camera equipment was used for this film?

Simon: We used Lumix cameras and the Free Fly Wave for the slow motion shots.

Flylords: What is unique about Xcalak, Mexico 

Simon: Much of coastal Mexico is commercialized. It’s overpopulated, touristy, and has hotel frontage all the way down the coast. In contrast to those places, Xcalak feels almost untouched. You feel like you are stepping into a place from the past; it’s a place that feels like an adventure. It has either not yet been discovered, or it has been managed in a way to support the sustainability of the area. 

Flylords: What’s the next adventure on your mind?

Simon: I just got back from filling at the Cosmo Atoll in the Seychelles. So, there will be a film coming down the line from that trip. We also have another film based in Italy coming soon. Stay tuned for an amazing story about Italian artists and the management of a special river.

Flylords: Simon, thanks for taking the time! Any parting words?

Simon: I would like to give a special thanks to my partner, Susan, for letting me spend way too much time on the film and being away from family; the sponsors of the film Sage and Simms; Fly Fishing Nation Productions; all of the guides behind the scenes. Thank you all for supporting this film!

We personally want to thank Simon for his time for the interview. If you are interested in following Simon, his adventures on the water, and his epic shots, be sure to follow him on Instagram at @si_onthefly. Be sure to check out the Fly Fishing Film Tour (F3T) @flyfishingfilmtour

Interested in following the F3T Film Tour? The 2024 F3T Schedule is set and tickets are NOW AVAILABLE to purchase  – click HERE to find a local showing and purchase tickets.

2024 F3T Behind The Lens: RIO DE GIGANTES

F3T 2024 is Finally Here: Check out the New Fly Fishing Film Tour Sizzle Reel


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