The River Why (2010) Movie Script

[birds chirping]
[running water]
[soft guitar music]
[music becomes more lively]
[man, narrating]
The surface of the earth...
is 30 percent land...
and 70 percent water.
A newborn baby is composed
of 70 percent water...
and 30 percent
everything else.
[man, narrating]
I guess this means...
that life and water
are inseparable.
A human child at birth
undergoes a ritual...
almost identical to that
inflicted upon a trout at death.
The fish is whacked
on the head...
thus putting it
out of its misery.
The infant is whacked
on the behind...
thus initiating it
into its misery.
Upon my birth, my father
made sure that I was given...
the proud, manly name
of Augustine.
And since I was born into
the first family of angling...
it should come
as no surprise...
that I was a fishing prodigy.
I caught my first steelhead
with my mom...
on a worm when I was four.
I didn't feel any hostility
towards land dwellers.
I just had water
on the brain.
The only thing I gave
much thought to...
was bait versus fly.
On my tenth birthday...
I caught my 180th steelhead
with my dad...
on a fly.
By the time high school
rolled around...
I was great
at attracting steelhead.
Not so great
with the cheerleaders.
And when most kids
were making college plans...
I didn't bother.
Figured the only
my grades would get me in...
was the Oregon State Pen.
But on water?
I understand
the way fish think.
My parents' union...
is one of stubborn,
extremely loyal...
polar opposites.
Ma is a bait fisher...
an expert plunker of worms.
My father
is a writer secondarily...
and a famous
fly fisherman primarily.
My brother Bill Bob
is different...
than the rest of us.
He was born
with a prodigious ability...
to ignore
all things aquatic...
which to a massive extent
implies his entire family.
He hates water.
Won't drink it.
He wears galoshes and a hat...
almost every day...
just to stay clear
of the stuff.
Not that he doesn't need
a little protection...
from other hazards
now and then.
Good thing Ma has
native intelligence.
And she always seems to be
in the right place
at the right time.
[gunshot, dog whimpering]
My father's battle...
with a giant steelhead
he named Nijinsky...
was the stuff of legends.
And the story of that fish
brought him fame, fortune...
and a healthy ego.
Raised by
English aristocrats...
he inherited their speech
and manners.
When he autographs a book,
he writes his entire name...
Henning Hale Orviston.
To approach every task-
[Gus, narrating]
I call him H20.
He's the one person
in the world...
who calls me by the name
on my birth certificate.
best get another box
from the car.
I just brought in three boxes.
Tell you what, Augustine.
Until you find someone else
to employ you...
you might want to do
what I request.
[thump] Yes, sir! [sarcastic]
[man chuckling softly]
Do you have children?
Oh, yeah.
[scoffing and sighing]
[man] Before I take a few questions...
let me conclude by saying...
I like to think
of this legislation...
as the Worship the Waters Act.
Yes, little lady.
Hi. Um, curious.
How can building all those
new dams be an act of worship?
I mean, even if the wild salmon
are lucky enough to survive...
the turbines on their
pilgrimage up the river...
their smolt will be
swallowed, of course...
by the predators on their
way back to the ocean.
Maybe we should call it the
Slaughter the Salmon Act instead.
There may be some collateral
damage to the salmon...
but this will create jobs
and cut taxes, and besides...
we are making great strides
with aquaculture these days.
You'd be amazed
what we're doing...
with farmed salmon.
(policeman) There's no smoking here.
You need
to put that out.
Of course.
The environment.
Come on.
(policeman) Let's go. Come one.
There's no evidence...
that consuming farmed
salmon poses any threat.
Yeah, you and I
can debate that.
But we can both agree that fish
have better places to live...
than pools
of their own shit!
[soft guitar music]
(Henning) Where are my books, Augustine?
My name is Gus!
[reel whirring]
And none may come for days
[soft guitar music]
My parents argued
about a lot of things.
But it was never a question of
who would have the last word...
merely who would have
the next one.
[background arguing]
How could I tell them I was
thinking about leaving home...
when I couldn't even
get a word in edgewise.
[Mom, sighing]
So, Hen...
have you ever been
to Royal Lake?
If I have...
the brain cells
recollecting it...
have been destroyed
by this merciful beverage.
So go ahead, Gusser.
Tell him
about that record bass...
you and Bill Bob pulled
out of there that time.
Augustine, you call
yourself a fisherman?
I call myself Gus.
Well, Gus...
why were you fishing
for bass?
Dutch Hines says that-
Dutch Hines is an idiot.
What does he know? Bass.
(Gus, off) It's been said
that a man with a Bible...
is more dangerous
than a man with a gun.
Izaak Walton's
The Compleat Angler...
was my father's Bible.
"The king of fish,
the trout. "
(Gus, off) And since the
time I was a toddler...
I heard it quoted
and misquoted daily.
"via the fly rod, the most
aesthetically perfect experience...
available to mortal-"
Don't break my book.
Don't worry about
your stupid book. Here.
"Come. Let's
kill them all.
"Then let's go find
an honest alehouse...
"where we may drink
a cup of barley wine...
and rejoice together. "
Completely mistaken.
I swear, Hen.
You've taken
his facetious humor...
and turned it into
a mortal condemnation.
(Mom) You bribed your
teacher for your diploma.
(Henning) Shows a lack
of humor. The trout-
(Mom) Ike Walton wrote all
that about fly fishing...
just so he could make
some extra pocket money.
[intense guitar music
while arguing]
Stop! Just shut up! Stop. [music stops]
What would you think of me
if I didn't fly fish?
You know what you are?
You're a fishing fascist.
You're a diarrhea-mouthed
bigot who's blind to anyone...
who doesn't drool over the
sound of your stupid, suave talk.
The only person you
love is yourself...
because you've got your head
so far up your own ass-
All right now,
Gus Orviston...
that's no way
to talk to your father.
What in hell's
gotten into you?
You're a greedy,
gloating shrew...
and you don't know shit
about fishing or living.
Neither one of you do
because you're just both...
dug so deep
in your ruts...
that you've got mud
in your ears.
I gotta
get out of here.
See this?
[Mom] No no no, not Nijinsky.
This is the source
of all your bullshit.
(Gus, off) Nijinsky was an
honored part of our family...
since before
I was even born.
And even though his body...
was stuck
over the living room mantle...
his spirit haunted
every corner of my life.
What can you say after you've
spontaneously cremated...
your parent's prized fish
in the fireplace?
The only thing
that came to my mind
was "Good-bye. "
[starting engine]
For me, happiness
would never be found...
anywhere but on the banks
of a river anyway.
So I took the few
possessions I owned-
Bye, Gus.
and turned to the river.
And to a new life devoid of
every obstacle between me...
and my beloved
art of angling.
[soft music]
I will ask it plain
'Cause I just have
One way to speak
Help to make me strong
Because this world
Has made me weak
I remember
when I started out
There wasn't anything
Any man or any country
Any court or any king
That ever kept me
From my calling
No wall so tall
I could not scale
But now I feel
Like I am falling
Lord, don't let me fail
Let me run like
I'm a river
Let me travel
Like a trail
Lord don't let it fail
Let me run
Like I'm a river
Let me travel
Like a train
Let me run
like I'm a river
Let me travel
Like a train
Let me run
like I'm a river
Let me travel
Travel like a train
[soft cheerful music]
(Gus, off) There's just
nothing like the feel...
of a trout dancing
through the river...
making the pole pulse
like a heart in your hands.
It does to your hands...
what dreams of eternity
do to your heart.
And yet, I killed the trout.
It's strange to kill
your dance partner...
but that's what I did.
I did it because the world
is strange.
Because the world does not allow
you to make up your own rules...
based on how you would
wish things to be.
Because this is a world
where no matter who you are...
your happiness,
your survival...
is based on sacrifice.
Sweet, bleeding sacrifice.
Nice work, son.
Very nice.
How many you got?
About a hundred.
I'll take 'em all.
[children shouting]
Hey! Stop!
Howdy there.
Hi. My
name's Kernie.
And, uh,
this is Bernie...
and Marlene and Charlene and Darlene...
and this one right
here is Ernie...
except we call him
Hemingway for short.
I'm Gus.
Oh, yeah. Yeah,
yeah, we know.
Yeah, you live right up there, upstream
by the reef forest.
Hey, uh...
do you guys...
want some fish,
smoked fish-
Yeah! Yeah!
No, no, no. Don't grab, don't grab.
Well, while you guys
pick at that, I'm gonna...
move on
down the road.
Oh, wait.
No, no, no.
We got some stuff for
you. Just wait right here.
Hey, you like fishing?
If you ever want a lesson
or anything, you know...
you can just
come by my cabin.
Here you go.
Oh, whoa.
These are brand-new,
so they're really good.
Wow, thank you.
Okay. Wow.
Wow. This is really-
I don't- I can't-
Oh, no, no, no. It's good, it's good.
It's great.
You're fine.
Hi, I'm Gus.
Yeah, I know.
Thank you.
[engine starting]
(Gus) Thank you. Nice meeting you.
[cow mooing]
Nice job, Rodney.
I promise...
I'll eat
something else tomorrow.
[soft guitar music]
[engine humming]
[man, shouting]
Abe, are you out there?
Abe! Are you all right?
Hey, have you seen
a lone fisherman?
(Gus) Sorry. I haven't seen anyone.
[indistinct shouting]
(man 2)
Abe, where are you?
(man 1 )
Abe, come on!
[far away]
[eerie music]
[Gus, grunting]
(Gus) Oh! [splash]
[coughing and panting]
[soft guitar music]
(Gus, off) There's one thing
you can say about nature.
If you make one lousy rule
to describe it...
it'll contradict you even if
it has to bust its ass to do so.
And so what? If anybody ever
discovered the real laws of nature...
nature would rear back
and strike him dead...
before he could
pass on the news.
Jesus Christ.
(Gus) No. I think his name is Abe.
(Gus, off)
Maybe Abe knew.
Maybe he had just figured
the whole world out...
and was about to tell me
as I floated past.
But God caught wind of it and
stuck out His invisible foot...
tripped and drowned him.
If the fool only knew
how to swim.
[engine starts]
Easy, friend.
Let's see if we can
thaw you out.
I am Titus.
Titus I rving Gerrard.
At your service.
Nice to meet you. I...
am simply Gus.
Simply Gus?
I don't think so.
Anyone who knows
the secrets...
to the catches
you made today...
is not simply anything.
There's no secrets
to those catches.
The trout I caught
on a wet fly.
The corpse I caught
on a soggy dry.
Yes, well...
you've done old Abe's
family some service...
by collecting his remains.
And since we're all bodily
destined for corpsehood...
and spiritually possessed
of immortal souls...
I see no reason to let the
proximity of corpses ruin our day.
If you think we're all
possessed by immortal souls...
I'd sure like
to see them.
Maybe you're looking
in the wrong places.
For clear vision.
M m-hm.
And uh,
thanks for the ride.
[soft guitar music]
(Gus, off)
A fisherman is dead.
Everyone I know
will one day be dead.
What can I do about it?
Death is the most natural
thing there is...
and we all have a knack for
it. The only question is...
when we'll master it.
Doesn't matter what we do...
or what we don't do.
This is no passing thought.
It's a gnawing emptiness
more real than the cold.
[soft sad music]
This is bullshit.
(Bill Bob) Ma tossed the
baby rabbit skeleton...
I had hanging in my closet.
Is that tonight's dreefee?
I had to get a new one.
Whatever helps you sleep,
Bill Bob.
Bill Bob?
I thought it might make
you feel better...
to explain that you've
got a garden angel.
You mean guardian angel?
Nah. See, you think
you're alone.
But you're not.
You've got a garden angel...
that's your twin.
It's called a guardian angel.
(Bill Bob) No. I'm talking
about a garden angel.
It's like your shadow.
Garden angel.
Gussy, garden angels
come from the ground...
like carrots.
When they first
come out of the ground...
into the garden world,
they're very old...
or hurt, or sick.
And the longer
the angels live there...
the younger and smaller
they grow
and happier and friendlier
they get.
When they get little little...
they disappear out of the garden
world and into our world...
and we trade places.
We what?
We trade places
with our twin.
We go there and our twin comes here.
We journey up and up
through a long black tunnel...
till we reach
the garden angel grounds.
Sprout up like carrots.
Trade back and forth.
Does knowing this make you feel
a little less lonely, Gussy?
Yeah, Bill Bob.
[soft lively music]
Oh, sorry.
Uh, I'm, uh-
Don't get scared.
I'm just- I'm just
a marmless misher-
I just came here
to go swimming.
I gotta go.
You know, um-
Do not- Uh.
You all right up there?
Well, are you hurt?
I- No- No!
Can you get down?
Why not?
Just 'cause.
All right, mummy mouth.
If that's all you got
for me, good luck.
No, no, no.
Don't go.
Why not?
"No life, good scholar...
"no life so happy
and so pleasant...
"as the life
of a well-governed angler.
"So we may say that God
never did make...
"a more calm, quiet...
innocent recreation
than angling."
I don't suppose he did.
And now, I think it's time...
for you to repair
to your angle rod...
which should not be left in
the water to fish for itself.
Oh, yeah, is that what
we've been doing, huh?
Funny, 'cause I thought...
I was trying to catch me
a steelhead.
And you, what are you
doing here?
I am a fisherman, but I
only came here to swim.
If you're a fisherman,
where's your gear?
My gear is at home,
on the Tamanawis.
"But let us say grace
and fall to breakfast.
What say you, scholar?"
You can say grace
all you want.
Just don't fall
to breakfast, please.
Why not?
Because you're gonna
break your neck...
before I figure out
that lingo of yours.
It's Zizak Waltley. I mean Zisac Walters
- [groans]
Izaak Walton?
And what is your name?
Crawl me Gust.
your name?
Just Eddy.
Nice to meet you.
Eddy, like the swirvles
in the river wattle.
I wish.
Eddy like my dad, Edwin.
You got- You got-
You got a bite.
Where'd you go?
Sacajawea Argeiphontes!
I am wounded.
(Titus) The Sufi Attar has written...
"One tiny fly which
entered the ear of Nimrod...
troubled the brain
of that idiot for centuries. "
Please, Gus.
Spare me Nimrod's fate.
It's hopeless.
I'll never catch one
of those beautiful trout.
Whoops. You just used
one of the two words...
that should be deleted from
every true fisherman's vocabulary.
No. Always and never.
How's it feel?
Eerie, thanks.
Don't mention it.
Consider it de-mentioned.
What's that?
It's a long, dull story.
If I'm not mistaken,
I've seen that look before.
Is there a woman in this?
Twice she slipped
away now.
She's uncatchable.
as in never?
She's not a fish, Titus.
Maybe not, but it
certainly sounds to me...
like you're telling the story
of the one that got away.
Live the rest of my life
without ever seeing...
the beautiful
fisher girl again?
That's- that's a pretty
miserable prospect.
I guess there's nothing
left to do...
but just drink
till I die.
I'll admit there is no cure
for a soul in your condition...
but there are
three consolations.
One is hope.
You may find her again.
Yeah, fat chance.
Gus, if she's as beautiful
as you say she is-
She's twice as beautiful
as I say she is.
She knows your name.
She knows the river.
She may find you.
Yeah. We may grow wings.
We might.
Okay. What are these
other two consolations?
Well, you've already put down
a healthy dose of the second.
The third, however,
requires more aptitude.
What kind of aptitudes?
Philosophical aptitude.
Titus, I know how
to philosophize...
as well as you
know how to fly cast.
I think you should
get plowed tonight.
And tomorrow, we begin
philosophizing. [glasses clink]
I just told you...
I don't know
how to philosophize.
Well, and I don't know
how to fish.
Okay. So?
So we teach each other.
What have I got to lose?
Your unhappiness.
Yeah, right.
What is that?
Is that an imitation
of a grasshopper?
[scoffs] This is an
abstract representation...
of a fat tourist
on a golf course.
It's called Bermuda shorts.
Here, fishy.
I like it. What say we
migrate to a watering hole...
a little closer
to civilization?
To Portland?
The way that goes ahead often
looks as if it went back.
I just want to go ahead
and find Eddy.
[soft guitar music]
Come on.
[soft growl]
[door opens, closes]
This your dog?
Well, he's kind of
staring at me.
Does he bite?
Can I move? Or-
Why won't he just
go away?
- He doesn't bite without cause.
But, uh,
you should move.
You're in Descartes chair.
[dog, whimpering]
Easy there, buddy.
I'm just gonna move
over to the couch.
And then Descartes'
silly chair...
will be all fine.
Uh, Titus?
The dog's
in Descartes' chair now.
And he's rocking. Should
I tell him to get down?
No, you shouldn't.
The dog is Descartes.
This is amazing.
How did you teach him to
rock a chair like that?
Don't make a stew
about it, Gus.
You'll only
confuse him.
Descartes' immediate
goal is humanity...
as surely as ours
is divinity.
Sorry. I guess...
I'm just from the orthodox
school, you know?
Fido, Rover, fetch,
roll over.
Well, Gus...
are you ready to fish?
Fish for what?
For happiness.
And where
do you fish for that?
You believe that stuff?
I'm not sane, Gus.
I believe in the rivers
of living water.
I believe our souls
swim in that water.
I believe that Jesus,
Buddha, Krishna, Mohamed
are the savor
in that water.
Wish I believed that.
And why don't you?
Bait or fly.
Fried or scrambled.
Jesus or Mohamed.
I mean, does it really
make any difference?
Does it
really matter?
Where are all these sages
and buddhas holing up...
now when we really
need 'em?
Well, would you know one
if you met one?
Come on, Titus.
Even Izaak Walton talks
about the goodness...
of the God of nature.
I've never seen Him, and
I've fished in ten states.
Whoever, whatever,
wherever He is or isn't...
if He really wants me
to notice Him...
maybe He should stop
being so scarce.
All right. Why can't a
duffer like me catch a fish?
Isn't the answer obvious?
Isn't it because at my
present level of skill...
the fish would have to be
so damn dumb...
and utterly unelusive
as to be not worth catching?
And how much more elusive...
should a thing as wondrous
as a soul be?
Fishermen should be the
easiest of men to convince...
to search for their souls,
because fishing is nothing but...
the pursuit
of the elusive.
How can you be so patient
in searching for fish...
and so hasty
to write off your soul...
because you can't see it?
[soft guitar music]
[running water]
[soft guitar music continues]
[coins clinking]
Yeah. Um...
I was looking
for a girl named Eddy...
who works for you.
She- She worked
at your casting pool...
at that angling fair
a couple of months ago?
She got a new job?
Okay. Well,
could you maybe tell me...
you know,
where she's working now?
No, because
of privacy issues. Right.
Well, is there a supervisor that
I could talk to or something?
[metallic clank]
[hangs up]
[running water]
(Gus) You must be the only
living thing left in here.
I'm thinking about an
ant. That sound good?
[soft guitar music]
(Gus) Do you think the soul strikes
harder early in the morning...
and late
in the evening...
kind of like fish?
Could be.
Okay. So how
do you suppose...
I ought to fish
for mine?
With a soul pole,
I suppose.
Where do
I get one?
Right here's good.
This where you
got yours?
I got mine here.
You got yours
in there.
[walla and soft music]
I still can't figure out
where this soul pole is.
Shall I show you?
Can you?
I can by analogy.
But you'll have to answer
a few questions first.
Fire away.
All right.
Where is Rodney,
your trusty fishing rod...
right now?
At this moment...
he is hanging
on my cabin wall.
Who made Rodney...
from an
indistinguishable blank...
into the singing rod
he is today?
I did.
Yes. And who controls
his destiny?
Decides when he'll
hang on the wall...
or ride in the back
of the pickup truck...
or cast for trout?
And who will, one day,
decide he's worn out...
and consign him
to a funeral pyre?
I will.
Can you get me
a couple of cues?
Yeah. Two of them.
Now, who
do you suppose...
created you...
into the living fisherman
you are today?
I wish I knew.
And who controls
your destiny?
Wish I knew that, too.
Very good. And who will,
one day...
consign your body
to a wormy grave?
I wish I knew that, too.
Why is that perfect?
All I'm saying is,
"Oh, I wish I knew. "
Come on. Don't you
want me to say...
"God does it," or,
"My soul does it"-
Gus, I'm a philosopher.
I'm not an evangelist.
It's the "I wish I knew"
that is crucial.
I mean, to say, "God did it,"
and then just leave it at that?
That's to abandon the search
before it's even begun.
Believe me, no one's ever
discovered any truth...
by barfing up Sunday school
answers to questions.
Now, you and I agreed,
did we not...
that Rodney is oblivious...
to everything save
some weight and varnish.
We did.
Therefore, does it follow...
that he is
just as oblivious...
to Gus?
Even though Gus
is his maker?
Even though Gus
controls his destiny?
Even though Gus is-
Let's go ahead and call it.
Gus is his essence.
Yes, it follows.
Then therefore,
is it possible...
that maybe you and I...
are just as oblivious...
to the presence
of a Creator?
Just as oblivious to a
controller of destiny?
Just as oblivious
to our essence?
An essence that wields you
and I even more deftly...
than you wield Rodney.
Sure, it's possible.
Well, there you have it.
Rodney is to Gus...
as Gus is
to his essence.
You name the essence soul
and you, sir...
have your soul pole.
So, no matter how
hopelessly stupid I am...
in comparison to my essence
or my soul...
I still have
a profound purpose.
I like that, Titus.
I like that.
Thank you.
I swiped it
from Plotinus.
[balls clack]
[soft lively pop music]
Wait till I wake up
Wish something
could interrupt
The dream for much too long
I've lingered in
[music fades]
[water running
and birds chirping]
[loud splash]
Hold on!
Hang onto it. Easy.
Easy. Don't force it,
don't force it.
Easy. Easy.
[man, guffawing]
That's a real nice
jack salmon, son.
It's not a jack.
It's a sea-run cutthroat.
What are you doing?
I'm getting skunked,
God damn it.
I've been fishing all day...
and I haven't
even gotten a bounce.
I'm plum jinxed.
Or plum dumb.
What's that?
Uh, done.
I got here early
in the morning...
nary a strike.
You come here,
in ten seconds...
zabba dabba doo.
You land a nice jack.
So, you...
know any good tales about
this grand sport of ours?
So, what do you know?
If you want to catch
a blueback...
you're gonna need
some lighter gear.
You have any with you?
I guess, uh...
I guess we can both
use my rod.
Ah, now you're talking.
Oh! God dammit!
I am sorry.
I am sorry.
It's okay, it's fine.
It's fine.
Just- How about you
just stay up here...
and hold on to that. I'm gonna,
you know, make us something up.
Get yourself-
Get yourself a little
nightcrawler there.
Some clay.
Right there.
Just roll it up
like that...
and smooth it out.
What's that
invention called?
A Hostess Twinkie.
And get ready.
[lively music]
I got one!
I got it. I got it.
Yeah. Don't
lose it.
I got it!
I got it.
Come on.
You got him.
Look at that.
Oh. Oh.
What do you say, 18 inches?
Oh, you can tell people that's 24.
Love it.
Hey, I gotta
rush back to town...
and write this up
for tomorrow's paper.
For tomorrow's what?
Post Telegram.
Dutch Hines.
The F-F-Fishing Dutchman.
You're Dutch Hines.
Yeah. What's your name?
I'm just Gus.
But that's really
just a nickname.
So I wouldn't- I would-
I wouldn't use that.
You know, I'd like
to interview you, Gus.
Haven't had
a better day's f-f-fishing...
since I lost nine steelhead
one morning on the Kilchis...
two winters ago. I was
fishing with Fuzz Gramsay.
Yeah, I
- I remember that trip. You wrote about it 12 times.
Yeah! So, you wanna do
an interview?
Um, c-c-
Can I have one second?
Dutch Hines wants
to interview me.
That idiot's got three-quarter
of a million readers.
He can write about me for
weeks and not be distracted.
Nothing's gonna distract
him for months...
'cause he's not gonna
catch a fish for months.
He made Fuzz Gramsay rich
by endorsing him.
He endorses me...
and I'll have a thousand
polers by the end of the month.
Well, what do you say? You
want to do an interview?
Listen to this, Caroline.
"By a stroke of dumb luck, this old
dog learned a bag full of tricks...
"from a young buck
he bumped into...
"who just might be...
"the finest fisherman
this great Northwest of ours...
has seen
in many a decade. "
"His friends call him Gus. "
"But he told us this
is just a nickname. "
Okay. My real name
is Antoine Chapeau.
I'm originally from Palm
Springs, California...
where I used
to manage a-
[clears throat]
a beauty salon.
And I would spend
my whole day...
just looking
at women's hair.
But you know
what, Dutch?
I thought
I was going crazy...
because I'd be looking
at a woman's hair...
and I'd be imagining
five-pound tippets.
Or algae or something. Three-pound
leaders. It doesn't matter.
Everything reminded me
of-of the river.
So finally I said,
you know what?
Antoine, this
can't be healthy.
So I pulled up the stakes.
I moved to Oregon...
and I just
started fishing.
All day
every day, fishing.
(Titus) "And fish he does,
with a passion and skill...
"he claimed he acquired
using a fly rod...
"out in the deserts
around Palm Springs.
"This dry fishing, as he
calls it, is what taught him...
"both the incredible patience
and the shamanistic approach...
to the sport
that characterizes him today. "
(Dutch) Listen, I gotta
get back to the paper. Uh...
what do you say we
meet again next week...
and you tell me
some more?
Okay. But only if you put a
message in the paper for me.
(Eddy) "Will the girl
who ran from the guy...
"who recited
Izaak Walton in the tree...
"please contact Gus on
the other river he named.
[chuckling] "He has your
pole and your fish...
"and wants
to return them.
"He's totally harmless
but urges you...
"to bring
a loaded gun if scared.
As long as you come.
Thank you."
[soft lively guitar music]
(Kernie) Gus! [kids shouting]
We want to go fishing.
It's time
for another lesson.
Hey, guys. Can we
do it another time?
I just- I just don't
really feel like it.
[all chanting] Fishing.
Fishing. Fishing.
Let's go fishing.
[chanting continues]
Let's go.
Here we go.
Very nice.
Hey, hey.
Stop. It's snagged.
It's snagged. See?
Oh, man.
whoa, hey!
come here.
Come here. Hey!
Do you wanna
catch this fish?
[soft lively music continues]
Just get right here.
That's the spot, okay?
Just head west. Just
head west, all right?
There you go.
Good luck.
How's it going?
Yeah, I fish out here
everyday with 'em.
Those are good.
Good luck.
How's it going?
Good luck.
[soft guitar music]
[soft guitar music continues]
[fire softly cracking]
See, I read that I should bring
a loaded gun with me, so...
I took your advice
to the letter.
I believe you have my pole.
And a fish.
Wait, wait, wait. I
- I get the pole and the fish, but...
what's this?
The belly reel that goes with the
- the pole.
And how'd you know
I'd come for them?
[chuckling softly]
I didn't.
Everything in the world
made me think you wouldn't.
There is something
I should tell you.
About that day.
I never ran.
I never ran away.
I was barefoot.
So I...
hid in the woods and...
I saw you climb
above that pole...
where I hooked
the steelhead.
And then,
I stepped on an orange...
and this.
See, when you came
crashing along...
you came from upstream.
And the orange-
Huh? And the orange
and this, this telescope...
this telescope
were downstream.
Now, I mean, come on.
It doesn't take
Sherlock freakin' Holmes-
Okay, okay, okay.
Just listen to me
for a second.
Spying on me.
While I was-
Okay, wait,
hu- Hold- No-
While I was-
Hold on.
Just give me a second.
Okay, I admit
that is my telescope.
And I'm s-sorry that I
was spying on you, but...
really, I was just
wandering around...
looking for a place
to swim and then...
there was you.
This beautiful girl.
And you were fishing.
And the "here
goes nothing" way...
you chucked
that hazel pole...
into the water, and the way you
dove in and swam after it, I-
I just knew that you had some
way of looking at things...
some way of looking at life
and the world...
which is exactly the way
of looking at things...
that I've been trying
to look at things.
I n my whole life,
I've only met two people...
who have ever
looked at things...
any way close to that way.
My little brother...
and a philosopher
who talks to his dog.
And with both of them it
was love at first sight, too.
But I'm not sorry.
When you see
the most amazing...
beautiful thing
you've ever seen...
you don't think about
what's right or polite...
or tell it to cover up.
Because you can't
stop looking.
You s-
You're just helpless.
What's so funny?
I'm sorry.
I n a tree.
Spouting off stuff like...
"Oh, good scholar"
and that "God never made...
"a more pure,
innocent recreation...
than angling."
I like that, Gus.
Can I ask you
a question?
What are you
doing here?
This is my cabin.
Shouldn't I be
asking you that?
Not here, here.
I mean-
What are you doing here?
Here here?
Here here.
[breathes in and exhales]
You know, I saw you
in Portland.
You did?
I saw you rescue that trout
from that filthy creek.
I guess you could
say it made me...
[soft guitar music]
So, I drove
up here...
to see
what I could see.
And I ran
into this little boy...
who called himself
Hemingway. [chuckling]
And he
launched into this
epic tale...
about a giant fish that
he caught with help...
from a certain
superhero named Gus.
Who spent seven
minutes under water
before he wrassled the
fish with his bare hands.
I know.
That's what
I figured.
But I could see
in his eyes...
what little Hemingway
thought of you...
and it made me
even more curious.
[crickets, running water
and soft guitar music]
You know,
I must have read...
that Fishing
Dutchman's article...
like, 8000 times.
I knew
it was you.
And this time
I came to see you.
And you know
what happened next?
You do?
[soft guitar music continues]
(Eddy) You threw his
prize fish in the fire?
(Gus) It wasn't just any fish.
He was Nijinsky.
(Eddy) That went over
real well, I'm sure.
[Gus, chuckling]
Uh, not really.
I haven't even spoken
to either of them since.
I don't even know why I came out here.
Guess I just needed to get away.
Your parents seem like
an interesting match.
I nteresting is a kind word for it.
[reel whirring]
[lively guitar music]
Bravo, Nijinsky.
(Gus, off)
There are two stories...
of how Nijinsky
found his way...
onto my parents' mantle.
The one that landed
my father his book deal.
And the one
that's the truth.
Both versions begin
the same way.
With an epic struggle...
between a determined
young fly fisherman...
and a giant steelhead.
Little did
either of them realize...
that their true nemesis...
was lurking somewhere
down river.
[soft guitar music]
[snap, whirring stops]
(Gus, off) It was my
father's worst nightmare.
A mere plunker of worms...
had cost him
his prized Nijinsky.
Whoever this crude
interloper was...
he would have
to be dealt with.
Man to man.
had best refrain from that pole
and defend yourself.
Because one of us
is going in that river...
in search
of my fish!
So be it, slicker.
But I
guaran-goddamn-tee ya...
It ain't
gonna be me.
Come on
and fight me!
Come on and fight me! Come on.
[reel whirring]
(Gus, off) As my father
watched the woman...
reel in Nijinsky
for herself...
he had no idea...
that she would become
his lifetime adversary.
She would also
become my mom.
[Henning, laughing]
Looks like you could
use a little warming up.
(Gus, off) My parents
came to an understanding.
The story would be told as
maybe it should have been.
After all,
my father reasoned...
she did cause his
six-pound tippet to snap...
and he had spent all that
time tiring the fish out...
making it easy for Ma
to just reel him in.
So the deal was sealed.
H20 would have his story.
But never again...
would they use anything
resembling reason...
in their discussion
of the art of angling.
Never again would they
go fishing together...
and never would their
marriage vows waver or weaken.
[reel clicking]
Darn it.
Fly tying is for certain
a tedious task...
but there's no need to let it
get to you like that, my love.
Yeah, well, it ain't the
fly that's bothering me.
Hm. Gus.
I just can't help
but feel...
like we let him go.
You can't keep a person...
in a place he doesn't
want to be.
No, but can't you at
least make it a place...
that they might
wanna visit?
Give me
the other one.
[running water]
What's that?
Um, it's
today's dreefee.
What'd you say?
When you were a kid,
didn't you have...
you know,
some stuffed animal...
or a ratty blanket
or something...
that you
just absolutely...
could not go
to sleep without?
I had
the grossest pillow...
that I had
to take everywhere.
Okay. Well,
Bill Bob has dreefees.
A dreefee is a, um...
it's a carefully
selected relic...
of that
day's adventure.
So there's a different one every night.
And just as important
as the dreefee itself...
is the placement
of the dreefee.
And if that's altered
in any way...
before Bill Bob
falls asleep...
it has the same effect
of not having one at all.
And he doesn't fuss, he
doesn't protest, he just-
doesn't go to sleep.
All night long.
M m-hm.
There was one time
that the dreefee was...
a- it was
a dried-up dog turd.
And it had just
- It had been bleached white...
by, you know, the sun
and the elements, and...
and it was shaped exactly like
a tiny sleeping polar bear.
But Bill Bob said that it was
a tiny sleeping polar bear.
And that it had been eaten by a dog
and then it had proved indigestible...
and then it
had been eliminated...
and due
to its unmentionable...
experience in the dog,
it was in a coma.
Bill Bob was going to invoke
the powers of the Tooth Fairy...
to bring it
back to life.
But Ma just threw the poor
polar bear out the window...
without a question
or even a glance...
at its miraculously
sculpted bearness.
She didn't
believe his story.
Guess not.
And he didn't
sleep all night long?
M m-mm.
[birds chirping]
Here we go.
Where are
we going?
Well, I'm going
to Portland tonight...
and you...
you're staying here.
Come on.
Come on what?
What's the lightest
leader you've got?
Three pound.
All right,
hand me the rod.
Tie it up
and bait it.
Come on.
Will it...
will it mess up
your plan if I ask...
what exactly you're doing?
I'm fishing.
You do realize...
there's nothing
but Chinook...
in the water
right now, don't you?
I know that.
Those can weigh fifty pounds.
I know.
even if it
were possible...
to hook a Chinook...
on that leader
without breaking it
you couldn't land him even
if you played him all night.
I know that.
But you have to leave
before dark.
I do.
But you don't, Gus.
Got to follow through
with the plan.
[suspenseful music]
There. Come here, Gus.
Come here.
Take the rod.
Keep your
tip up.
Don't fight it.
[whirring and light splashing]
Play the Chinook.
[starts engine]
[lively music]
[panting, whirring]
You getting a little
tuckered out there?
Me too.
[reel softly clicking]
[soft clicking continues]
[clicking faster]
[soft music]
You heading home?
I thought
you might be a girl.
(Gus, off)
As we walked upriver...
I felt like we were
on a primordial journey...
to some forgotten,
ancient home.
The fisherman in me
was being unmade.
With so light a line...
there could be no question...
of ever bringing
this great fish to bay.
So there would be
no betrayal.
No struggle.
No sacrifice.
No death.
There was only
a Chinook...
leading an undone fisherman...
deeper into the night.
[soft music continues]
[birds chirping]
[soft guitar music]
(Gus, off) As I watched
the sun wake the valley...
I felt as though an oldest,
greatest, longest-lost friend...
had come to walk the road,
unseen, beside me.
And just as quickly
that feeling left...
and blended
with the sunlight.
I knew from this point on
there was no escape...
and nowhere to go.
I was already there.
[music becomes more lively]
[soft music]
When the bough broke
We were crossing America
You with your stories
And me hanging on
Hands on the wheel
Your hair out the window
Its counterfeit color
In the September air
When the bough broke
We were flirting
With Canada
You said prove
that you love me
And live with me there
Today's dreefee.
[running water]
And leave
All the frivolous
Back in America
You found true love
In a picture
That you saw somewhere
He took her hand
They did cartwheels
Right into the air
And then they fell
What are you doing here?
I'm fishing with Eddy.
[soft guitar music]
Cripes O'Reilly.
It's Glum Gus.
His name is...
(Gus, off) People often don't
know what they're talking about.
But when they talk
about love...
they really don't know
what they're talking about.
The one sure thing
you can say about love...
is that there isn't much
you can say about it.
Not that you shouldn't try.
You can make analogies.
Love is like a lot of things.
One thing it's like
is a trout stream.
Try to capture
a trout stream with a dam...
and you get a lake.
Try to catch it in a bucket...
and you get a bucket
of water.
Put some under a microscope...
and you get a close-up look...
at some writhing
But a trout stream...
is only a trout stream...
when it's flowing
between its own two banks...
at its own pace...
in its own sweet way.
[running water
and chirping birds]
[soft guitar music]
Run run river
Carry me to my home
In the ocean
Carry me away
I know I have a home
Somewhere far and removed
Like the stars
That make you feeI
Like you got friends
Stars'll make you feeI
Like you got friends
Follow the empty valley
Past the hills To the
marshes Of the estuary
Come in peacefuI
In the light of the moon
With the river I do run
In the hope that one day
I will dive
Beneath the ocean
And that this river
Will forever run
[song ends]
[soft lively music]
Bet you're going fishing
All of the time
Baby going fishing, too
I bet your life
For your sweet wife
Gonna catch more fish
Than you
Oh, many fish bite
If you got good bait
Here's a little tip
I would like to relate
Oh, many fish bite
If you've got good bait
Oh, I'm going fishing
Yes, I'm going fishing
And my baby's
Going fishing, too
Bet you're going fishing
All of the time
Baby going fishing, too
I bet your life
For your sweet wife
Gonna catch
More fish than you
Oh, many fish bite
If you got good bait
Here's a little tip
I would like to relate
Oh many fish bite
if you've got good bait
Oh, I'm going fishing
Yes, I'm going fishing
And my baby's
Going fishing, too