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A River Runs Through It: Who Taught Brad Pitt How To Fly Cast?

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September 30, 2011

A River Runs Through It: Who Taught Brad Pitt How To Fly Cast?

By Chad Love

To most fishers of flies, it's simply called "The Movie." And whether that's a compliment or pejorative depends, of course, on the effect you think it had on the scene. We're talking, of course, about the movie adaptation of Norman Maclean's novella "A River Runs Through It." But do you know who taught Brad Pitt how to cast when he was trying out for the role? Hint: it wasn't a flycasting coach.

From this story on US magazine:

There's plenty of fish in the sea, but Melissa Etheridge was the one who taught Brad Pitt how to catch 'em! In an interview with Access Hollywood Live, the 50-year-old singer said that she helped teach the 47-year-old Oscar-nominee the art of fly-fishing back in the early '90s. "I love to fish. I grew up in the Midwest and loved to fish, totally a huge fly-fishing [fan]," Etheridge told Access Hollywood Live on Tuesday.

"I taught Brad Pitt how to fly-fish in my swimming pool!" So why exactly did Pitt, who now has six kids with longtime love Angelina Jolie, need to learn how to hook a fish? "He was up for the part in A River Runs Through It," Etheridge explained. "So he had to learn how to fly-fish. So there we are in Hollywood, in my pool, and I'm teaching him how to do it!" So how were his fly-fishing skills? "Well, he got the part!" Etheridge said. "He did great." "He's a wonderful guy," she added. "I haven't seen him in years. Love you Brad, wherever you are."

 

Comments (14)

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from Steward wrote 2 years 28 weeks ago

Okay...I don't fly fish and I haven't seen the movie.

How'd he do?

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from nuclear_fisher wrote 2 years 28 weeks ago

Go rent the movie. I doubt you'll be disappointed and it just might change both of your statements above.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from vasportsman wrote 2 years 28 weeks ago

Hey Deeter should send Melissa Etheridge a little red book for being a great fishing ambassador!

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 28 weeks ago

Ok, who was the professional on the set? As I remember, there was a skilled angler that was employed. Could be wrong, but think not.
I'll check with some of my "experts" around here.

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from nuclear_fisher wrote 2 years 28 weeks ago

I think your right sayfu, those scene's where he is making monster casts are always filmed afar so you can't see his face.

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from nuclear_fisher wrote 2 years 28 weeks ago
from buckhunter wrote 2 years 28 weeks ago

I believe Jason Borger was on set. Gary's boy. I could be wrong. To proud to Google.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from mountaindew732 wrote 2 years 28 weeks ago

I am pretty sure you can watch this movie in it's entirety on Hulu. I watched it on there and thought it was great.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Chinook627 wrote 2 years 28 weeks ago

What gets me is that if you look at the trout they catch in a few of the scenes, they're all stockies (the fish are all clearly fin clipped). I'm interested to know if the river had a special stocking so the actors were guaranteed to catch fish.

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from jockperkins wrote 2 years 28 weeks ago

buckhunter is right. Jason Borger, the son of Gary B. worked on the set and was a "casting" double in many scenes. Also note that Jerry Siem, chief rod designer for Sage Rods did a few doubles as well (when Paul breaks away from his fathers instruction). That said, Jason has noted publicly many times that Brad Pitt was an excellent caster doing many of his own scenes. He attributed it to his athletic ability. Not sure if Brad kept up with fly fishing but Tom Skerrit did (although he showed very poor casting skills himself in the movie).

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jockperkins wrote 2 years 28 weeks ago

The river was not stocked -- most scenes coming from the Gallatin R. and not the Blackfoot. Redford changed locations when he visited the Blackfoot saying that it was heavily polluted and not worthy of filming. The stocked fish came from undisclosed ponds in the Bozeman/Livingston area. They were not killed but anesthetized and returned to their respective locales. Of particular note was the large fish to close the last fishing/catching scene with Pitt. It lived, making it through a handling that most fish would expire from -- without proper anesthetic.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from vtbluegrass wrote 2 years 28 weeks ago

Hey the movie came out when I was young and I made my dad dig out a fly rod(an Abu Garcia fly rod, no name reel). I caught a bunch of fish on that heavy sucker. That rod must have weighed a full pound.

OK so for everyone who has seen the movie. How many of you noticed that the large fish that they take pictures of near the end is actually 2 fish? The fish changes when they cut back and forth from Pitt to Skeritt. Its a big kipe jawed male one minute and then blammo is a round headed hen.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 28 weeks ago

Funny, I called our local flyshop, and asks them, and several of them in the shop said they thought I was right about an expert angler being on the set, but couldn't remember who. The guy on the phone went to "GOOGLE" as we talked, but he couldn't find who the expert was...Jason Borger,..I'll have to call them tomorrow after I get back from opening day of sharptail grouse hunting! And Jerry Seim did some casting scenes as well.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from outdoorsman29 wrote 2 years 28 weeks ago

Love the movie. Every time I watch it I get the fever. I'm actually very surprised about who taught him how to cast. I would have never expected that.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from nuclear_fisher wrote 2 years 28 weeks ago

Go rent the movie. I doubt you'll be disappointed and it just might change both of your statements above.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 2 years 28 weeks ago

I believe Jason Borger was on set. Gary's boy. I could be wrong. To proud to Google.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steward wrote 2 years 28 weeks ago

Okay...I don't fly fish and I haven't seen the movie.

How'd he do?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from vasportsman wrote 2 years 28 weeks ago

Hey Deeter should send Melissa Etheridge a little red book for being a great fishing ambassador!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 28 weeks ago

Ok, who was the professional on the set? As I remember, there was a skilled angler that was employed. Could be wrong, but think not.
I'll check with some of my "experts" around here.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from nuclear_fisher wrote 2 years 28 weeks ago

I think your right sayfu, those scene's where he is making monster casts are always filmed afar so you can't see his face.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from nuclear_fisher wrote 2 years 28 weeks ago
from mountaindew732 wrote 2 years 28 weeks ago

I am pretty sure you can watch this movie in it's entirety on Hulu. I watched it on there and thought it was great.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Chinook627 wrote 2 years 28 weeks ago

What gets me is that if you look at the trout they catch in a few of the scenes, they're all stockies (the fish are all clearly fin clipped). I'm interested to know if the river had a special stocking so the actors were guaranteed to catch fish.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jockperkins wrote 2 years 28 weeks ago

buckhunter is right. Jason Borger, the son of Gary B. worked on the set and was a "casting" double in many scenes. Also note that Jerry Siem, chief rod designer for Sage Rods did a few doubles as well (when Paul breaks away from his fathers instruction). That said, Jason has noted publicly many times that Brad Pitt was an excellent caster doing many of his own scenes. He attributed it to his athletic ability. Not sure if Brad kept up with fly fishing but Tom Skerrit did (although he showed very poor casting skills himself in the movie).

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jockperkins wrote 2 years 28 weeks ago

The river was not stocked -- most scenes coming from the Gallatin R. and not the Blackfoot. Redford changed locations when he visited the Blackfoot saying that it was heavily polluted and not worthy of filming. The stocked fish came from undisclosed ponds in the Bozeman/Livingston area. They were not killed but anesthetized and returned to their respective locales. Of particular note was the large fish to close the last fishing/catching scene with Pitt. It lived, making it through a handling that most fish would expire from -- without proper anesthetic.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from vtbluegrass wrote 2 years 28 weeks ago

Hey the movie came out when I was young and I made my dad dig out a fly rod(an Abu Garcia fly rod, no name reel). I caught a bunch of fish on that heavy sucker. That rod must have weighed a full pound.

OK so for everyone who has seen the movie. How many of you noticed that the large fish that they take pictures of near the end is actually 2 fish? The fish changes when they cut back and forth from Pitt to Skeritt. Its a big kipe jawed male one minute and then blammo is a round headed hen.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 28 weeks ago

Funny, I called our local flyshop, and asks them, and several of them in the shop said they thought I was right about an expert angler being on the set, but couldn't remember who. The guy on the phone went to "GOOGLE" as we talked, but he couldn't find who the expert was...Jason Borger,..I'll have to call them tomorrow after I get back from opening day of sharptail grouse hunting! And Jerry Seim did some casting scenes as well.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from outdoorsman29 wrote 2 years 28 weeks ago

Love the movie. Every time I watch it I get the fever. I'm actually very surprised about who taught him how to cast. I would have never expected that.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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