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Shallow Water Expeditions’ film Out of Touch hits the F3T with overstuffed reds and a special alert

Out of Touch is one of several films premiering at this weekend’s F3T launch. It’s also one that doesn’t open with sweeping aerials of Caribbean flats or dip-in-lip anglers fondling 30-pound browns. Instead, the audience crowding Denver’s City Hall Amphitheater will be greeted by the weathered faces of saltwater guides and the words, “We are all guilty of it. We are constantly on our phones. The convenience and technology they provide has become an integral part of our daily lives.” And it’s true. From the email deluge to social media and non-stop texts—the phone has become like a fifth appendage for many anglers. Out of Touch highlights the virtues of unplugging in order to reconnect with what’s important.

David Mangum, one of the film’s lead contributors, breaks down the process.
OOT REDFISHDavid Mangum: In the spring of 2014 Greg Dini and I started talking about shooting something in Louisiana in late summer. Let’s get the guys together before we start the busy fall/winter season. We talked about a few out-of-the-way areas we wanted to explore for redfish, mainly, as well as others like jacks, shark, cobia, and tripletail. We found some great fishing and different species, but of course the redfish presented best for the camera. We filmed for three days and had one weather day, specific area undisclosed….
Drake: Kicking phones to the curb and reconnecting with friends and nature is an awesome idea. But how practical is it for you, as a guide, to let everything go and just recharge?
DM: Today the cell phone is our connection to everything… weather, e-mail, calendar, wife, child, client, bank, bills, photos, on and on. It’s nearly impossible to get away from our own lives. It seems too we’re having a harder time voluntarily cutting those ties. Try leaving your phone at home all day. Most of us don’t know what to do without it. I tend to stay pretty ‘charged up’ as long as I get a lot of on-the-water time. And these days recharging is also time spent with the family.
Drake: In the film you ask the question, “Are we becoming too out of touch with what really matters?” For you, as a filmmaker and flyfisher, is technology helping or cramping the sport?
NICKS JACK WATERDM: Technology has definitely not helped the natural world, but has certainly made it far more accessible with GPS, satellite maps, Google Earth, and shallower/faster/lighter boats.
Helped the sport? Yes. Helped the fish? No. If only conservation were a popular sport.
Drake: What about the evolution of social sharing via the Internet… has it altered the way we process and enjoy the natural environment?
DM: It definitely feels like the ‘need’ to post pics while still on the boat is changing the fishing experience, for both anglers and guides. At times it seems that the ‘iPhone shot’ is more important than actually catching and enjoying the fish. I completely understand an angler’s want to document his catch and share that with friends, especially if it’s an exceptional fish. But for guides to validate their day by posting all the fish they caught during their charter. No one wants or cares to see 14 pics of the same kind of fish! No one’s keeping score.
OOT lightning stormDrake: Once again, quality cinematography in this edit. Care to comment on your redfish season and was it as outstanding as it comes across in the film?
DM: Last season had a good start, a tough middle, and a great end. November produced memorable days with a high point of catching a woman’s world record redfish—a 40-pounder on 12-pound test. I’m not much for records, but it was a very fun moment when we caught that fish.
Drake: You seem to have the topwater eat shot dialed. What’s the secret?
DM: You’ll never get the shot if you’re fishing to catch the fish. You have to fish to get the bite on film. We fish differently when filming. You have to have an angler that knows what you’re trying to do. He has to place the fly to get the bite… but far enough away from the fish so I can find the fly in the viewfinder… and it’s a matter of constant, quick communication once a fish is spotted and during the ‘feed.’ For me it’s a lot more fun than just fishing to catch a fish.
It’s the next level… catching with your camera.
[Watch the Out of Touch trailer, here.]


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