Reed Morisky has been fishing for the Arctic Grayling for 34 years. He moved up to Alaska in 1981 to reply to a job advertisement for a sporting goods store – and he has never left. During his initial years up North, he was absolutely fascinated by the Arctic Grayling, a fish with unmatched beauty and a ferocious appetite for nearly any type of fly. Fishing beneath the midnight sun and the occasional aurora certainly didn’t help settle Reed’s grayling fever. He searched far and wide across Alaska’s Interior in hopes of finding a pristine grayling stream with healthy populations, large fish, and one that was out of the reach of most public fishing. He found what he was looking for in the Nenana River drainage and began bringing friends and family in to experience the incredible fishing and breathtaking scenery. Eventually, having developed a great reputation with his “informal” clients, Reed whipped up a brochure and established Wilderness Fishing, Inc. in 1984. He has been sharing his love of fishing and of the Arctic Grayling with thousands of people since.
The Arctic Grayling, (Thymallus articus), is a species of fish native to nearly the whole of Alaska. It is found in most drainages of the Arctic Ocean and the northern Pacific Ocean, being spread in freshwater all the way from eastern Russia to the Hudson Bay. Formerly, they were found in the northern parts of the lower-48, but overfishing has led to a decline in populations in Montana and Michigan. Alaska offers the best Arctic Grayling fishing, with specimens reaching sizes and sporting colors not found anywhere else in America. The Alaska State Record Arctic Grayling weighed in at 5 pounds, 1 ounce. Grayling can vary in color depending on the habitat, ranging in hues of gold and orange to purple, blue, red and green. During the summer, they are voracious feeders, and may eat anything from tiny fish fry and leeches to beetles and ants. Larger fish have been known to commonly target and eat small voles and mice. Their larger dorsal fin allows them to move in the water very efficiently, and it also means they put up a good fight on rod and reel.
“Lure of The Grayling” will be a short documentary that paints a portrait of a regal fish, the Arctic Grayling, and the naturalist fly fisherman, Reed Morisky, who has spent his life pursuing the Grayling’s beauty. Early on, Reed agreed that this film would not be an endorsement for his business, but rather a promotion of the Arctic Grayling and of Alaska. It will take place in northern Interior Alaska, specifically along the Nenana River, a place that captures the fascination of audiences the world over. The film will portray the amount of pure work that Reed puts into preparing for the fly fishing season: readying all gear including a fully functioning jet boat, painstakingly tying his own flies and constructing his own, natural willow fly rod, as well as spending thousands of hours and dollars all in pursuit of the Arctic Grayling. The pursuit is not a dominating, “man-triumphs-over-fish” zeal, but rather a passionate and romanticized appeal to witnessing a rare fish in its gorgeous natural habitat. In addition, this film will be a window into the extraordinary Grayling and its ecosystems.
The film is in the post-production stages of editing, soundtrack composition, and festival marketing. It is expected to be ready for release in October of 2016.