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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tom Bie is Everywhere: A Completely Incomplete Profile

Tom Bie may be an imposing figure but his short steps contradict his long strides he makes in the outdoor world. If you are a skier, a paddler or an angler Tom Bie has had an effect on you. I am starting to feel like he is the Kevin Bacon of the outdoor industry. This guy is everywhere.

He is the founder and editor of The Drake Magazine, a quarterly fly fishing publication, self described as "for those who fish". Tom despises grip-n-grin photos and knot tying tutorials. You won't find them in The Drake. Instead you will find well written stories, profiles, locations and very cool yet non typical photos and satire. The locations are often of a popular destination off of the water...like a bar or motel. Profiles may be of obscure guides and stories may be politically driven and not aftaid to raise a few hackles. Satire of anything (many things) that deserve to be made fun of in the angling industry.

Tom Bie is 1/3 of Confluence Films. Confluence Films fly fishing movies RISE and DRIFT play on a loop at The Reef Fly Shop. His projects all seem to have very short titles but all focus on a story and excellent cinematography/photography. Like the magazine, the movies have something appealing to all viewers and not just fly fishers.

Tom has been involved in outdoor journalism for many years. A few of his accolades are former Editor in Chief of Powder Magazine and his relationship continues as a writer. He was also Editor of Paddler magazine among others. He also writes a column in Angling Trade Magazine where he likes to stir the pot on the final page.

My livelihood and hobbies have me continually bumping into Tom. It seems he is in every fishing film I watch. He pops up in the ski films I have. Recently I ordered a movie called "Swift, Silent, Deep". It chronicles the Jackson Hole Air Force, an undefined group of powder hounds that skied Jackson Hole Mountain Resorts side country before the back country gates were open. Tom was writing for the newspaper in Jackson, Wyoming when the late, great steep skier Doug Coombs was evicted from Jackson Hole Mountain Resort for illegally venturing out of bounds. Tom is in the film discussing the struggle he had with patrollers after presumably writing the article in favor of Coombs.

Pay attention and you will see, hear or read Tom Bie. Even if you don't find his angle appealing you can't disregard the fact that he is making every effort to change the one dimensional, superficial stigma that has been synonymous with fly fishing for way too long.

Erik Aune

Tom's Tarpon: Fly Fishing For Tarpon from WorldANGLING on Vimeo.


Jason "JJ" Randolph said...

Great video. Never have stuck a tarpon on the fly. Did catch 80lb tarpon while pick-up truck fishing. (read heavy tackle and live crab) Not very spiritual. Did catch 25lb permit on fly in Boca Paila. Celebrated with bottle of 1997 Caymus Special Reserve. Both were spiritual.
Michael Kahler

The Reef Fly Shop said...

Sounds good to us!