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Trout Grass the Revival Edition Documentary Film Review

Trout Grass the Revival Edition Documentary Film Review

Trout Grass The Revival Edition: A Documentary Film about Crafting Bamboo Fly Rods and Fly Fishing

Film Synopsis


Trout Grass the Revival Edition: is a newly digitally remastered version of the 2005 film Trout Grass.  The film takes you on a captivating exploration of the intersection between passion, craftsmanship, and the ancient art of fly-fishing. Delving into the origins of the fly rod, it traces its evolution from the remote bamboo forests of Southern China to meticulous workshops in Montana. The narrative unfolds as a visual journey following the life cycle of Tonkin bamboo, a material that transcends humble origins to become a conduit for power, awareness, and love

The bamboo culms, towering at 30 feet, are harvested in the misty hillsides of China, providing a raw material that will undergo a remarkable transformation. You witness the laborious process of sliding these bamboo poles down hillsides, loading them onto primitive carts, and transporting them to their next destination. The film introduces Mr. Hoagy B. Carmichael, a legend in the craft, as he makes a poignant return to the land that inspired his seminal book on bamboo rod construction.

Trout Grass Fly Fishing Documentary Film

The heart of the film lies in the workshop of master rod-builder Glenn Brackett in Montana. Here, the intricate art of creating a split-cane fly rod is unveiled, showcasing the meticulous craftsmanship that turns a seemingly simple piece of bamboo into a high-performance, $1,500 lightning rod. Brackett's expertise is showcased as he transforms a twelve-foot bamboo circle into a six-strip wonder machine, a device that holds the promise of making both men and fish swoon.


The narrative is enriched with the voices of seasoned writers Tom McGuane and David James Duncan, who share their experiences fishing with these bamboo rods on Montana's Boulder River. McGuane, a bamboo rod veteran, and Duncan, returning to bamboo after four decades, come together for the first time on a river. Their discussions unfold on the nature and lore of bamboo rods, offering insights into the unique connection these rods forge between angler and river.


Trout Grass not only serves as a tutorial on the intricate process of crafting bamboo fly rods but also explores the deeper question of why these rods hold such significance. Through stunning visuals and interviews with industry legends, the film captures the essence of a craft that transcends generations, from the misty hillsides of China to the dusty confines of a Montana workshop, where the birth of a legend takes place.

Official Trailer from Trout Grass Revival on Vimeo.


Final Thoughts


Trout Grass the Revival Edition is a captivating film that celebrates bamboo rods as the pinnacle of sustainable craftsmanship. The narrative takes you on an environmentally conscious journey from bamboo forests to a Montana workshop, highlighting the organic growth of the material. Infused with nostalgia, the film seamlessly connects the past and present, showcasing the timeless allure of bamboo rods. It becomes a tribute to craftsmanship and American ingenuity, epitomized by master rod-builder Glenn Brackett's dedication. Beyond technical intricacies, the film emphasizes the profound connection between anglers and nature. Educational and inspirational, Trout Grass invites you into a world where fly-fishing harmonizes artistry, sustainability, and a deep appreciation for the natural world. Highly recommended, it's currently available on platforms like Amazon Prime and at the official Trout Grass site.

*Are you a fan of fishing and or nature documentaries?  If so, check out out our other reviews and find good content to watch!



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