This film, called “The Studio,” produced by Josh Duplechian of Trout Unlimited and featuring angler Scot Simmons, is one of the most important pieces of video we have seen in years. It perfectly captures why we all do what we do. It is an ideal feature for May, which is Mental Health Awareness Month. And it is generating more coverage of fly fishing, for the best reasons, than any project that’s come out recently.
The small caddis fly pattern bobbed in the waves, eventually floating directly in front of them both and, as if on cue for the camera, a tiny brown, from somewhere deep in the run, rose for and ate it. Neither father, nor son, could contain their excitement. Scot Simmons reminded his son, Cooper, to keep the line tight. Cooper did everything just right. He landed the fish. And both father and son soon admire a trout this young man landed on a dry fly… all by himself.
“That moment on the creek filled my soul in a way that completely overwhelmed me,” said Scot Simmons, some weeks later, as he recollected that moment. There is a video of all this, which has rightly been shared thousands of times across the Instagram platform. The outpouring of positivity, support and the direct messages that spawned only served to strengthen the elder Simmons’ bond with the greater fly-fishing community. Scot Simmons has dealt with various forms of anxiety, PTSD and depression for most of his adult life. He admits he hasn’t always made the best choices in life.
More recently, considering the tragic murder of George Floyd in his home-town of Minneapolis, Simmons has wondered if “that could have been me.” He is committed to creating a better life for himself and others, and he strives to be a better role model for his own family. Fly fishing has helped him find this equilibrium. Learn more and support the Twin Cities Chapter youth education program here: https://www.tu.org/scot-simmons-the-studio/.