Fly Fishing in Pirate Territory

Confluence Films Presents Providence

Sarah Cairoli  |   Saturday Oct. 1st, 2016

Our little corner of Montana is considered by many to be the hub of fly fishing. Ardent anglers from all over the world make their pilgrimage to Bozeman for a shot at hooking the fish of their dreams. With an abundance of fishable water nearby, it can become easy to forget that there is excellent fishing elsewhere in the world. Two local filmmakers, Chris Patterson and Jim Klug of Confluence Films, have been making films that remind us Bozeman isn’t the only place where a person can have an incredible fly fishing adventure.

The duo’s fifth film, Providence, focuses on a relatively untouched atoll in the Seychelles, off the east coast of Africa. This area is home to enormous fish, species of all kinds: grouper, bonefish, pompano, monstrous GTs, and bumphead parrotfish. And sharks. And pirates. The area only recently reopened to a limited number of visitors after a six-year closure by the Seychellois Government, due to a rapid increase in pirate activity.

Providence Island and the surrounding atoll are a three-day sail over the open ocean from the east coast of Africa, and more specifically, Somalia. Through an environmental and humanitarian lens, Providence tells the story of a team of South African fly fishing guides in search of fish. Fishing pressure is so intense on the coast of Africa that they don’t find a decent fishery until they are north of Madagascar. There, they find Providence Island and build an incredible guide business, but they also find danger in the form of Somali pirates. They are forced to abandon their livelihood, but long to get back to monstrous fish in flat water.

When Patterson and Klug return to the area with the guides in 2015, pirates are still a concern; however, navy patrols from several countries have increased their presence in that part of the Indian Ocean. Still, the filmmakers and guides are truly in the middle of nowhere. The place is so remote that one boat on the horizon is cause for concern. Pirates? You’ll have to attend the movie premiere at the Ellen Theater on November 8 and 9 to find out.

In previous films, Patterson and Klug compile smaller vignettes that focus on several fisheries, but the story of Providence Island couldn’t be told in 15 minutes. Compelling interviews with a fascinating group of incredibly experienced anglers propel this story forward like the barracuda bumphead they are tracking. Gorgeous imagery of anglers knee-deep in crystal clear water transport viewers to seemingly endless stretches of coral gardens and lagoons. The sky in this film puts our Big Sky to shame, and the aerial photography is nothing short of amazing.

The fish in this part of the world fight like crazy to get back to the coral, so epic fish fighting footage abounds in this film. It is hard to believe the massive fish these anglers are able to capture with a fly, and perhaps even more incredible that the filmmakers were able to capture all of the action, both above and below the water.

As the weather cools and winter approaches, we Bozemanites will have to come in off the rivers earlier. What better way to spend an evening than to watch an inspirational story of anglers who overcome adversity and forged a path through uncharted territory. Providence will keep you guessing and mesmerize you with its incredible scenery.

For more information on Confluence Films and the premiere of Providence, visit    

About the Author(s)

Sarah Cairoli

Sarah Cairoli is a local writer, tutor, and mother who has been enjoying all Bozeman has to offer for the past decade. She can be reached at (at) hotmail [d0t] com,)

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