Terry and Jerry Myers are ranchers. They love the outdoors. They love fly fishing. They fly fish very well. Sarah Menzies -- director of “A Steelhead Quest: Portrait of a Rivered Life” -- says it’s evident that Terry isn’t “just some angler’s wife.” Indeed, she grew up with a pack of brothers who never acted like she was the girl.
“A Steelhead Quest” revolves around Terry Myers pursuing a goal to catch a steelhead every month of the year in a different river. She fished every month. She caught steelhead every month except May and July. Terry and husband Jerry bent their rules a tad. It had to be all twelve calendar months but not twelve in a row.
The grace in Terry’s demeanor, the looks on Jerry’s face and wisecracks he makes, these are reasons enough to see this film.
_*_*_ distilled from a conversation with “A Steelhead Quest” director Sarah Menzies _*_*_
Chuck Jaffee: This is a charmer of a film about a married couple. Much as I get a kick out of the husband, Jerry, this at its heart is mostly about the wife, Terry, right?
Sarah Menzies: I’d say so. Jerry says this often. Much of their adult life centered around him, his work. She was doing his admin work. She was raising the kids. Terry came up with the goal. The quest was all hers, but you can tell Jerry had a good time devoting to it.
CJ: What did you enjoy most about your time with Terry?
SM: You learn from her that whatever it is, you [identify] what’s important and do it… She’s passionate. She isn’t going to back down.
CJ: What did you enjoy most about your time with Jerry?
SM: He knows how to make a joke…. He has the biggest heart. He loves Terry so much. He’s into partnership and support. He comes off a little rough around the edges, but he’s a softy.
CJ: What about not catching a steelhead in July?
SM: It wasn’t a super bummer that she doesn’t get one. No steelhead in July… the quest lives on.
CJ: [About Terry and Jerry, who are around sixty….]
SM: They’re like high schoolers in love around each other…. There each other’s number one person.
CJ: What’s it like making sure you get the great light and composition into the fly casting shots?
SM: Luck…. We shot tons of footage. [In Alaska] we had two cameras filming Terry at all times. [One camera in Oregon] Terry was always moving. I was scrambling on rocks, moving cameras.
CJ: You’re working on a film called “Afghan Cycles” about the Afghani women’s Olympic bicycling team, right?
SM: For five years. It’s my first feature length film…. Having Afghani women cyclists is an anomaly…. Western women in Afghanistan is a third gender….
CJ: Talking about “Afghan Cycles” is a whole other conversation; maybe one will get written up if the film gets into the 2019 Wild & Scenic Film Festival.