Kiss the Water Film Review

Recently, I noted that a film about the eccentric and revered Scottish salmon fly tier Megan Boyd, titled Kiss the Water: A Love Story, will soon be released to the public. The director and coproducer Eric Steel (with Kate Swan), very kindly let me preview the movie. I enjoyed the film immensely, and I want to share my impression of it here, in hopes that others will see it as soon as they can.

Megan Boyd spent much of her life living alone in the village of Kintradwell, near the River Brora, in the North West Highlands of Scotland. She did not fly fish, herself, but as a child she learned to tie flies for her father — a riverkeeper — and his friends. Her skill in tying made her flies popular among locals and eventually among fly fishers throughout the world.  Prince Charles was, perhaps, the most famous admirer and user of her flies. Boyd’s reputation as a fly tier was so great that she was memorialized in a New York Times obituary upon her passing in 2001. In fact, it was this obituary that inspired Eric Steele to make Kiss the Water even though, like Boyd, he does not fly fish.

Steele’s finished film is a piece of art, in itself. The movie tells the story of Boyd’s life through a series of interviews with close friends, fly tiers, and others.  The narrative is woven together by a strand of truly amazing animation by  Em Cooper, Sharon Liu, and Veseslina Dashinova of the Film Club Productions studio. The music, by composer Paul Cantelon, complements the interviews, the scenes of nature in Scotland, and the animation perfectly.  Of course, the music is wonderful in its own right, as well.

Boyd’s story, as told by Steel, is so compelling that Kiss the Water should appeal to a wide variety of audiences, well beyond those composed of fly tiers and fly fishers.  It touches upon the themes of artistic genius, nature and ethics, and much more.  Needless to say, the film addresses Boyd’s eccentricity as well. Yet it does so in a loving and understanding way. For instance, one interviewee acknowledges that Boyd “preferred the solitude.”  But then he adds, “And she was never alone. … She had her seasons. You know?”

You can visit to learn more about Kiss the Water, to see the screening schedule and, eventually, to buy your own copy. This weekend, you can see it at the Hamptons International Film Festival in Sag Harbor and East Hampton, New York and at the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The trailer for the film is below.

4 Responses to “Kiss the Water Film Review”

  1. rivertoprambles Says:

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention again. I definitely want to view it.


  2. Kenov Says:

    You’ll like it, especially given the family rambles in Scotland. It’s a thought-provoking alternative to all the adventure fly fishing movies out there now (not that I have anything against most of them).


  3. Says:

    Hi there, I enjoy reading all of your article post.
    I wanted to write a little cokmment to support you.


  4. Bob Thomson Says:

    All true fly fishermen should see this charming film. BobThomson


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