Job interview: For these fellas, existence is ‘Fish or Die’


Image: Chris Owens, Brian Jay, Thad Robison and Jay Johnson star in Fish or Die. Image courtesy of Animal Earth / Supplied with authorization.


Television viewers might consider they’ve witnessed focused fishing, but they haven to witnessed the fishing adventures of Chris Owens, Brian Jill, Thad Robison and Jay Johnson. The excessive anglers journey the world hunting for elusive fish that usually look proper all-around the subsequent bend in the river. Their exploits are the issue of the new Animal Earth collection, Fish or Die, premiering Sunday, April 21 at 10 p.m.

On the inaugural time of the collection, the fellas head to some distant places to uncover significant fish. A single of the episodes charts their travels in a Bolivian jungle to uncover the famous big golden dorado. An additional episode finds them in Zambia hunting for tigerfish, and a different episode focuses on a big, ferocious salmon in Mongolia.

Not too long ago Hollywood Soapbox exchanged email messages with the 4 stars of Fish or Die. Here’s component 1 of that e-mail discussion, that includes the tales of Owens and Jill. Issues and responses have been a bit edited for fashion.

How extensive have you all been fishing alongside one another?

Owens: I’m not positive how several moons have established considering the fact that we commenced fishing alongside one another. It is been a extensive time, male! I necessarily mean Thad made use of to have jet-black hair and a black beard. Now he’s entirely silver fox captivating, and I made use of to not be ready to mature a beard when we all to start with commenced fishing … now I can! It seems to be like a tripped and fell in a dustpan anytime I try to mature 1, but which is a different tale.


Jill: I have been fishing with Chris considering the fact that our to start with movie job down in Patagonia [in] 2003. I fished with Thad for the to start with time when we filmed in Mongolia in 2007. Jay was when we shot a movie in British Colombia in 2008.

What are some of your favourite recollections from this to start with time of the present?

Owens: The complete Mongolia experience was crazy. We place alongside one another a 46-horse pack-string and headed cross region more than mountain passes, via swamp bogs. I necessarily mean we went straight via the wilderness — no trails — to attain the headwaters of this river process on the Russian border. The only dilemma was that the outdoors temperature was about zero levels, and our horses had been all wild, indicating they did not like human beings or equipment becoming place on their backs. My horse I named CocoPuff. CocoPuff was possessed by the satan and tried out to eliminate me just about every prospect he experienced. Many thanks to CocoPuff, it continue to hurts to sit in this chair and variety this.

There was that time that it in no way stopped raining in the jungles of Ecuador for 20 times straight. That was wonderful. My rain fly experienced 10 leaks in it, went to mattress soaked and woke up soaked. It was [an] astounding encounter for somebody that does not acquire a good deal of showers.

But I consider 1 of my fondest recollections was sleeping in my hammock at evening in the jungles of Borneo, finding leeches out from amongst my toes with a headlamp. Every evening I’d have to decide dozens off of me, and they had been significant.


Jill: I would say that it is receiving to shell out time with the neighborhood indigenous persons and see how they make a dwelling. Hooking and landing a big taimen in Mongolia immediately after wading via rapids and all the chaos that ensued with the crew, it was our to start with significant fish on that vacation. In Borneo, the rain would not cease, and the river rose 20 toes and washed out component of our camp. [And] the floor-saturated big trees commenced slipping down and pretty much crushed a couple of us sleeping in our hammocks. Rescuing a cameraman from drowning, pretty much receiving impaled by the deal with of a boat motor when I [came] traveling off the transom mount. Mountaineering up to see the wall of skulls in Borneo. Checking out some of the sacred aboriginal web-sites with all the historic artwork all-around.

What is it about fishing that you like so considerably?

Owens: It is not catching fish, I can convey to you that considerably. It is all about the journey and the experience to get to the fish for me. Fishing for us has introduced us to the much reaches of the world to encounter new cultures and investigate ridiculous landscapes. If you capture a fish, it is a reward. Also there are no restrictions with fishing. There is [a] in no way-ending understanding curve, and you can go down the rabbit gap as deep as you want.


Jill: I consider it is the exploration factor that drives me to want to go fishing. Also it is receiving out in character that provides me the independence that I want.

When did you get your begin in the fishing planet? Is it a like that goes back again to when you had been a youngster?

Owens: I arrive from a fishing family members. Pretty much which is all my family members at any time genuinely did. I received 3 brothers that are just as ill in the head as I am about fishing. I’m programmed to do what I do. I’m a fishing android with no off swap. This fishing obsession I have is not really healthful on interactions or my system, but it is entertaining. And I prepare on undertaking it until I die.


Jill: Expanding up I was launched to bass fishing as a child, and my uncle received me into it. I made use of to trip my BMX bicycle with buddies, and we fished in all the town lakes all-around where by I grew up in Florida. So it was genuinely the experience and looking at new locations that received me hooked. Soon after going to Colorado for college, I received significantly into fly fishing. Now I’m a guidebook in Florida and dwelling my fishing desire.

How hard was it to movie some of these adventures in this sort of distant places?

Owens: Initial of all, we really do not continue to be in lodges, and we are not catered. And we’re undertaking these excursions most of the time back again to back again. I experienced much less than 12 times off in the 8 months it took to movie this present. A single 2nd you are sitting down in the swamps of Mexico receiving pulverized by a billion mosquitos, and the subsequent 2nd you are climbing throughout the wild landscapes of northern Greenland in ice storms.

We’re off the grid. We’re heading straight into jungles to reside with the natives for 20 times at a time. We received cameras and computer systems! This is the serious offer, and to pull off 1 of these fishing adventures is usually a key accomplishment. We received just about every odd in the planet stacked versus us, day-to-day, just about every hour. I’m not positive how we pulled this time off to be straightforward with you.


Jill: It was exceptionally tricky working with the situations we had been out in and accessing these distant [areas] typically took a terrific offer of time and effort and hard work to attain. All the struggles make for some terrific content material and is entertaining to look at. It was tiring when we had been in the industry taking pictures, and it absolutely kicked our butts. We experienced no time to relaxation amongst shoots more than a 7-thirty day period interval.

What is the 1 fish that has evaded you so much in existence — a fish that you genuinely want to capture?

Owens: 30# steelhead. Really considerably if I caught a significant black and white 30# chrome magnum I’d dangle up the cleats. Perhaps acquire up browsing. There is some great saltwater things I want to do, but my coronary heart belongs to steelhead. Which is why I sit out in the rainforest all winter season swinging flies down operates hoping to hook up with 1 of these legendary beasts on the other conclude of my spey rod.


Jill: Large trevally. I have caught more compact types, and I have experienced some possibilities at significant boys. But it has not arrive alongside one another nonetheless!

By John Soltes / Publisher / John@HollywoodSoapbox.com

Fish or Die premieres Sunday, April 21 at 10 p.m. on Animal Earth. Simply click in this article for additional facts.

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