Dave Reuss

The Lookout
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Thursday, November 7, 2013 - 5:03pm Dave Reuss

Montana is known around the country for a lot of things, but making movies just isn't one of them. We don’t have the glossy, Hollywood sheen bred in cities like New York or Los Angeles, and most folks adjust their expectations accordingly when watching films assembled in the Big Sky state—or at least they did until Bozeman-based outfit Confluence Films came along.

And when they create movies as good as (or even better than) any other company in the business today, it’s hard not to feel a swell of hometown pride for Confluence and their latest venture into fishing cinematography: Waypoints.

Waypoints Poster 

As the fourth feature-length installment from Confluence, this film sends their cast to fly fish every corner of the map in their most ambitious endevour to date. They end up wetting a line in five of the most drool-worthy fishing locations in the world, including Chile, Japan, and St. Brandon's Atoll. Whether it's hunting monster pike in Alaska or wrestling the nightmare-inducing payara in Venezuela, every scene is shot with the masterful touch of lifelong fly-fishermen. 

 An everyday catch fishing St. Brandon's

But it can't all just be pulling fish the size of tree trunks from the most scenic rivers around the globe—the crux of any adventure-sports film is making the audience care about people doing it. To the relief of plot-craving fish-fanatics everywhere, the team expertly weaves in profiles and interviews, adding depth and soul to the beautifully shot film.

 Just another day rippin' lip

The premier screening is on Saturday, November 9 at the Ellen Theatre: the family show starts at 5pm and the late show kicks off at 7:30pm. Tickets are $12, available at both River’s Edge locations, Fins & Feathers, Montana Troutfitters, Rockford Coffee, and Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures. You can also get tickets at the Ellen Theatre Box Office or theellentheatre.com.

 A monster Alaskan Pike

And after December 17, you can download Waypoints and their other three films at confluencefilms.tv—just in time for Christmas.

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Monday, April 8, 2013 - 11:07am Dave Reuss

 “When it comes to the Big Hole and the Beaverhead, people ‘round here love these rivers,” Justin says, pulling fishing line into his mouth to tie another triple surgeon’s knot. “And they don’t just ‘love’ the rivers—they’ll get in fistfights over ‘em. That’s real love.” He fishes through a gear box the size of a microwave, hunting for the perfect fly.

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Thursday, January 3, 2013 - 12:27pm Dave Reuss

The cold is aggressive, almost predatory. Within seconds, any exposed flesh begins to sting and ache, go numb. Without goose down and Gore-Tex, you’d die in minutes. People aren’t designed to be in Hyalite in the winter. And definitely not at 11pm.

Headlamps are laser beams

—Christ it’s cold. Where’s the schnapps? someone asks.

The last cross-country skiers have driven off in their Subarus and the last ice-fishing lanterns have been extinguished on the frozen reservoir. There’s nothing left but six friends, five sleds, and four thermoses of cocoa spiked with booze.

We brought nearly a dozen headlamps, but they stay in the car. Once the moon has crested the treeline, the entire field is bathed in pale moonlight.

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Wednesday, August 8, 2012 - 3:26pm Dave Reuss

The last of the sky’s aubergine tint has faded to black, and now it’s anywhere from eleven at night to four in the morning. The miles and hours pile on top of each other until it’s impossible to tell what time it is. The straps of my backpack are soaked through with sweat, and the thick log I’m carrying on my shoulder keeps slipping, biting into my neck. I grunt and heave it back into place, and we start running again.

A headlamp flashes back at me and says, “Pain is weakness leaving the body.” Squishing along behind him, my shoes still wet from the last stream crossing, I shake my head.

“No,” I say. “You’re wrong.”

Pain is pain. It hurts, and that’s all.

Orwell said it best: “Of pain you could wish only one thing: that it should stop. Nothing in the world was so bad as physical pain. In the face of pain there are no heroes.”

But here we are, hiking through town for hours, hauling 45-pound packs through the dark—less heroic than insane.

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Monday, July 23, 2012 - 10:53am Dave Reuss

Never, ever go climbing with Drew Pogge.

I try to remember that—but every few months, he’ll trick me into it. He’s the Editor-at-Large here at O/B. Editors-at-Large don’t really ever have to work, so he’ll show up at the office every few months like that drug-addicted cousin who only calls you for bail money. The same cousin who just needs to crash on your couch for a few days until he gets things lined out. That guy.

When it comes to climbing, Drew waits just long enough for me to forget how awful the last experience was, and then he’ll call up and offer to buy the post-climb beers.

That last part always gets me.

Main Tower

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Thursday, June 7, 2012 - 2:25pm Dave Reuss

“On this dive, we’ll do regulator recovery and a full mask flood,” Jeff says, the cold water lapping around his face as we bob in the middle of River Rock Pond outside Belgrade. I nod, my buoyancy control device pumped full and squeezing my ribs. Jeff is a self-professed hillbilly. He owns a massive Chevy pickup that pumps out country music. He got into diving in the military, and now he not only dives for fun, but he’s also a member of the sheriff’s search-and-rescue team. He’s testing me on my final scuba certification. We take our last breath of real air and slowly sink to the bottom.

River Rock Belgrade Scuba Sports Cove Bozeman

Back in the swimming pool, I could do mask floods all day. We’d practiced swimming from one end to the other maskless. No problem.

Surrounded by the pond’s murky brown water, there’s no sound—short of the steady chorus of deep sucking breaths followed by the bubbling exhale out around my mask. Unlike on the surface, breathing takes thought.

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - 1:19pm Dave Reuss

Your lungs pump diesel exhaust, and your legs are just meat you’re trying to stand on.

It’s day one of the CrossFit Games. Around the world, 55,000 people are competing against you. Today’s workout is seven minutes of burpees, as many as you can. Just drop facedown on the ground, pop back up, then hop and slap a metal bar six inches above your head. That’s one rep. Collapse, then jump. Easy. “Over in Europe,” somebody says, “some guy just did 161.”

Group CrossFit

Packed into this converted garage, there are girls that warm up with your max, and guys that max with your car. High ceilings, no mirrors, stacks of weights, piles of medicine balls, and an average of 7% body fat. The room is hot with bodies, and there’s that fried chicken smell of sweat, pumped through industrial air conditioners, mixed with the smell of week-old snow bank coming in from the open garage door. Six people compete at a time, and the other 30 people cheer. Some yell encouragement, some just yell. The stereo is up so loud, it’s hard to tell what song is playing.

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Monday, January 2, 2012 - 11:00pm Dave Reuss

All photos by Chris Ebeling

Stretching a cavernous 1,500 feet from the top of Chet’s Knob to Tippy’s Tumble, Big Sky Resort’s Twin Zip spans their entire base area. But such sprawling magnitude isn’t the only Big Sky Twin Zipbennie of this new zipline—with two lines right next to each other, you can race your friends through the sky. Big Sky recently invited the O/B crew to check out their latest skyline traverse; after a short trek up the hill and a quick ride on the magic carpet, we were ready to zip.

As soon as the staff gave us the go-ahead, I leapt and rocketed through the sky, laughing and experimenting with different tucked positions trying to gain the lead against my competition, cheered on by hot-tub revelers below. Numerous head-to-head races followed, each getting more competitive. By the time we were done, mistakes had been made, luck had broken stalemates, and a hierarchy had been established… paving the way for much gloating and trash-talking throughout the rest of the evening.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010 - 12:00am Dave Reuss

All photos by Chris Ebeling

The tenth installment of Bozeman’s best bouldering competition brought in gym rats from all across the Pacific Northwest, ready to pull down on over 100 new problems – from ladder-rung easy to way too damn hard. It was an absolute kick-ass full-day event, full of climbing, pizza, beer, crate stacking,excitement, and Full Gravity X in Bozemanas a bonus, a portion of the proceeds went to “Touch the Sky”, a non-profit group that helps underprivileged kids get out and climb.

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010 - 12:00am Dave Reuss

From multi-national companies to local brands, this famous tradeshow in downtown Salt Lake City gives just about everyone in the outdoor industry a chance to demo products, make connections, and otherwise have a damn good time. And after a grueling 7 hour drive (only getting pulled over twice for ‘allegedly’ speeding),Crowd at the Outdoor Retailer Expo 2010 we rolled into Mormon-central, ready to join the throng and soak in all the cutting-edge toys from the best outdoor companies.

As soon as I rode the main escalator down and stepped on to the convention floor, my jaw dropped and my eyes went wide. The Salt Palace, which boasts over 500,000 square feet of exhibition space, was absolutely packed, overflowing with extravagant booths touting the latest and greatest in outdoor gear. This year, the show boasted over 40,000 visitors and nearly 800 brands, 170 of those being new companies.


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