What Does Fly Fishing Represent in a River Runs Through It?

Fly fishing has become synonymous with the classic movie “A River Runs Through It”. The film, based on the book by Norman Maclean, tells the story of two brothers growing up in Montana during the 1920s.

The film follows their childhood, their lives as adults, and the eventual death of one of the brothers. Fly fishing is used throughout the movie to represent a variety of themes and ideas.

One of the main themes in A River Runs Through It is that of family. The two brothers are portrayed as having a close bond despite their differences.

They often go fishing together, which serves as a metaphor for their relationship. Fly fishing is used in this context to represent how different individuals can come together to form a strong connection.

The second theme represented by fly fishing in A River Runs Through It is that of faith. The brothers’ father was a Presbyterian minister who believed strongly in living life according to Christian principles.

He viewed fly fishing as a spiritual activity and taught his sons to appreciate nature and respect it. This idea is shown in several scenes where they fish together and discuss faith and morality.

The final theme represented by fly fishing in A River Runs Through It is that of hope. Despite all of the tragedy that befalls them, the brothers still find hope in each other and in their shared love for fly fishing. They use it as an escape from all of the pain they experience throughout the film, and it serves as a reminder that things can always get better if you have faith.


Fly fishing represents many important themes in A River Runs Through It, including family, faith, and hope. These themes provide viewers with an understanding of how strong relationships can be formed through shared experiences while also reminding us that hope can always be found if we have faith.

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Daniel Bennet