Sarver’s Bait & Tackle, a storefront installation at the 2009 Three Rivers Arts Festival, Downtown Pittsburgh, was the culmination of The Fishing Report. Photo by L. Rippel.
In 2007, I began visiting my favorite Pennsylvania fishing destinations with video and still cameras, leaving my fishing gear behind. I was searching for creative stories about fishing. I began conducting interviews on site with anglers. Topics of discussion ranged from fish recipes to personal rituals and secret methods. Through a grant from The Pittsburgh Foundation, as well as support from the Mattress Factory, The Three Rivers Arts Festival and Pittsburgh Center for The Arts / Pittsburgh Filmmakers, I was able to expand my initial investigations to explore the entirety of Pennsylvania. From farmland to suburban ponds, mountain streams to Lake Erie tributaries, I was out to explore a variety of fishing environments and the fishing traditions told by people across the state. In the summer of 2009, the project culminated in the presentation of The Fishing Report, a video documentary on the art of fishing. The piece was unveiled at a storefront installation, Sarver’s Bait & Tackle. The installation, modeled after a fishing tackle shop, was a featured project of The Three Rivers Arts Festival. Aside from the documentary, activities at the installation including a reading of fishing stories, a fishing “Jam Session” by local musicians, a puppet making activity, and puppet shows by local puppeteers.
Detail of anglers, Bait & Tackle.
Pond at Boiling Springs, PA, one of the sites of interviews for The Fishing Report, a video documentary on the art of fishing.
An angler on Yellow Breeches Creek, Central Pennsylvania. The Fishing Report covered trout fishing throughout the state.
Sales counter at the installation. Anglers visiting were offered free dough ball, a bait for carp in the nearby Allegheny River. L. Rippel.
A window display featured a mobile of hand-carved fish. L. Rippel.
Fishing lures and gadgets were inspired by visits to tackle shops throughout Pennsylvania. L. Rippel.
The installation included maps and practical fishing information. Photo by L. Rippel.
Exploring Slate Run, North Central PA. Photo by Jeremiah Johnson.
The installation was constructed at 905 Penn Avenue, once the site of a violin shop.
The project attracted many fisherman looking to find live bait in Downtown Pittsburgh.
Passing through Saint Clair, PA while working on the Documentary.
A sign at the opening of trout season near Williamsport, PA.
At the opening of Bait & Tackle, local musicians performed songs about fishing. L. Rippel.
A back room in the installation featured video art: Fishing Fantasies. L. Rippel.
Spring in North Central Pennsylvania.
Turkey Vulture in a tree near the Pine Creek Gorge.
Pine Creek Gorge.
Late November fishing for steelhead at Walnut Creek, Lake Erie.
Fishing whirligig spotted during travel.
A church along Little Pine Creek, Waterville, PA.
A farm in the Lehigh Vally, Pennsylvania.
The Delaware River, Northeast PA.
Sarver’s Bait & Tackle hours.
Lots of activity at Boiling Spring, PA.
Signs in Bait & Tackle. L. Rippel.
Sign at Bellefonte, PA.
Bridge over Little Pine Creek, Waterville, PA.
A Pennsylvania Fish Commission stocking official unloads trout at a Beaver County stream.
A map with the route for The Fishing Report documentary.
A papier-mâché grouse at Bait & Tackle.
Squirrel at Bellefonte.
Lycoming Creek, North Central Pennsylvania.
Carter Camp, PA.
Vulture in flight atop Pine Creek Gorge.
A papier-mâché owl perched inside.
Angling in style.
This will never work.
Mike Cuccaro was the cameraman for one of the expeditions.
A cold day at Locust Lake.
Waders near the dam at the opening day of trout season, Locust Lake, PA.
Opening day at Kettle Creek, North Central PA.
Jeremiah Johnson assisted with filming in North Central Pennsylvania.
An old country general store.
Window Display at Sarver’s Bait & Tackle. L. Rippel.
Sales counter. L. Rippel.
Photo by L. Rippel.
Assistance with the filming of The Fishing Report was provided by Jeremiah Johnson, Rose Clancy, Liz Hammond and Mike Cuccaro.