EP65 | Artists-Fly Fishers-Overlanders: Chase and Aimee Bartee of Tight Loops

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Episode Description

Chase and Aimee Bartee are extremely hard-working filmmakers with a passion for fly fishing, overlanding, and conserving the beautiful and wild country they love.

The story of the Bartees is the story of two artists pursuing an uncompromising path toward their artistic vision. Finding success with their first film Journey On, the couple has developed a devoted YouTube following on their channel, Tight Loops, and received critical acclaim for their wilderness expeditionary film, Big Land. Their most recent project, For Wild’s Sake: The Rare Trout Chronicles, showcases their unique, cinematic blend of entertainment, education, and inspiration.

We sit down with Chase and Aimee at the XOVERLAND hangar to discuss their philosophy as artists, current projects, adventures in their 1985 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia Weekender Van, and transition to a 2023 Toyota Tundra featuring a Four Wheel Camper Hawk.

Our discussion features everything from harrowing tales of Baja adventure to approaches to minimizing our impact on the outdoor environments and resources we cherish.

We hope you enjoy our conversation with the very talented couple, Chase and Aimee Bartee of Tight Loops!

YouTube: Tight Loops
Instagram: @TightLoops
Website: tightloopsfly.com

Detailed Episode Summary

Part 1 (0:40-5:35) Welcome Chase & Aimee Bartee of Tight Loops Fly Fishing: We welcome Chase & Aimee Bartee and listen in as they tell us what brought them by the XOVERLAND Hangar, what they’re currently up to, and a little bit about their background.

Where did Chase and Aimee get their new truck built?

Main Line Overland–Philadelphia, PA

Part 2 (5:36-9:37) What opportunities exist on the East Coast for overlanding and fly fishing? Chase and Aimee spend a lot of time on the East Coast. (Aimee is from Massachusetts.) Jimmy is originally from the East Coast and wonders what opportunities exist there for overlanding and fly fishing. Aimee and Chase explain their approach to overlanding on the East Coast, taking both free public camping into consideration as well as private options available through platforms like Hipcamp and Harvest Host.

Part 3 (9:38-15:25) What is overlanding and fly fishing like in Eastern Canada? Jimmy wonders what it’s like to go overlanding and fly fishing throughout Labrador, Nova Scotia, and, broadly speaking, Eastern Canada. Aimee and Chase weigh in, sharing their experiences and referencing their award-winning film, Big Land.

Part 4 (15:26-28:14) Vanlife and the Story of Chase & Aimee’s Beloved 1985 VW Vanagon Westfalia Weekender van dubbed “Bullwinkle”: Chase & Aimee discuss the origin story of their beloved Volkswagen Westfalia van, “Bullwinkle,” and the pros and cons of traveling with a 1985 VW van. Then they explain how and why they transitioned from a VW van to their new platform, a 2023 Toyota Tundra with a Four Wheel Camper “Hawk,” which includes a look at the uncompromising purity of their artistic vision.

Extra Resources Mentioned in this Part of the Episode:

Chase & Aimee’s Popular Film Featuring Their VW Westfalia Van: Journey On

Robert M. Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Part 5 (28:15-46:20) The Origin Story of Chase & Aimee’s New Tundra/Four Wheel Camper Overlanding Platform: Chase & Aimee share the story of the transition from their Westfalia to a new Toyota Tundra Four Wheel Camper combo. The story involves the friendship and support of Karissa & Linhbergh of Gondirtin and a harrowing adventure into Baja which finally proved to be the tipping point for transitioning out of their Westfalia VW van, “Bullwinkle.”

Part 6 (46:21-51:55) What are Chase & Aimee’s plans for travel with their new Toyota Tundra platform? Now that they have made the big leap from their Westfalia into a new, more reliable overlanding platform, what plans do Chase & Aimee have for future projects and travel? The two share some of their ideas.

Part 7 (51:56-1:10:00) Chase & Aimee Bartee’s Commitment to Conservation: Chase & Aimee discuss their “dream job” of making films with a conservation focus, including recent work they are doing for The Atlantic Salmon Federation. Chase speaks to his and Aimee’s conservation values and how they are working to give back to the environment they enjoy so much; the two discuss the difference in impact they have seen in their years of traveling and approaches to minimizing their own impact.

Part 8 (1:10:01-1:12:56) Chase & Aimee Discuss Global Conservation Through the Lens of Fly Fishing: Chase and Aimee share details regarding the conservation and protection of native species through the lens of global conservation, particularly examining native and non-native trout species around the world.

Part 9 (1:12:57-End) We say farewell to Chase & Aimee and Chase and Aimee share some final thoughts about their approach to filmmaking: As noted, Chase & Aimee’s conservation values permeate their work as filmmakers. As we close, Chase & Aimee discuss why they wish to create films that reach an audience beyond fly fishers and overlanders.

Extra Resources Mentioned in this Part of the Episode:

The Audubon Society

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