TU Business

Tight Line Media traces salmon migration from the Pacific to Idaho

Kris Millgate on the road in Ocean to Idaho. Photo credit: Tight Line Media

I met Kris Millgate from Tight Line Media before I ever came to work for Trout Unlimited. She was working with TU staffers Chris Hunt, Charlie Card and Dave Glenn on a film about my home water and they invited me to be a part of it. She was awesome. She told the story of the Green River from the point of view of people who knew it and love it like it was the most natural thing in the world. I loved working with her. In the ensuing years, her craft has only gotten better. This TU Life member and Business member is a great journalist and a great friend.

Kris spent a decade in TV news before starting Tight Line Media in 2006. With a quarter century of multimedia storytelling, she’s forever in search of dynamic topics. She researches the issues thoroughly, then translates the core elements via video, photo and words with the credibility that comes from experience.

That credibility comes through in her series Ocean to Idaho in which she follows the 850-mile migration of salmon from the Oregon coast to the headwaters of the Snake River in Idaho. The film is a visual experience that offers the opportunity to track these indomitable fish as they make the epic journey to their birthplace to spawn, and the barriers they face along the way. Her account of the road trip to follow these fish debuted on social media last summer. The film premieres in August.

The film is a labor of love for Kris. Not only did she have to contend with doing a solo project in the midst of a global pandemic. There were plenty of unexpected challenges as well. Like she says, “Broken camera, bruises, stitches and skin cancer. I wasn’t expecting any of that. I was as worn out as the fish by the time we made it to mile 850.”  You gain an appreciation for her physical and mental toughness as the story develops. You also gain an appreciation for the strength and resilience of the fish that make this journey against all odds.

But long odds are no stranger to Kris. She told the story of her professional life in the book My Place Among Men. She’s a producer, writer, videographer, photographer, editor and a certified drone pilot. She’s used to long odds, and to hard work. “With the road trip complete, I cut 25 hours of footage down to a 26-minute show. It was like shoving the stepsister’s foot into Cinderella’s glass slipper,” Kris says. What happens in front of the camera is in the film. What happens behind the camera is in her second book My Place Among Fish. It publishes in August.

We’re proud to say that Kris Millgate with Tight Line Media is a TU Business member.