The story is taken from a semi-autobiographical novella by author Norman Maclean, about his life growing up in Montana. The narration by Robert Redford (also the director) is perfection. This is the final bit of narration of the film, taken directly from the book. Every single time I get to this point in the movie, I am brought to tears by the beauty of these words, the beauty and tragedy of the film, and the wonder and mystery of our humanity and God's creation.
But when I am alone in the half light of the canyon all existence seems to fade to a being with my soul, and memories. And the sounds of the Big Black Foot River, and a four count rhythm, and the hope that a fish will rise. Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters.