From Alaska’s Copper River to the East Coast’s 3,000-mile intracoastal waterway, America has over 250,000 rivers that span more than 3.5 million miles. Each body of water is a unique, ever-changing and unpredictable environment. For those daring few who make these rivers their permanent home, it’s often their grit, ingenuity and adaptability that keep them alive. Whether it’s modifying their homemade vessel to navigate storms, using unconventional methods to save their boats from certain destruction, harvesting food from the occasionally sparse environment or risking bodily harm in thrashing whitewater, these “river hackers” must overcome all that nature throws at them, or risk perishing in the merciless wild.
RIVERMEN chronicles four unique journeys across drastically different American rivers. These rugged men work tirelessly to survive the frequent challenges and grave dangers of life on the water, while struggling for their very existence. These are not weekend warriors or casual adventurers. These are experienced river men living aboard their vessels in search of freedom and risking everything on their quest to thrive along these incredible American waterways.
Along the Wabash River, Trapper John battles invasive jumping silver carp during his hunt for the giant flathead catfish he needs to survive the coming Illinois winter. Captain Lee Young sets off on a perilous 500 mile odyssey on his rickety homemade barge at the height of Florida’s hurricane season. Meanwhile, boat transporters Kirk and Mike attempt to navigate a client’s sailboat through the notorious “Graveyard of the Pacific”, knowing that any miscalculation means certain death. Finally, whitewater extremists Seaver and Mike risk starvation and a grizzly bear attack during their quest to conquer Alaska’s massive and frigid Copper River.
On the hunt for massive flathead catfish in Illinois, Trapper John is nearly knocked from his boat when he’s hit by a jumping silver carp, while in Florida, Captain Lee’s house barge is battered by huge waves that threaten to sink him and all his belongings. Meanwhile, on the Columbia River, an electrical fire on their sailboat knocks out the navigation lights, setting Kirk and Mike on a head on collision course with another vessel. Finally, after losing their only fishing rod, whitewater extremists Seaver and Mike must risk venturing back into the grizzly bear infested woods or find a new way to secure food as they battle to survive in the Alaskan outback.
In Florida during a massive storm, a bad choice ends in disaster when Captain Lee gambles on the seaworthiness of the Huckleberry. Then, in Illinois, an old family trick handed down from his grandfather may save Trapper in his hunt for huge flathead catfish. Later, after a dangerous maneuver that damages the vessel, a disappointed Kirk and Mike must give their client some bad news. Finally, Seaver and Mike battle massive whitewater, automobile sized icebergs and the most densely populated grizzly territory yet when they enter the most dangerous stretch of their journey along Alaska's Copper River.