The film tells the autobiographical story about two boys, Norman (Craig Sheffer) and Paul (Brad Pitt), growing up in 1920s Missoula, Montana under the watchful eye of their father, a Presbyterian minister. Their mornings are spent in school and religious study, while their afternoons are devoted to fly fishing in the nearby Blackfoot River. At home, however, the family's stoic emotions hint at trouble is to come. Norman goes to the east coast for college and lives there for six years, without returning home until then. In the meantime, Paul gets a job as a prolific journalist and makes a name for himself back home.
The movie is about Norman's return home and his and Paul's summer together.
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