Tuktu: The Ten Thousand Fishes (how to fish with a rock weir)

Fastest fish catching ever?

I’d never heard of a “rock weir” before watching “Tuktu: The Ten Thousand Fishes”.

But, as you can see, it sure does work!

If you want more fishing docs, check out my list of The Best Fishing Documentaries (I’ve ranked 19 of them)

Watch “Tuktu: The Ten Thousand Fishes”

You can stream “Tuktu: The Ten Thousand Fishes” by clicking the video embed above or here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6li84mjUZT8


  • My Rating: 96/100
  • IMDB Rating: 7.7/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Ratings: na/100 (User); na/100 (Critics)

Review of “Tuktu: The Ten Thousand Fishes”

Woah nelly, talk about a fish tale!

“Tuktu” is the story of the Netsilik tribe of inuits (called eskimos before that word was canceled) in Nunavut (northern Canada).

This river romp takes us back to the good ol’ days when men were men, fish were…well, still fish.

And ten thousand of these suckers feed the village through the Arctic winter.

The year is 1967 as we follow young Tuktu and his pops as they trek to the “place of many fishes” on a crisp autumn morn.

This is serious business.

Spears are sharpened. Tents are made of seal skins.

Tuktu’s uncle is somehow already there, mysteriously summoning the father-son duo with a “Chuck-too!” holler.

What follows is a generations-old ritual of repairing the river weir, passed down from Tuktu’s ancestors.

Fish Weir Trap

It’s called a “fish weir”.

I had never heard of one (till this doc).

A fish weir is a is an obstruction (usually walls of rocks or wood) placed in tidal waters across some or all of a river to direct (and trap) fish.

The fish are trapped when the tide recedes (the fish can’t easily jump over the wall).

A fish weir traps salmon as they attempt to swim upstream in the river or eels as they migrate downstream.

And, hot doggety, does this this fishing weir ever pay dividends.

Fastest Fish Catch Ever ?

The Netsilik tribe use it to catch (per person) a salmon as fast as 1 every 15 seconds in some of the video (I stop-watched it).

The fish pour in “as many as there are stars in the sky!”

Ten thousand of them — it’s a total murder scene by the riverbank.

After temporarily blinding the dead fish spirits (standard practice, obviously), Tuktu’s mother Deb hides the catch in the rocks.

Pop and Uncle show us how to start a fire without a lighter or flint.

They start the fire by using a rope to rotate a wood pole through two planks of wood (each with a hole in it).

That generates a small charcoal which they then put into a hollowed out upside-down bird that has dry straw in it.

Then they blow into the bird and eventually get a nice ball of straw on fire that they put into the bigger fireplace.

Beginning to end, the fire starting takes about 90 seconds.

Then they eat some of the salmon to celebrate.

You can’t beat this fish fry after a long day’s work!

They sing a song about being grateful for the fish.

They store the excess fish underneath stones to keep them away from wolves and polar bears for the season).

And Little Tuktu earns his seat at the table on this one.

All in all, a wholesome tale of an Arctic childhood that makes me want to set hook asap.

Thanks for reading!

Rob Kelly, Chief Maniac, Daily Doc