- Dawson Casting: Craig Sheffer and Brad Pitt were both significantly older than the characters they were playing note , which makes the scenes where they're portraying teenagers a bit hard to take seriously. The characters do age quite a bit and are meant to be somewhere in their twenties by the end of the film, so while the actors were still older, they did end up closer to the proper ages.
- Fake American: Brit Brenda Blethyn as Mrs. Maclean.
- What Could Have Been:
- William Hurt wanted to play Paul Maclean and once went fishing with Norman Maclean in Montana. When Hurt asked if he had fished well enough to portray his brother, Maclean replied: "Well, Bill, you're a pretty good fisherman but not good enough to be my brother."
- River Phoenix auditioned to play Paul Maclean.
- Kyle MacLachlan was considered for Norman Maclean.
- At one point, this was considered as a vehicle for Lloyd Bridges and his two sons, Beau and Jeff Bridges.
- Elmer Bernstein wrote the original score for this film. However, it was rejected by Robert Redford, so Mark Isham composed a new one (for which he received an Oscar nomination). In the original theatrical version of the film, Isham was credited as the composer during the opening credits. But for some reason, in some video and DVD versions of the film, Bernstein is credited as the composer.
Trivia / A River Runs Through It