Rafe is a man who survived hell as a POW (sort of). He survived by dreaming of his love, Alanna. Only when he "returns from the dead", he discovers the woman he loved enough to live for didn't love him enough to wait. . . she was "happily married" to her singing partner. He's filled with bitterness and never tells anyone he's alive. Alanna is disgusted with herself for her loveless, marriage of convenience. She discovers Rafe still alive & tries to reconcile with him, but he rejects her. Alone, despondant, she goes back to her husband.
But she's no longer the girl she was and Jack senses their careers are over and convinces Alanna to go camping one last time. Admidst a storm, Rafe's bitterness, Alanna's memory, and Jack's life is washed away.
Rafe vows to set Alanna free by giving her bvack her memories and her life. The fishing scenes are all metaphores for his dreams for Alanna. She's the elusive trout, he's the hungry fisherman. Trying to lure her from the depths of her own fears, trying to convince her that being with him is better than being anyplace else. His hooks are all barbless - she won't be killed coming to the surface.