On a snowy evening, middle-aged bachelor Seligman (Stellan Skarsgård) finds self-diagnosed nymphomaniac Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg) beaten up and lying in the alleyway behind his apartment. He takes her back to his home and, over tea, listens intently as Joe recounts the story of her libidinous life. Seligman, a highly educated but cloistered man, connects and analyzes Joe’s stories with what he has read about. Seligman’s favourite hobby to read about is fly fishing, which is why he has the fly fishing hook on the wall and this is how their conversation begins. Throughout the story he parallels much of what she has experienced with various methods of the sport.