DVD REVIEW: Trout Bum Diaries Volume II, New Zealand

I received a review copy of the lastest venture from the guys in the Angling Exploration Group, and upon watching the DVD of their New Zealand adventure, I have come to the following conclusion: I hate them. Actually, the better description of my feelings towards them is unabashed envy. There are few people in the world of angling I am sincerely jealous of, but these guys are moving to the top of the list. Why? They spent four months–FOUR MONTHS–in New Zealand filming this adventure. (Seriously, you all need any help on the next one? I’ll be the Gene Frenkle to your Bruce Dickinson.)

On to the DVD review. (Here’s a taste of it from the trailer on the AEG website.) The production quality is on the high side compared to most fishing videos I have seen. In fact, these guys have raised the bar on what a fishing video should be, so we can hold them to higher standards. They take a little too much time at the beginning showing the set-up for the trip. I didn’t need to see more than a few seconds of them preparing their mini-van or living in tent city. But I understand their reasoning for it, they are trying to tell a story through the video rather than just clipping together hero footage showing how great they are. This is a rare thing in angling video.

I loved how they showed the adjustment period. Learning to cast in an entirely different style with leader lengths they are totally unaccustomed to. Learning to work with a spotter and trust his direction. Learning to stalk solitary fish–maybe the only fish in a football-field length of river. And, wait a minute, are they showing their mistakes? Guys flubbing casts? Butchering hooksets? Hooking themselves? This happens to other people?

But when they show everything coming together, it is a thing of beauty. There are a few more spots where they could have cut to the chase a little more quickly, but there is some amazing footage, and overall they accomplish their mission of telling another great adventure story on camera.

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