This is a very good-looking DVD. Blue Charm has a lot of that shallow focus filmic look that we all know from film and advertising. Technically, that means this was captured on a video camera with a large sensor. We geeks can peer into the out of focus background and mutter, however, the point of employing that visual style is to direct the attention of the viewer. Turn the same video gear on a casting scene, where I want to see all of the scene in focus, and again the style of videography is right on point. I’m trying to think if I’ve seen any casting/fishing DVDs with better visuals, and failing.
The footage is edited nicely, and sound is handled well – apart from one scene where Ian plays a fish and I’m hearing wind on a microphone rather than Ian’s voice. Clearly, a technical calamity, but I liked the result. It’s a little more real.
Ian Gordon is master Spey caster, tackle designer, gillie and salmon angler. We see a little of each of those aspects in Blue Charm. The sections I liked most were where Ian reads a salmon pool, actually a number of pools, and gives some insight into how he would fish it/them, his analysis of the water leads to how he would cast which leads naturally into Ian’s break-down of the main casts we make with double-handed rods: single and double Spey, snake roll, circle-C, roll and overhead cast. The DVD menu is set up so I can watch the movie or go straight to the Casting Instructions and select individual casts – great resource!
Blue Charm includes a bit of fishing history. It felt like it was mainly castles, but there’s two interviews with Dee gillies, and a short section where Ian teaches a bit of Spey-casting. Some of that seemed a little random, having a camera wander about a room in a castle felt like padding, the interviews and teaching section felt like excerpts from another DVD or two.
I fish a little(!) and would happily buy this to see Ian cast and learn more about how to read water. I don’t need the castle or interviews or teaching. I want more casting and more fishing. Maybe I’m not a typical buyer, not who the producers think this is aimed at, but I’d guess I am fairly representative of those who will buy Blue Charm. That said, I guess it’s no bad thing to leave them wanting more, I hope we see more, and more in-depth, DVDs from this team.
Blue Charm – Salmon fishing in Scotland with Ian Gordon
Produced by Ian Gordon and Robert Stroh
(Samples are available online)