Bob is pretty much as good on a screen as he is on a written page. Think of these as the flies from What Trout Want (and Trout Hunting.)
If Bob’s understanding of trout leads to a leaner more realistic understanding of fish, his fly tying tends towards the pragmatic. Durability comes very high on his agenda probably equal first place with features to match his concept of the simplified ‘prey image’ used by hunting trout, with features of the fly ‘triggering trout behaviour.’ Actually, that’s more like ‘prey images’ so we have Dry Flies and Emergers in Volume One and Nymphs and Wet Flies in Volume two.
As I watched Bob at the vice, quietly explaining his ideas then tying his flies, I was struck by the sympathetic way this is filmed. Like Bob’s flies the filming is pared back, simplified but in the sense of refined or distilled rather than crude. Bob sits in a pool of diffused light against a dark background with a vice at his hand – that’s it! Superb image quality and sound. When the viewer needs to see the fly being tied close-up the screen splits top and bottom, so we see Bob talking but also a close-up of him tying on the same screen. The tying sequences are supported by riverside clips edited from interviews with Bob, again lucid and fascinating. (Note: some material in Vol. 1 is repeated in Vol. 2.)
As a piece, actually two pieces, these are exceptional tying DVDs. Maybe a little mean that one ‘work’ has been split into two products, but the quality is undeniable and I can’t recommend these DVDs highly enough.
Flies that Catch Fish – Volumes One and Two
Featuring Bob Wyatt
Produced by On the Fly Productions
£24.99 each DVD (UK stockist details from www.fishingmatters.biz)