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The Distant Brown of Emerald

By Magnus Angus

This is an example of the ‘fishing diary’ where skilled angler(s) takes video gear on a fishing trip and produce a visual diary of the trip. That idea has been around for some time, and it could seem a little dated now, but if the visuals and fishing are really good ...

Technically, the image quality is mostly good; one, maybe two, sections seem to suffer from digital issues. Editing is fine, each section has a basic ‘fishing trip narrative’ and linking footage is used to emphasise the sense of time, mainly days, passing. Sound quality is good throughout – some innocuous stock music helps create a mood for some sections – but mostly the guys in the scene chat and Mike Kirkpatrick narrates from after the event.

The three main chapters in this DVD are essentially hikes into reasonably remote river sections. Carrying big packs, walking for hours … this does not look like fun. The rivers are beautiful and the trout are stunning! Honestly, some of the finest trout I have seen captured on video.

In the second chapter, ‘As Good as it Gets,’ Mike and his fishing buddy, Andrew fish through a day where it seems like every trout is bigger than the last. They are stunning trophy fish. The brown trout in the first chapter all seem to come from one stream but look so different. The colours, shape of their bodies and marking are all beautiful but I’m left wondering why the individual appearances.

I don’t know that I learned a lot from this DVD – other than how to pronounce ‘fush’ and tempting me to bust a gut trout fishing in New Zealand …

A very simple and really quite honest and modest production which works well. Mike Kirkpatrick is clearly an able guide but in no way does he set himself up as the hero of this piece. The focus is on stunning unspoiled landscapes, pristine rivers and the chance to cast to sensational brown trout – trophy fush!

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