Sporting Fly was kind enough to send me their new DVD called “A Bamboo Artisan on the Ruby River”. I haven’t bought any of the Sporting Fly DVDs before so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Before it arrived, I took a look at their website, which was professionally done so I had high expectations. I really didn’t know if the style of the DVD would be like a Fly Fish TV video with lots of nice hook ups but little real information or if it would be more along the lines of a Trout Bum DVD with tons of fish porn. It turned out not to be like either.
The DVD does a fantastic job of mixing interviews and fishing action. I was honestly bummed when it was over. The fishing segments were much more to my liking than the typical DVD or show. It really felt like you were the 3rd participant with Dave Long, the interviewer, and Jerry Kustich, a bamboo fly rod maker and author. The camera work and editing were very professional and it provided the perfect mix of real adhoc shots without making you feel like someone’s buddy was taking a video on the side. It also didn’t have that overly produced feeling that a lot of DVDs are going to these days. The camera work was never distracting, it was just there – and that’s a compliment.
The interviews with Jerry Kustich were interesting and thought provoking and only once went a bit too long. I think I was just ready to get back to the fishing and my mind started drifting. But, I have a short attention span so I’ll always lean more to the action. He has the same outlook on life, fishing, and river stewardship that I would one day love to be able to mimic. He has such a close, intimate involvement with fly fishing that you will feel compelled to listen to what he says. I haven’t read any of his books yet, but I’ll be getting them from Amazon when I finish my current pile next to the bed.
Although the DVD isn’t really a destination DVD where they expound about how great a particular river is, it does give you a very good feel about the Ruby River in Montana. It made me miss the western rivers I used to have as my home rivers back in Utah (which, btw, I’m fishing in March!). Neither Jerry nor Dave over-glorify the river but really describe it like your friend would, not a local guide. I definitely prefer that over wild claims of lunker fish at every bend in the river. Another segment that I really liked was on access rights to Montana waters. It was educational and flat out interesting.
The one segment that I could have done without was one with the interviewer and some traveling older fly fishing women sitting in a bathtub outside their trailers. I thought it was a bit too much. I’m sure it was added for levity, but it could have been cut out and I wouldn’t have missed it a bit.
Overall, I really enjoyed it and have watched it 3 times already since I got it a couple of weeks ago. If you are looking for a very well made fly fishing DVD with great fishing footage along with educational interviews, I think you will definitely enjoy this one. A link to the DVD at their store is below: