The Angling Exploration Group could rightly be called pioneers of fly fishing's new media. Their Trout Bum Diaries: Volume 1 set in the fly fishing paradise of Patagonia, opened the door for a new sort of fly fishing video. This new format shuns the teaching of technique in favor of pure entertainment value and adventure. It was for this reason that we were excited to watch their newest offering, Trout Bum Diaries: Volume II Kiwi Camo.
Kiwi Camo chronicles the trout bum's four month adventure to fish the back country rivers of New Zealand. During their journey they brave everything from biting swarms of bugs to a sheep traffic jam in their quest for some of the largest trout on the planet. We get to watch as they perfect a style of fishing that is somewhat foreign to them. Long leaders, light tippet and big flies mean that they often find themselves ditching graceful casts in favor of the "chuck and duck."
The rivers in the shadow lands are huge and the giant trout are scarce, so fishing here often becomes a team sport with one person acting as spotter and directing his fellow angler's casts with both sharing in the joy of a successful hook up or the disappointment of a missed bite.
One of the things I have always enjoyed about the AEG's work is that they show both the good and the bad. Their videos seem to tell us, "Sure you can fish New Zealand with us but you better not mind the smell of sheep or be bothered by a few dozen sand flea bites along the way." It reminds us that the payoff of the trout bum lifestyle, while rewarding, requires that a price be paid. These guys and gals gladly pay that price and the reward is getting to fish.
Kiwi Camo's production quality is a step up from AEG's first video. Volume two has a decidedly more professional feel with less narration and more dialog. The scenery is sublime and the fish porn outstanding! My wife always has "problems" with me after viewing a Trout Bum flick. After watching one, I can't help but do the math to see just how long the money in my 401k would last on my own trout bum adventure.
Trout Bum Diaries: Volume 2, Kiwi Camo is available from the Angling Exploration Group's website for $26.95 (as of this printing). It is a 75 minute long letterbox DVD wth dolby digital stereo sound. You can view a trailer by clicking here.