The anglers at Sporting Fly sent us a copy of their latest "reality style" destination video about the waters of Montana's Madison River. This video from Sporting Flyo's might best be described as allowing the viewer to ride along with host Dave Long and Director Rob Pontello, as they fish the Madison River. On this trip we get to spend some quality time with several famous Montana fly fishers, including guides Bob Jacklin and Craig Matthews. These pros give some excellent tips that would assist anglers of any skill level.
This is a reality style video, and true to the format, we get to see fish both hooked and missed and also caught and lost. Slippery fish are released in some pretty acrobatic, albeit inadvertent ways, sometimes going flying through the air and back into the water. Often this is followed by the refrain, "That's one way to release a fish." I was glad to see that this happens to other anglers and not just me.
During a float trip there is no attempt to indicate that our hosts and their guides have the river to themselves, but rather they go out of their way to show that the river is used by lots of anglers and that heavy use of the river doesn't have an adverse impact on the fishing. It also gives host Long a chance to talk about river etiquette both while rowing and while using the river bank.
The big fish moment of this video comes when Bob Jacklin is shown landing a 10lb brown trout which he considers to be one of the largest ever caught on the Madison. How the host addresses the fact that Jacklin elected to keep the fish to hang on his wall is well worth watching and it shows these guys aren't afraid of talking about controversy.
Overall I would say that this DVD is a great look at one of the nation's top trout rivers. The hosts do an excellent job of letting us tag along on their fishing trip and we get rewarded with great scenery and a feel for what fishing the Madison river is like for the visiting angler. It is not your typical "destination" video, but it also does not fall into the genre of the hip new fast paced, music blaring, fish porn. It is a nice middle ground that will appeal to a large audience.
The more I watch video's hosted by Sporting Fly, the more I like them. You have to appreciate the passion that an angler has for his sport when he breaks off in the middle of an interview to cast to a big trout rising to a salmon fly. I am not ashamed to say that I would have done the same thing myself.
Sporting Fly's Madison River - Montana DVD runs 45 minutes and is available via the Sporting Fly web site for $29.95. As of this writing, shipping is free. They feature several other rivers and offer their videos for download to your Ipod or other media player.