DVD Review: The Search Tahiti
Ask any dedicated angler and they will most likely tell you that no matter how good the fishing is where they live, they have spent some time pouring over maps looking for new water to try. The Search Tahiti from Gin Clear Media tells this same sort of tale as it chronicles the story of a group of fly anglers who set off from their home waters in trout rich New Zealand on a search for big bonefish on virgin salt flats.
Most fly fishers would take a map or a rumor and venture to drive a few hours in search of promising fishing. However, how many would hop a freighter to French Polynesia's 120 remote islands in search of a new fishery? (if our wives would let us and money wasn't and issue maybe a few more of us.) Throw in razor sharp coral heads, the fact that food and water are almost non-existent, and sharks that have seen so few people that they simply think of them as more food and you begin to get an idea what they are up against.
The scenery is beautiful and the film does a great job of giving you a sense of both the area and the culture of the islands. It also does not pull any punches or allow any illusions that this kind of exploratory fishing does not come with the very real risk that you could travel a great distance only to come up empty in the bonefish department. I like the part where the angler who planned the trip worries what his buddies might do to him if they go all that way only to find no bonefish. I can only think what my fishing com padres might consider.
I won't spoil it for you but they do find the bones and when all the moving parts come together they end up in a pristine lagoon that lends itself to the feeling that these might just be the first anglers to ever cast a line in its waters.
Other highlights not to be missed include fly fishing off of the back of a coconut boat and an excellent look at ongoing research into bonefish genetics. Be sure not to miss the "trout strike" short in the special features. It will ring true with any trout fisher who has tried their hand in the salt.
"The Search Tahiti" from Gin Clear Media runs 63 minutes and is available via their web store for NZ 49.90 (that's around $35 US) including a 28 page photo booklet.