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"Once In A Blue Moon" - Best Film 2009

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Filming on location in New Zealand for "Once in a Blue Moon" Filming on location in New Zealand for "Once in a Blue Moon"

A recent email I received from New Zealand read “With a mouse plague in the offing and the prospect of huge surface-feeding fish, this could be the best fishing season in years!”

Some coincidence as this DVD is about an event in folklore, a mouse plague. To experience one must be a bit like seeing the lemmings in Norway rushing over cliffs to their death.

Winner of Best Film 2009 at the recent Drake video awards held at the Fly Fishing Retailer show in Denver, "Once In a Blue Moon" is a cinema-quality New Zealand production with great camera work and some of the best underwater shots of enormous trout – browns and rainbows – and rising fish in gin-clear water that you are likely to see. Although it runs for only 36 minutes, there is no lack of satisfaction. It is shot in high definition which seems to work on an ordinary television. This film should not be confused with instructional DVDs.

The film is a strange and unreal journey that takes you into some of the most remote and beautiful parts of New Zealand, following one angler’s quest to document and unravel a childhood mystery and catch the fish of a lifetime.

Mouse There are some surprising changes in mod and atmosphere, some of which seemed a bit strange. There are wonderful shots of South Island scenery, rivers and lakes and wildlife. Some of the filming of the afore-mentioned monsters rising to take flies on the surface were extraordinary. You should see the size of the fins on some of the fish – like shovels. With fins like these it’s little wonder that they fight so well. Some of the fish are so big that they are tailed like salmon. Another extraordinary shot was of an enormous eel that swam up to the head of brown that had been hooked. Was it going to give it a kiss or take a lump out of it? Memorable.

The key thing about a mouse year is that it is a time when monster trout feed on swimming and drowned or drowning mice at night. A fishery scientist talks about the feeding and migratory habits of trout and when and why they might feed on mice, and another scientists puts forward a thesis why a mouse year happens.

Much of the fishing takes place on lakes and some rivers, both big and pocket waters. One surprise was to see the angler, Carl McNeil, fishing with a white line. I always thought that NZ anglers were obsessive about line colour and go to great lengths to produce the ultimate “camouflage” colour.

With the river close season in the northern hemisphere fast approaching, Once In a Blue Moon could be the perfect way to get through some cold, wet afternoons or evenings.

Once In a Blue Moon

Running time 36 minutes. On The Fly Productions

Now available at Sportfish! 

Available from Amazon.com or from www.onthefly.co.nz $29.95

Fly Fishing - Once in a Blue Moon 60sec promo from On the Fly on Vimeo.

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