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Mayfly Madness - DVD review

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Mayfly Madness featuring Johan Klingberg and Ulf Borjesson Mayfly Madness featuring Johan Klingberg and Ulf Borjesson

It's that time of the year again and so this month I am reviewing a DVD that promises "big fish, big bugs, great passion..." to hopefully whet our appetites for Mayfly season.

What They Say

Join Johan Klingberg and Ulf Borjesson during three seasons of fly fishing at the most thrilling time of the year. In early summer, when Ephemera Danica and the Ephemera Vulgata hatches, there's a good chance of catching the very largest of trout in these rivers.

Johan and Ulf travel to some of their favourite rivers in southern Sweden in the hunt for mayflies and giant trout.

On the Bonus tracks Johan and Ulf ties their favourite Mayfly patterns, and you get some valuable tips on fishing tackle from Ralf Raacke.

What We Say

Fishing DVD's fall largely into two camps these days, 'Instructional' or 'the Fishing Experience'. Mayfly Madness falls squarely in the latter, following two anglers, Johan Klingberg who many will recognise from his visits to the  fly tying tables at our UK fly shows, and Ulf Borjesson as they fish three seperate mayfly seasons on a couple of their favourite streams in Southern Sweden. This in itself makes for a refreshing change from the usual English chalkstream scene that we are all used to seeing although initially I was wondering how it would stack up against such hallowed waters. The answer is very well I am pleased to say.

Shot in a fishing diary style, we follow the anglers as they embark on their quest for "big fish, big bugs, great passion" all of which are delivered as promised. The commentary is in the voiceover style added later in the studio which I actually quite prefer as it avoids too many contrived shots to camera and therefore helps to make the viewer feel part of the action as if we are along for the ride. The scenes flow nicely together although the "shot over three seasons" does seem largely due to poor weather and hatches rather than a desire to spread the experience over a longer period and I am sure would have been wrapped in one season if conditions were perfect but that said it does not detract from the film one bit. There a couple of minor lapses as the anglers seem to react to others off-camera once or twice but again no harm done and they are hardly noticeable.

The stars are undoubtedly the mayfly which are captured nicely and the brown trout that are feeding on them. Some of the fish Klingberg and Borjesson bring to the net are truly epic trout and thanks to the dry fly patterns being used we get to witness the rise, take and fight all the way to the finish. The streams fished reminded more of our upland waters such as the Derbyshire Wye than the Test or Itchen which means lots more trees and snags to avoid - no manicured banks here! This makes the size of the fish even more remarkable perhaps.

The additional sections of the DVD include well-shot sequences of Klingberg and Borjesson tying their favourire mayfly patterns and are easily followed so you could sit at your vice and create some yourself. They use the over the shoulder camera angle so you get to see the fly take shape exactly as you would yourself. There is also a section on tackle selection for trout fishing but this seems targetted at the complete beginner rather than the intermediate or advance angler - useful though if you want to lend your DVD to a non-angling friend perhaps.

At 60 minutes long I felt this was just right for an enjoyable viewing as it was long enough to do the subject justice without covering the same ground ad-infinitum just for the sake of adding more footage. Available with Swedish, English and German commentary as a selection before playing, this title will have a wide appeal across Europe and I enjoyed seeing the fishing available in a different part of the continent yet that was still familiar.

A worthy and enjoyable addition to the fly fishers DVD shelf.

Available from Sportfish for £19.95 - click here to purchase now!


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