This Is Fly — Issue # 21 is Out

I wonder if Catch Magazine, This is Fly, and Fish Can’t Read wouldn’t be better served if they would stagger the release dates of their publications.  January 2010 also brought about a new issue of This is Fly.  Had I not already read Catch, I would have thought that this was another solid issue, and in most cases it was — but the online publications have already fallen to the trap of similiar stories in competing publications (e.g. the January issues of This is Fly and Catch both feature a story on Tasmania).  I still find that the photography in Catch is just a step above This is Fly, but I think that both are flights above print magazines.  At any rate, this issue of This Is Fly is another solid effort, but i find myself starting to lose interest in the really clever advertisements and well-shot product photos.  Is it possible that there is just TOO much and it is just TOO busy.  Maybe…..I wonder if I am getting older, or if too much advertising is actually a bad thing.

At any rate, this issue of This is Fly did a remarkably well job of reminding me of those places which I will probably never get a chance to fish and in that aspect it did its job well….keeping me dreaming.  You can check out the latest issue of This is Fly here.

Catch Magazine — Issue # 9 is Out

You go and spend two days on the Niangua River to ring in the New Year with your wife and kids, and while you are away from the Internet, Brian O’ Keefe and Todd Moen do it again by releasing another truly inspiring issue of Catch Magazine.  This online publication is the real deal, when it comes to photography and videography for fly-fishing.

The “El Dorado” video by Todd Moen is what fly-fishing videos are supposed to be.  Well shot, and a great watch.  The feature about shooting in the snow reminded me of some of my favorite black and white shots (taken in the snow), and really had me hoping for a heavy snow fall (something we haven’t seen yet in St. Louis).  Chris Short was the featured “new” photographer in this issue, although he has and does continue to do alot of product shots for FF’ing manufacturers.  His shots are clean and good.  But the feature that stole it for me was that by Brad Harris on fishing Tasmania, there are some great shots there with some serious good lighting.  All in all, another fabulous issue, check it out here.

FF Video Review — “Drift”

Drift-Movie-ImageAs I previously stated, I am a whore when it comes to watching the newer fly-fishing movies; I eagerly await the release like a fat kid waiting on a cake to finish in the oven (oh the childhood memories).  However due to work and other commitments I hadn’t had a chance to head into Feather-Craft in awhile to pick up any new videos or just to hang-out, but that was rectified about a week or so ago, but I digress.  Drift is a film brought to us by Confluence Productions a partnership of Jim Klug (Yellow Dog Fly Fishing Adventures) and Chris Patterson (film-maker extroardanair that has produced pieces that have appeared on OLN, Versus, National Geographic, and NBC) and these guys just flat nailed it.

The film takes you on a virtual smorgasbord of fly-fishing around the world and the shots that they capture on film are nothing short of breath-taking.  I don’t want to give too much away from the film but the highlight for me was the pieces which featured Charlie Smith and how he still feels about bonefishing and guiding at 70+ years old and man his banjo playing was pretty darn good.  The man’s legend was captured in film wonderfully.  The film ends by following two fly-fisherman to Kashmir and chasing trout through some of the streams in town.  In between all of that, the film-makers take you everywhere from spey-fishing for steelhead to winter trout fishing the west on tailwaters.  All in all, it is a film filled with great scenery and some well shot fish-porn.

I have been waiting some time for a fly-fishing soundtrack to feature G. Love and Special Sauce in it, as I think the feel of their music would really lend well to videos that are being shot currently and I was extremely pleased to see some G. Love on this soundtrack.  The music is very good in this film, and really fits and helps to hold everything together.

You won’t be disappointed in watching this video, and if money is no object you just might add some new destinations to your bucket list.  Drift would make a pretty good stocking stuffer.

(4/4 Stars)

Fish Can’t Read — Issue # 2 is Out


Fly-Fishing’s new e-zine “Fish Can’t Read” (Volume 1, Issue 2, November 2009) made its debut on Thursday.  I was a bit skeptical about “Fish Can’t Read” when I first learned about it.  This e-zine concept started with This Is Fly (which for some reason is loosing my interest….perhaps because of all of the advertisements) and was furthered with Brian O’Keefe’s focus on photography in Catch Magazine (which is absolutely phenomenal) and now brings us “Fish Can’t Read.”

In my opinion, “Fish Can’t Read” hopes to do for writers, what Catch is hoping to do for photographers and that is catch their interest and focus on some really good writing and this issue does just that with some interesting well-written stories.  My favorite of the bunch this issue was by Kieth Barton titled “Paris Hilton is Now; But the Silver Hilton Is Forever”, because I think he nails it and I was also found of “Fly Fishing at a Crossroads; Who are We?” by Mark McGlothlin and you throw in some well written poems as well as some images from an English chalk-stream and you have a pretty interesting way to spend a lunch hour or two at the office.  The next issue will be out in January, and I am looking forward to it.

–Matt Tucker

FF Video Review — “Hustle & Fish”

Hustle & FishI am a whore for a good fly-fishing video, the original TroutBum Diaries still has a place in my heart as the ultimate fishing video (probably because it was so different than anything out there at the time), and every once in awhile I will pick up a few and watch them.

Hustle & Fish has been out for awhile, but I just now got around to picking up a copy from Feather-Craft.  The movie was written/ directed / filmed by a couple of guys with a long resumes — Steve Apple has guided in Alaska for 7 years and Dave Wilson has worked with the likes of The History Channel, Comedy Central, MTV, and Animal Planet.  Needless to say I expected a lot from this film — even though I was told the film was “different”.

The movie centers around the main character quitting his job at a big box store retailer and traveling the country to try and sell copies of a film he had shot earlier (Fishsizzle).  In the process, he gets back to his basics as a guide in Alaska and finds the love for the sport that he lost.  He sold a few copies of his movie, but that takes a back seat to his journey along the way.

The movie is more traditional movie like (complete with script) than traditional fish porn movies (e.g. TBD and Soulfish) but has plenty of big piggy porn to keep you watching.  The scenery that is shot along with the fishing, make this worth the watch.  This is a higher quality production than some of the earlier films, as the photo slideshow at the end shows that they used camera crane jibs and the like during the production.

It is definitely worth a look, as it was entertaining with good camera angles and the picture quality really bumped the bar a bit with this film.  3/4 Stars (only because the humor dies about 1/2 way through and it goes to straight fish porn).

–Matt Tucker