The Global FlyFisher
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Flycasting Faults & Fixes
For those who have seen Mel Krieger - either in real life or on video - this is not new: the man is a one-man theater! Not only is he enthusiastic and entertaining, but he also takes on the role of the different types of casters, which he wants to illustrate, and performs small monologues and even dialogues or whole little plays when emphasizing a point.
This DVD is no exception. Mel Krieger goes through the whole high energy register, and particularly his character "Joe" gets a lot of attention, being the oh-so-wise, know-it-all-need-no-tuition type, whom we all know so well (some of us are Joe's ourselves). Joe is a mediocre caster, but absolutely good enough in his own eyes, and he does not need any correction, further distance or more precise casts. He does well with what he can already.
Krieger even changes his hat into a baseball cap when doing Joe, and surely takes on the role 100% in order to illustrate the faults that the Joe's of this world do.
I have to admit up front that while I at first found this both funny and instructive, I grew tired of the role-playing before the end of the DVD.
Joe is funny OK, and many people will love him, but I need a rest from him sometimes. I'm not asking for the humorless, boring, non-descript Scandinavian type of instructor who hardly smiles and even less so shows any true engagement in what he does.
I love humor. I love enthusiasm and I love a bit of acting.
But enough is enough, and too much is too much.
And I think Krieger is overdoing it on this DVD. He is no actor, and there seems to be no real script for Joe's lines or Krieger's own for that matter, and he looses momentum after so many sequences.
Nonetheless Krieger is an excellent casting instructor, whose eye for casting faults and easy ways to fix them is really good. His tricks and sound advice should be welcome with any caster, even the one who thinks he masters the trade already. Krieger time after time hits the nail when he points out our typical casting flaws, our attitude towards them and good ways to fix them.
He explains the most common styles of casting and takes us through poor loops, out-of-plane casts, bad timing, poor backcasts, tailing loops and many, many other more or less common errors. Krieger also covers roll casting, the snake roll and even spey casting with a one hand rod, and as you can see from this far from full list, there is enough material on this DVD for many hours of watching and learning.
Apart from Krieger's sometimes over-energetic style my only other issue with this DVD is the rather boring settings that the whole production is set in. There's a pond and a lawn, trees to form a background and not much more. Krieger even demonstrate stream casts on the still lake. Light varies a bit depending on the weather, but apart from that the variation is not big. Most casting shots are done in a full frame shot of the caster and the line, while all spoken instruction is done with total focus on Kriegers upper body, arms and head. There is nothing in between... there are no fishing scenes, not landscape shots, no Mel-Krieger-walking-towards-the-water shots. Nothing but casting and instruction plus some small pauses with titles to explain what comes next. Great for some maybe, but I miss some variation.
If you want to see Mel Krieger in real life, and live in Germany or Switzerland, there is a chance of meeting him at Springforelle's events in Zurich and Berlin in mid July 2006. Krieger's style seems much better suited for such events, so take the chance and go see him if you can.
This DVD was kindly made available to us by Springforelle in Germany