Mel Krieger's Patagonia
The first words spoken on this DVD are: "Every so often in life comes a person that is one step above the rest...", and it continues talking about Mel Krieger - who is the person in question as "Not just any mortal...".
Now, I do not doubt that Mel Krieger is a special person and I know he is a special angler and instructor, but I would certainly have thought twice before I introduced anybody in angling with words like those. On the other hand this intro leaves no doubt about what this DVD is about: it's about Mel Krieger. And it's a lot more about Krieger than it is about Patagonia and the people fishing Argentina.
There is of course plenty of coverage of the Argentinian streams and rivers and about guides, friends, food, wine and cozy places, and everything is filmed in exquisite HDV 16:9 wide screen format in almost unsurpassed quality. But even so it is still evolving around Mel Krieger's person and I personally had to get to terms with that extreme Krieger-centric view of things before I could really enjoy the DVD.
Once over that hurdle I must admit that I thoroughly did enjoy it. The quality of the images and the mixing of fabulous video footage, patinated B/W historic photos and the soothing music with South American nodes is way above average.
The stories told by the narrator and Mel Krieger himself are of course worth listening to, and there are things to learn even though it's neither a how-to or where-to film, although you can certainly pick up names of rivers, lakes, lodges and shops. But I cannot help return to that constant praising of the man and his obviously almost unearthly ability to fish and tell or read stories about fishing. Other people in this DVD just seem to be there as extras, always facing the main character and giving him their full attention - just as we as spectators are supposed to do.
For any Patagonia wannabe like myself this DVD is a must, Mel Krieger or not. It's visual qualities are top notch, and most of us fly-anglers will sit and watch spellbound all through the 1 hour and 20 minutes that it lasts.
The review copy was provided by Springforelle in Germany from whom you can buy the DVD.