The Underwater World of Trout
Several years ago, a friend of mine was telling me about a video seminar he
saw at a local Trout Unlimited meeting given by a man from New Jersey who liked
to film trout in the water. "Unbelievable", he said. "The underwater
shots are amazing.". As the years went by, I heard this sentiment from
more and more people who were lucky enough to see these presentations, all given
with the same "you really gotta see" emotion. Well - I really wanted
to see them - but I'm not a member of any clubs where this man would be presenting.
That man from New Jersey is named Wendell "Ozzie" Ozefovich, and
he has become somewhat of a legend among those who have seen or heard about
his video presentations. Lucky for the rest of us - he has made these seminars
available on DVD. I gotta say - it was a long wait for me - but it was well
worth it. The buildup was justified.
The first DVD - "Discovery" - is a compilation of chapters on different
subjects dealing with wild trout - including a fascinating look at how a one
eyed trout can survive in the fast paced world of a trout stream. However, for me,
that was not the highlight of the DVD. The highlight for me was the segment
dealing with a trout stream along a highway that was at risk from road construction.
Years after the construction was complete, the "new" stream still
holds wild trout. I can only imagine the sense of satisfaction felt by Ozzie and the others. That so many people came together to make sure the trout would
be protected is a strong statement that maybe the future of our fisheries are
in good hands afterall. I was also interested to see the very first footage
Ozzie shot in a trout stream, surprised at how many small wild brook trout he
was able to observe with his camera. For those who want to see big fish - and
lots of them - there is a chapter on sea run trout during their spawning runs.
I don't know for sure - but I think some of this footage was filmed in Connetquot
State Park on Long Island, which gets good runs of sea run trout of three species of trout - brown, rainbow, and brook trout.
The second DVD - "Feeding Lies" - is a master course on how trout
survive in the water. What the eat - how they move - how they position themselves
- and what we can learn from how they "rise" and "take".
There is some simply amazing camera work here. There's one spot where the camera
is just barely above the surface of a shallow riffle and you can see a trout's
head breaking through as it is rising to take spinners, then the camera slowly
dips below the water and you see the whole fish and how it is working in the
currents, rising with just a shift in fin position. Even cooler about that scene
is the camera just below the surface, you can see the spinners coming toward
the camera, just as a fish would see them! A trico spinner is a tiny bug - but
they look like big black blobs on the surface of that stream - easily detectible.
There is simply too much information in these DVD's to condense in a single
review. If a picture if worth a thousand words - then how much is a couple hours
of moving pictures like these worth? More than I can guess. These are not your
typical "Bob goes fishing" DVD's. These are videos of fish - doing
what they do in a natural setting - and we as anglers can certainly learn from every frame. Ozzie takes us into The Underwater World
of Trout as has never been done before. Global Class? Oh yeah.