Reviewed by Martin Joergensen If you have been a regular on GFF for any time during its long existence, you will know that my everyday fishing is chasing sea run brown trout - we call them sea trout.
There has been lots of books and a number of videos out on the subject of sea trout fishing, but most of it in Danish. There is some Swedish, Norwegian and even German material out there, but very little in English.
That changed dramatically when Danish photographer, writer and film maker Niels Vestergaard released his four DVD's on the subject in English. Now you have access to some of the finest material on coastal sea trout fishing with English narration and subtitles.
Niels Vestergaard has already opened a whole new world to many Danish anglers with these DVD's. The advice about gear, flies and tactics is spot on in most cases and very useful to both beginners and more seasoned anglers, but the stunning underwater footage is what really makes a difference here, and certainly something I have heard more than one very experienced sea trout angler express both fascination and surprise over.
Niels has been deploying video cameras in the spots that are fished by the anglers who appear in the videos. That means that we can see what happens over the surface - in many cases not much - as well as underwater, which is a surprising lot considering the lack of action above water.
Not that there isn't any action. There's plenty! We will not only see seasoned, Danish anglers fishing and explaining how they do, but also see them hook a lot of fish... and loose a lot of fish. I have never seen as many missed sea trout strikes as we see here, but that's a whole other story.
The information and advice conveyed by the anglers in the videos is very sound and useful, but as it always is when you hear people talk about something you have been doing for years, some things might not be exactly as you do them. Let's just put it this way: the guys that I fish with and myself do many things fishing related in ways that differ from what you see here. That doesn't make either method right or wrong, but just serves to emphasize that there are different and personal approaches to any kind of fishing.
But as already said: the advice is useful and sensible, and I'm sure that lots of current and coming sea trout anglers have gotten and will get a lot of knowledge that they didn't have before by watching, and we will certainly all learn a lot about sea trout behavior and the way these fish act around prey (and flies!), the way they react to tide and current and much more.
It's fascinating to see schools of nice trout, pairs or single fish pass in the water where you know that an angler has been tossing out flies for hours with no reactions. You realize that this might have happened to yourself many times: fishing is water full of fish, but with no sign of any action at all.
The quality of the video and the content is excellent all the way through all four DVD's. Vestergaard is a skilled videographer who manages to transform into a whole film crew on location, covering many angles and giving you a nice and varied perspective on the scene.
As usual I'll have to be the grumpy old man and complain about the slow motion scenes... I see no reason for slowing down takes and jumps (even the splashing sound) and repeating them. They are definitely exiting enough at full speed, and I honestly get more information from the real time clips than from the slow motion ones, which aren't the stylish ultra slow type shot with high speed cameras but ordinary footage slowed down.
You can ignore this if you feel differently. It's probably just me growing old and loosing the touch with the way things are done nowadays. It will most likely not mean a thing to most viewers. Some might even like it.
The four DVD's are divided into spin and fly with a general DVD on each as well as one that focuses on spring fishing using each method. You can as a fly angler decide to only acquire two of the four, but I honestly think that the DVD's on spin fishing contain almost as much useful information to fly anglers, and will recommend considering purchasing all four.
The price is DKK 169,- per DVD or about 34 US$ or 23 Euros. Buy three or more DVD's at once and the postage is free, or expect to pay 4 Euros for posting to Europe and 8.5 US$ for posting to outside Europe.
Well worth spending if you're into fishing for sea trout or want to learn it.