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Fabulous British videos
Instructor, narrator, producer etc.: Oliver Edwards
Reviewed by Martin Joergensen I first heard of - or rather saw - Oliver Edwards videos on a cd that was packaged with the British magazine Fly Fishing & Fly Tying. The cd featured some short cuts from the six tapes. I was shown the video snippets on a computer screen by a friend, and was already at that point impressed and intrigued.
When my VHS copies arrived one afternoon I broke the seal of the top one - not the first as such, as there seemed to be no obvious sequence - and stuck it in my VCR. And I was spellbound. I saw two complete videos that afternoon. And I was supposed to have worked -
These videos are the best fly tying and fly fishing videos I have ever seen, period!
The combination of Edwards' knowledgeable instructions spoken in his charming Yorkshire dialect combined with the excellent production, photography and cutting makes every minute of these videos worth watching.
The set up is basically as we know it from countless videos:
So why are these so much better?
Well, first of all Edwards is good.
Despite the fact that Oliver Edwards is most known for his very complex and lifelike imitations, these flies seem like something most of us could overcome. Mind you, there are many tying steps in most of them, but the instructions are clear, and the photography is very explanatory with great extreme close ups as well as shots of hands and the full table top.
Luckily the variation of patterns over the tapes is great: from Edwards' own undeniably complicated Heptagenid Nymph and Mohican Mayfly with numerous materials and dozens of tying steps to Frank Saywer's absolute counterparts: The Killer Bug and Phesant Tail Nymph - each consisting of only two materials.
Having tied the flies, simple or complex, Edwards ventures to a selected stream to fish them. And what scenery! All the classic types of British waters - even Saywer's home waters on the Upper Avon. Edwards goes quickly through rod selection and onto leader; an element he repeatedly (and rightfully) stresses for all the types of fishing he demonstrates.
And then he fishes; slowly and patiently shows how to use the particular flies of that tape for the particular method he wants to illustrate.
All in good order, all very charming and very entertaining. Believe me, Edwards' small comments are sometimes very witty, and the spice of his dialect makes them no less entertaining.
Each tape has its theme with accompanying patterns. The six volumes cover:
Materials for the patterns are listed on the inside of the cover, or in one case - Czech nymphing - in a small booklet in the box. In this case the inside sports a small story about how Edwards came to know about the technique.
If you have any interest in stream fishing and want more than six hours of instructive video, these videos cannot be recommended highly enough. Even at a price of 19 UK£ or 30 US$ they are worth the money.
The videos have since this review was first published been made available on DVD, enabling the viewer to get even better quality and go directly to any scene.
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