Stealth With A Fly

This new release from Stealth Films (NZ) is purely an instructional DVD, featuring Te Anau guide Dean Bell. It is not a jaw-dropping documentary like Hatch or Leviathan and it is not a fun-filled adventure like Only The River Knows. It is aimed squarely at the ‘average’ do-it-yourself angler fishing South Island streams perhaps for the first time.

I’ve fished with Dean Bell and can vouch for his abilities as a guide. Short of booking him for 3 or 4 days, this is a fast and affordable way to benefit from his tuition as he takes a ‘typical client’ through various stalking scenarios. Rather than showing faultless presentation skills and perfect loops, the ‘client’ makes most of the casts (read mistakes), with Dean providing helpful hints and demonstrations along the way.

Seeing the fish and watching the line fall short, time and time again, can be frustrating, but it is intended to reinforce the lessons. Being instructional this film may fall short in terms of the ‘excitement’ factor, and surprisingly it actually lacks ‘stealth’ (white hat included), which is doubtless a tribute to the naivity of Fiordland trout. But it does demonstrate the importance of planning, casting, presentation, mending, drift, and fly changes — particularly dry to nymph.

For any beginner or intermediate angler planning a trip to the South Island, watching Stealth with a Fly will be 90 minutes well spent. The Fiordland scenery of course is wonderful and the fish superb as they feed undisturbed in the clearest of water.

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