The Lost World of Mr Hardy DVD
Reviewed by Brad Harris
Hardy’s. In fly fishing, that simple name epitomises fineness and class. It’s a name that has been both on the pedestal and lying broken beside it. Specialised fly gear owes a lot to the developments pioneered by the Hardy brothers of Alnwick, and appreciation of the brand is unwavering today.

This documentary DVD celebrates and chronicles the rise and fall and rise of the Hardy Brothers’ company, in an incredibly candid and intimate way.As the story unfolds through interviews and vintage footage, I found myself falling in love with the Hardys and wanting to meet the current employees.

Although I’m something of a tackle junkie, I had never really been a Hardy devotee, unlike thousands who are. As I watched, however, I began to revere the brand as a generation before me had, wishing I had bought a classic piece of Hardy equipment when they were still hand-made in England. I even began entertaining thoughts of becoming a collector, until the scene where a crusty old reel sells for ten thousand pounds at auction.

The documentary was made by proper film-makers, and as such is much more polished than just “fishing-porn”. In stark contrast to the usual crop, this film is a wonderful balance of artistry, information, and technical expertise. Never dull, the imagery is sensational. Masterfully edited interviews are punctuated by cameos of birds, fishing waters, tackle production past and present, trout finning in the current, old photographic stills and the Hardy’s own home movies. Former and current employees speak of their work with pride and infectious passion. Their eyes fairly sparkle as they tell their own snippets of the Hardy history and their part in it.

James Hardy, the last of the dynasty to wholly own the company before its merger with Greys, speaks openly of the company’s successes and failures, its good and bad times. The quality of the film is without fault; equal to any Hollywood production, except that this has something they will never have… soul. My wife groaned when I told her I was going to watch a fly fishing DVD, but she was soon drawn in, and watched it to the end with me.

Regardless of subject matter, it is an exceptional documentary. The fact that it is about one of fly fishing’s great marques is a bonus. If fly fishing means more to you than just catching fish, you should have this DVD.

Visit www.taranskybamboo.com.au to purchase.

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