No Sports Allowed, Volumes 1 and 2

When Volume 1 of No Sports Allowed hit the market 3 years ago, I was in line early for my copy of the dvd. Actually that’s lie, because I didn’t really stand in a line. Truth be told, I avoid lines and crowds whenever possible. But I did order an advance copy because I was eager to see what it was all about.

I am not what I would consider a connoisseur or collector of fly fishing videos, but I do enjoy good footage of fly fishing set to the sounds of good music, and to that end I was not disappointed with No Sports Allowed, Vol 1. In fact, I was rather pleasantly surprised by the contents. It was better than I expected, even though I wasn’t quite sure what to expect in the first place. Having seen a few fly fishing films with music soundtracks, I can tell you that they all have a couple things in common: fly fishing and music. And there’s nothing wrong with that (duh!). But after you’ve seen one, you may feel like you’ve seen them all. No Sports Allowed (NSA) Volume 1 was different from anything I’d seen previously, and what I particularly enjoyed about it was the approach the crew took when capturing the footage: those in front of and behind the camera are good, solid fishermen, but they’re obviously having a huge amount of fun and not taking themselves too seriously. It’s almost as if what you’re witnessing is just a bunch of unpretentious guys out doing what they love.

Actually, that’s exactly what it is.

So when the second dvd arrived in the mail recently I was expecting more of the same, and again I was not disappointed. Volume 2 is more of the same, with emphasis on more because No Sports Allowed, Vol. 2 is considerably longer. It’s also better than the first, in my subjective opinion. As I said, I liked Volume 1. But in the time since it was produced, the crew has honed their cinematography skills such that it’s even better this time around.

Like Volume 1, the second dvd is broken into chapters of sorts and each chapter is as different as its accompanying soundtrack. Footage spans everything from guys roping a raft through some water that is obviously best not floated, to 3 young boys exhibiting what fishing, when stripped down to the basics, is all about: having fun. There’s fast, furious fishing through harrowing waters where only an experienced oarsman would dare go, to a lazy bend in a small river that appears to be no more than 10 feet across. Some of the music is hard-pounding, edgy rock while other songs dial it back several notches and feature toe-tapping acoustic guitars. Chapters 5 and 6 feature my favorite tunes, respectively: Fly of my Dreams by Joe Rood and Robby Mason; and No More Time to Lose by Joe Rood. Your opinions may vary, but that’s the beauty of the dvd–there’s something for everybody.

Like the music and fishing footage, the fish caught are themselves widely varied.  Some of the trout caught are not large even by my standards, while others are real brutes. All are beautiful, as trouts tend to be, and fish of every size are featured, from diminutive brookies to respectable browns. For the “wow factor”, some absolute slab rainbows are caught in what appears to be a giant spring creek. The smorgasbord of fish porn is certain to entertain all, but you’ll be left with the feeling that this is all within grasp of the average fisherman.

What an unaccomplished angler like me enjoys about a dvd like this is that it’s real, not make-believe. In other words I can actually imagine myself fishing for those fish, on those waters. Videos shot in far off and exotic locales such as Mongolia, New Zealand or Patagonia are fun to watch, but face it–how many of us Joe Average anglers are ever going to experience something like that?  Conversely, fishing for believable fish in Eastern Idaho doesn’t take a stretch of the imagination. That being said, actually landing some of those fish may not be as easy as the guys in the dvd make it look.

If there’s one thing missing that I’d like to see included with the dvd’s it would be a detailed booklet complete with GPS coordinates for the waters featured in the film. Something makes me think that’s not likely to happen, but a guy can dream, can’t he?

If you want to treat yourself to some great music, lively fishing (and other) footage laced with a solid dose of humor and plenty of great fish, look no further than No Sports Allowed, Volumes 1 and 2.  Oh, and the teaser footage of Volume 3 looks to provide yet more of the same, plus a LOT more.  I’ll be first in line for it.

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