If you've ever fished the area around Ascension Bay, Boca Paila Lagoon and the Sian Ka'an biosphere in the Yucatan region of Mexico, you understand what an incredible fishery exists there. It is nearly untouched and literally teeming with life. Hence, it is an outstanding location for film making.
Enter RA Beattie and Beattie Outdoor Productions. Anyone who has attended the Fly Fishing Film Tour in recent years is familiar with RA's work, which is consistently some of the best outdoor cinematography available anywhere.
In my book, there are two crucial components to a good fly fishing movie: 1) the eat, and 2) footage of tailing fish. Scenery is great and a good story and soundtrack will go a long way, but these two components are "must haves" for me. Beattie understands this and delivers up a remarkable smorgasbord of eats - from tarpon, snook, redfish, smallmouth bass and trout, plus a bunch of tailing bonefish and permit in Off the Grid.
Two years in the making, Off the Grid is a collection of 19 different films shot in 15 locations. The "bonus features" section alone is worth the price of admission. It includes a segment with over two minutes of footage of nothing but tailing bonefish. At the end of the segment, they pull one of the fattest bonefish I have ever seen out of Biscayne Bay. The DVD also includes the features "Bluewater" - a tale about the pursuit of Guatemalan billfish and "Midwest Tour" - a feature film documenting some of the midwest's finest fishing opportunities.
While that's all good, the real gem here is the Mexican mangrove lagoon segment. The '"cat and mouse" fly chases are incredible and the jack crevalle blitz beginning at 2:13 will blow your mind.
Get it here.