Video spotlight

Video spotlight: Gold Fever

Late one night some years back, when our twins were babies and we didn’t sleep much, my wife and I stumbled across a quirky TV show called “Gold Fever” on Outdoor Channel.

What was a gold prospecting show doing on a channel that mostly featured fishing and hunting shows? Well, it turns out the guy who started the Gold Prospectors Association of America later founded the Outdoor Channel so he didn’t have to buy airtime on other stations.

I haven’t seen the show lately, but back then it was pretty much just guys going out panning and dredging for gold. They weren’t even particularly nutty, reality-show-type characters. And yet it was pretty interesting, maybe because we’re all harbor dreams of one day hitting the mother lode.

Prospecting for treasture is what the guys are doing in this film — a different kind of “Gold Fever.”

In this International Fly Fishing Film Festival entry, Class5FlyFishing’s Robby Hogg and some other brave dudes run a gnarly section of the Middle Fork of the American River in the foothills of California’s Sierras in a quest to tangle with big, wild brown trout.

How gnarly is the river? Let’s put it this way, throughout much of the video the guys are fishing while wearing whitewater helmets.

And how big are the browns? Let’s put it this way, they’ll make you give serious thought to going on a trip where a helmet is required attire. — Mark Taylor

By Mark Taylor. A native of rural southern Oregon, Mark Taylor has lived in Virginia since serving a stint as a ship-based naval officer in Norfolk. He joined the TU staff in 2014 after a 20-year run as a newspaper journalist, the final 16 as the outdoors editor of the Roanoke Times. A graduate of Northwestern University, he lives in Roanoke with his wife and, when they're home from college, his twin daughters.