There’s nothing like the meditative peace of the riverbank, the silence and the mist on the water, broken only by the longed-for excitement of wrestling and reeling in a wily predator. But while we’re crammed indoors and can only dream of all the fish out there merrily splashing about without us, we can at least live a little through TV.

The new series Fish Or Die on Discovery Family (DStv 136) introduces fly fisherman Jay Johnson, and his extreme angling best buddies Chris Owens, Tad Robison and Brian Jill, whose latest adventure is going to strike bass-green envy into the hearts of anglers everywhere as they travel around the world fishing in exotic locations. But at least we know that they will appreciate it properly. “When a fish takes (the bait), there’s nothing else in the world you can think of. The pressures of this world are completely washed away as soon as the fish takes. That’s anywhere, any fish,” Jay insists.

Meet the cast

The guys will be venturing into wild places in search of rare fish that they will then capture and study, along with their habitats. And they’ll be getting to know local people along unspoilt stretches of rivers, learning new skills to suit their environment. “It’s very rare to interact with nature in such a directly deep and methodical way. To understand fish means to understand their environment that they live in. You must understand why they do what they do for good success, and you don’t always win. That takes study, thought and understanding. It’s like environmental chess,” says Jay.

What’s the catch?

Fish Or Die features a who’s who of fantastic fish, and a promising bit of globetrotting to boot. It was an eight-month filming journey that took the guys through all climates and landscapes. Episodes might air out of order, but here’s the basic catch of the day. Will the anglers strike it lucky? Watch and see:

  • Episode 1: The giant golden dorado (redundant, we know) in a tributary of the AmazonRiver in Bolivia.
  • Episode 2: Thetigerfishin Zambia.
  • Episode 3: Arctic char in Greenland.
  • Episode 4:Taimenin Mongolia. “We put together a 46-horse pack-string and headed cross country over mountain passes, through swamp bogs. I mean we went straight through the wilderness -- no trails -- to reach the headwaters of this river system on the Russian border,” reveals Chris, who suffered a devilish horse and freezing temperatures during this quest.
  • Episode 5: The mahseer in Borneo’s jungles.“In Borneo, the rain wouldn’t stop, and the river rose 20ft and washed out part of our camp. The ground-saturated giant trees startedfalling down and almost crushed a few of us sleeping in our hammocks,” says Brian. He hints that fishing fans can also expect to visit some sacred sites, including a wall of skulls. One drawback? Giant jungle leeches.
  • Episode 6: Tarpon in Mexico.
  • Episode 7: Barramundi in Australia.
  • Episode 8: Giant trevally in Milne Bay in Papua New Guinea.
  • Episode 9: Bonefish in Lake Windsor on Inagua Island in the West Indies.
  • Episode 10: Arapaima in the Amazon in Ecuador.

The reel pleasure

Chris adds that viewers will be able to enjoy everything but the personal thrill of the catch. “It’s all about the journey and the adventure to get to the fish. Fishing has brought us to the far reaches of the globe to experience new cultures and explore crazy landscapes. If you catch a fish, it’s a bonus. Also there are no limitations with fishing. There’s a never-ending learning curve, and you can go down the rabbit hole as deep as you want.”

Watch Fish Or Die S1 on Friday, 15 May on Discovery Family (136) at 21:50

Or binge the first couple of episodes on DStv Catch Up

How to watch DStv online

Sign up for DStv Now, a free service for all DStv subscribers. With DStv Now the same channels you watch on your decoder at home are available for you to stream online, or using the DStv Now app on your phone.

Go fish!