Friday 9 December 2011
I am a total mash of different emotions at the moment. 2011 will have been perhaps the busiest year of my life, with two books now in their final proofs and design stages. There's still a while to wait for publication in each case, but it's exciting already just to see "Fly Fishing for Coarse Fish" now listed on Amazon to preorder! I am especially proud of the cover shot- one of the best of some 20 000 taken in the last twelve months. Behind one glossy book cover is a campaign of muddy, long haul trips and endless planning and writing- some disappointments but also some remarkable catches I hope.
The real thrill will perhaps be to contribute something of a permanent reference point in angling. Magazine features are great, but they're there and then they're gone. A hardback with over 200 pages of my best words and pictures is very different. On the home straight, my feelings are mixed to say the least- relief, trepidation, pride, a hint of exhaustion. If nothing else, I hope plenty of fellow anglers enjoy "Fly Fishing for Coarse Fish" and give something new a try. Some of the chapters took real determination (tench, zander), but other species are just so perfectly suited to fly fishing I can't quite fathom why we're not already flyfishing for chub, rudd, carp etc in our droves.
Text is one thing, but I also wanted to show the methods in practise with a DVD of the same title, which includes roach, rudd, carp and last of all pike, which I've just finished filming with Steve Lockett. Film work is a very different pressure- juggling different camera angles with a loose script and the need to catch in a limited time frame. A slow start on the Levels didn't help, with rains really stirring up my chosen drain. Having taken just one tiny pike, plan B was an afternoon on the Taunton to Bridgwater Canal.
A smart move as it turned out, because the water was much clearer and although hardly on fire I managed a further five pike to around 5lbs. The best fly seemed to be a pink number, which really stood out and was also, interestingly, the only colour to get any response in coloured water early in the day.
Credit is also due to film maker Steve Lockett, my partner in crime for the DVD. From the footage you might guess there were several cameras- when in truth it's just one intrepid camera man- scaling banks, dodging casts and getting up to the armpits in cold water. You'll have to watch this space for a trailer- but most of the project save some fly tying sequences is now finished.