Alan and I started making this film early last month, you can check out the blog entry for that here. What a difference a month makes, the first thing that strikes you is the complete lack of anglers! Yep, was on the water a good chunk of the afternoon and most of the evening and did not see one other angler. Unlike our previous efforts trying to find a bit of space on the bank to chuck a line was tough going. The camera gear is heavy and we did not want to go far so I plumped to just take Alan down to the weir pool to start. From the bridge over the river, several good fish could be seen glued to the bottom but steadily moving from left to right taking the odd morsel flowing down the river.
Alan really wanted the fish rising to a dry fly shot and I really want a camper van but that’s no happening either, I made some attempt with the dry but it was clear that the fish were feeding deep. On with the nymph, I told Alan I could see a nice fish feeding away and my cast was only a little off, the fish moved to intercept the nymph and I lifted. The rod buckled over and I was into a big brown I had to move down the bank to get to a spot where I could net the fish but as I moved and tried to get to the margin the fish came off. Disappointed was not the word I used at the time the language was a lot more colourful. Oh well, Alan said just get another one. The next cast saw me hook another fish a decent Grayling but it never saw the net coming off again as I was trying to get into a position to net the fish.
I messed about a bit changing nymph trying to get the right weight of fly until eventually, I tried a Pixie with a 3.5mm tungsten bead, it was like cat nip to a moggy! Nearly every cast would produce a fish or a missed opportunity the fish were mad for it. Alan was pleased getting plenty of good footage as well as some still images that he has allowed me to use on this blog entry. After catching a good half a dozen reasonable trout, it was time to push on and try and get that elusive dry fly take. So, we packed up the gear and trotted upstream a little. On the way we stopped to do a little bit of narrative for the film, this was a little more difficult than you would think. It took more takes than I care to admit there were various reasons the light was not right but mostly I was shite! We had a right good laugh and eventually I gave Alan something he could use.
Having pushed up to the beginning of the wading section I could see a couple of fish sipping away on the top while Alan was setting up the gear. The first fish is an old friend and I have seen it several times in the past it sits in the same place often with its head just out the water hoovering up tasty tit bits as they drift down the stream. I had a tentative cast and I watched the fish come and have a good look before giving me the bird and turning away. I turned to Alan and said I had just had a refusal and was going to target the next fish. The fish was covered perfectly even if I do say so myself, it turned on the fly leisurely and as it turned to go back down I lifted into it. It was a cracking big fish and I turned to Alan to see if he had gotten the take. He hadn’t, it was like missing the “I do” at a wedding at least the fish made it safely to the net. The best fish of the day and it had obviously been in the river a while there were no tell-tale tags that the club has been using to denote stocked fish.
Try as I might to replicate scene I failed there were the odd chances and I snapped up on another good fish we could not get the shot. I suggested going back to the weir pool to see if the fish there had started to come up. The water looked barren of insect life though and only the occasional fish was showing. As the light was going quickly out of the day our time for filming was running out. Alan wanted some footage of me casting towards the camera before calling it a day. As he was directing me where to cast a nice wildy came up and snaffled the dry fly down. Alan managed to capture that on film so the mission was complete. We had a great day the fish joined in Alan got what he wanted and we had a great laugh to boot.
Many thanks to Alan Ward for the use of his excellent photographs.