Monday, 13 October 2008

A Salmon on Film .... Finally!

Its been a mad few weeks and although October really marks the end of the season we still have plenty of people attending courses. In fact I reckon these folk have picked just the right time because the weather has been unbelievable! I was looking after Bill Graysmark during the weekend and spent both days in shirt sleeves!

I will catch up on all the latest catches and news very soon but as Scarlet is one tomorrow (can you believe that too ... a year old already ... where does the time go?) I had better sort this post and get home. We will be celebrating in the evening as tomorrow I have Carp and Pike to catch to complete my filming with Shaun Fenton of Diesel Films.


We were both out today and by 10am, could breath a huge sigh of relief. Catching a Salmon on camera was always going to be a tough task with the recent weather and water changes. However on our first shoot I had a rush of blood to the head culminating in the loss of a fish after just 2 hours of fishing. Nothing transpired again that day. We met again for a second and third day and that's when the rubber hook syndrome began. A further 3 fish were hooked and all came unstuck. Watching the rushes at Shaun's studio in London it was evident that a fish was desperately needed.

Fortunately the season has been extended on the Exe by the Enviroment Agency for research purposes and so today we were out very early in the hope of putting this episode to bed. The first couple of hours shot past and despite the water looking good nothing came of our efforts. I got on the walkie talkie to Neil who was fishing a mile above us and he reported lots of fish showing so pretty sharp we were on our way. I say we as Andrew Maund who has caught a staggering number of Salmon in his lifetime was also out on a last dash mission for the king of fish.


Arriving at Blackpool it was evident that fish were in residence but Neil reported that autumn leaves flowing down the river were causing real problems. To combat this we armed our tube with a very sharp single hook and got down to business. It was right at the back of the pool when the line just stopped, pulled steadily tight and then I experienced that wonderful "thud, thud" on the tip of the rod as my fish realised its mistake. The battle took place over deep water and I have to say that when this particular fish hit the net I have rarely taken should a relieved breath! The fish was in the region of 7lb + and pretty red after a good amount of time in the river. But an aggressive cock fish in spawning colours is quite a sight and taking these fish on single handed rods is truly awesome fun.

I did my waffle, the fish went back and we then just had to shoot a few fill ins to complete the day. One of these sections involved discussing the use of varying hook types when dealing with leaves flowing down the river. Stepping back into the river I chucked the line across stream and nonchalantly said to Shaun "you watch this, a Salmon will take". Of course I didn't really believe this for one minute so imagine my surprise when the line ripped tight as I was stripping back across stream! Shaun took a few seconds to realise that I wasn't kidding around and again we set off in pursuit of another fish that was charging off downstream. I played that fish for a while and had it close to the net when it it threw the hook but this time instead of despair I was happy to have enjoyed such a thrilling few minutes. How strange this fishing game is. 3 1/2 filming days for 4 hooked and lost fish when we could have had it bagged in under two hours. Then two Salmon decide to take in two casts ... that's why I love this game, you just never know ....

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