Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

Exmoor fly fishing - on a grey day

I was out photographing some really cool looking small river, intimate fly fishing for wild browns yesterday - and the light simply did not play ball at all, in fact it stayed resolutely grey for most of the day. But the beauty of where we were high up on Exmoor was that I could take the sky completely out of the equation and thus make the place light up a bit. What a stunning part of the westcountry, and I would imagine that where we were is fished very little.

The resident wild browns in these kinds of rivers are not particularly big, but that's not the point to this fishing, and I love being around it as much as possible. Real skill is required to catch these cagey fish, especially when the water is a bit high and running really fast like it was yesterday. Light rods, a touch of finesse, indeed to me it's fishing in about the purest form possible. A river like The Test might be a lot more famous than where we were yesterday (and a load more expensive, manicured and stuffed full of stocked fish), but I know what I would rather do..............

To get a shot like the one above means I have to wait until the guys have fished the pool, because my shadow and clomping around on the bridge would spook any fish within a couple of miles !! Let the guys do their thing, and then jump in there to get a few photos of them fishing upstream dry flies. Simple stuff, but I love it.

Just look at how narrow the river is where the guys are fishing above - this fly fishing is hugely demanding stuff and I can see why people like it so much. We finally saw a little bit of light at the end of the day as we were walking back to the truck, but by then the job was done. I don't mind a lack of decent light so much if I can work without putting the sky into these kinds of photos, unless it looks really moody and threatening, and I can then hold it with a graduated filter. But it was plain grey yesterday, and I am pretty pleased with what I got. Thanks guys.

I am driving up to Belvoir Castle on Thursday for the CLA Game Fair on Friday, Saturday and Sunday - check here for all the details, and I hope to see some of you there. It's a seriously good weekend and I am really looking forward to getting up there. Here are the times for the demontrations I will be doing together with Nick Hart in the fishing area of the show :

Friday 24th July - 11.30am

Saturday 25th July - 11.30am

Sunday 26th July - 10.45am

The bass fishing in Ireland is starting to fire big time - I got a call from Patrick last night, telling me about lots of decent sized fish they have taken over the last couple of days, including a bunch on surface lures very, very close in. Is there anything in fishing more exciting than a fish nailing a surface lure ? I think not. Check out some details of this bass fishing on Patrick's blog right here. I can't think of a better way to go and fish the awesome south east coastline of Ireland than booking Patrick up to be your fishing guide. I will be out there soon and you can not believe how excited I am............