By rights I should be posting a photo of the current dire weather conditions, but I can't face that on a Monday morning. Instead, here is a shot of one of my most favourite places on earth, the Isles of Scilly. Yes, we love to talk about the weather here in the UK, indeed some would say that we are mildly obsessed with it, but come on, let's be honest here, just how bad has this "summer" been so far ? Can it get any worse ?
I had an awesome week on the Isle of Wight with my family, taking full advantage of any sunshine we got to head to the beach and go fishing for crabs, blennies and prawns with my two young girls. Luckily they still think their dad is quite sane when he jumps into the water and comes out clutching a crab in his hands !! How long they will think I am relatively cool for is anybody's guess though. But we had a blast - on one day we would all be whacking the suncream on, and on the next my wife and I would be walking across the beach in a bracing 50mph breeze. We got the lot and I loved it.
The week started off fairly costly though as my sheepdog Jess cut her paw really badly on a rock and we had to take her to the vet to get the wound stitched up properly - not cheap, but vets know we'll pay virtually anything to look after our pets. Jess is still not allowed to go for proper walks, it was not a nice cut at all, but hopefully soon she will be fully healed so I can take her fishing again.
Anyway, back to work with a vengeance, and life is about to get properly hectic again. I am off over to Jersey to photograph some bass fishing later this week for a few days, flying straight out of my local airport here in Plymouth - very handy.
Another week or so here after Jersey and I then head over to the east coast of Canada to photograph some more of this awesome Atlantic salmon fishing they have in these incredible crystal clear rivers. Sight fishing for these fish blew me away last year, and I can't wait for this trip. There are a load of photos from that trip here, and you can find a photo essay here. Like last year, I will be travelling with Pete from Aardvark McLeod. And I rather bet Pete is hoping that we will not be sharing rooms so he can get some sleep - I tend to take a while to adjust to time differences and I seriously struggle to keep quiet when I wake up at 3am all the time. All I want to do is get out there and get the pictures, and I can't stand having to wait for dawn !!
Virtually straight after this trip to Canada, I am turning around and heading back over to south east Ireland to get a load more bass fishing photos - plus some fishing of course !! As always for this kind of trip, I will be getting the Stena Line ferry from Fishguard to Rosslare. This is such a good way of getting to Ireland as you can carry all the gear you need and not worry for one second about weight restrictions etc. Check out a load of photos from my trip there a while back, see here.
I have been keeping in close contact with Graham over in Ireland, and when the weather has relented they have been catching some fantastic bass as always. Jealous, me ? Never.....
I am getting back from Ireland in time for my eldest daughter's 4th birthday - where does time go ? Then a week or so here at home before heading off to South Africa for ten days to photograph some rock and surf fishing near to the Mozambique border, and then some fly fishing for yellowfish on the Vaal river. See here for some yellowfish photos that I shot a while back. I can't wait to get back to Africa, it has been too long. There is no place on earth that feels the same as Africa.
And then in October I am trying to plan it that I will be here in the UK for a decent length of time. It's all very well shooting all this material, but I then need time here to sell it properly, and I am also rather hoping that an Indian summer might just come along to give me a few more weeks on the bass fishing around here. Not much is happening right now with near gale force onshore winds, but a friend of mine had a load of nice bass on bait early last week before the monster winds. The fish are there, but too often we can't get at them. I am hearing of a few fish to plugs as well, but again, only when the weather allows it.
I heard last week from my mate Cato over in Norway that a friend of his had just landed a 50lb halibut on the fly !!! I am really pleased to hear of this being done in Europe, so well done to the angler concerned - to actually go out and do this far out fly fishing takes some doing, believe me. I know that big halibut on the fly are a real possibility out at Rost, where we made a fishing programme and also I shot a load of monster coalfish on the fly, see here for the photos. April, May and into June are your best times for a go at the halibut.
Make sure to check out Nick Hart's blog here. Not only has he gone and revamped the look of it, but you should check out his post here about an open day he is holding at Exe Valley Fishery on Saturday 30th August. Get yourself along for the day, it will be a blast.