There is a brand new issue of the online magazine Catch out now - see here. It does not matter what kind of fishing you do, whether it's saltwater, fly or coarse, because I presume that most fishermen like to check out awesome looking fishing. Catch magazine continues to blow me away with the quality of the work in there, and this issue they have gone mad and dropped a photo of mine in there - have a look in the Light Series for my shot.
The first photo in that First Light section is simply outstanding, and it was shot by the famous US fly fishing photographer Val Atkinson. Check out more of his work here. OK, so some of us may never go to some of the places featured in Catch magazine, but that is not the point. This online magazine in my mind is a simple celebration of all that is good about fishing - the fact that if photographed well, fishing can look so inviting and impressive. The better we make fishing look to everybody, the better our chances are for keeping this great sport going. That is how I see things anyway.
I am a fairly useless fly fisherman myself, but to photograph fly fishing is just plain awesome. Many of the world's most beautiful and remote areas are regularly accessed by pioneering fly fishermen, and it this spirit of adventure that I find such an appealing part of fishing. Sure, we tend to all love our "home" fishing the best (give me a bass any day of the week), but just the sniff of a chance to experience different species, cultures, techniques and people is what drives a large part of my work. I know that lots of anglers are never going to venture overseas to fish, but surely there is no harm in dreaming ?
And my favourite place on earth ? It has to be Ireland. I fell for Africa ages ago, indeed a part of me would love to live and work in South Africa, but Ireland just feels that extra bit special to me. It did the first time I ever went. Every time I go over there I can hardly sleep for the excitement. OK, so Ireland has some outstanding bass fishing, but what most sea anglers do not realise is that there are so many miles of basically unexplored and unfished coastline over there. The more effort you put into a place like Ireland, the more you will get out. In these credit crunch times, and even with the Euro being so bad for us, you can still do Ireland very cheaply. And of course there is some fantastic fly and coarse fishing over there as well.
I like my shore-based fishing to be as far away from the crowds as possible, and it still amazes me how few people I see shore fishing in Ireland. The guys who know their fishing tend to fish out of the way places, much like around here, but there is so much easily accessible water over there that can chuck up such good fishing. I defy anybody's jaw not to hit the floor when you are fishing areas like the Beara peninsular, the Ring of Kerry and the Clare coastline. What about heading west from Cork ? And what about the virtually deserted coast of the south east ? Ireland is simply stunning. There is so much more I want to see out there - wild islands offshore on the west coast where I hear rumours of mind-blowing pollack fishing. Acres of water stuffed full or rays and huss. Huge mullet swimming around with nobody to fish for them.......
See what I mean about dreaming ? Fishing is about dreaming, and something like Catch magazine simply stokes the fires further. One of these days I am going to do what I have dreamt about for years now, and that is to jump in a camper van and take myself off to remote parts of Ireland I have never been to and simply roam and fish until I drop. To dream is good.