Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

Stunning double-handed casting

Canon 1D MK111, 16-35mm f2.8L lens (at 16mm), ISO 400, f5, 1/400, polarising filter

I had an easy journey out here to the Namsen river in Norway - a couple of short flights and then a fairly long drive to where are staying. This place is stunning, although the river level is very low - somewhat different to the UK !! Today has been a beautiful day and it was a time to shoot a lot of casting photos. The main guy I am working with is Ian Gordon from Scotland, who is working closely with Hardy Greys on their salmon and double-handed gear - you would not believe how awesome this guy is with a two-handed fly rod. It is pure magic to watch Ian cast, and nailing it on camera is a blast. There is very little Ian does not know about Atlantic salmon fishing and using double-handed rods, but he is just so modest about it all. The local guys here who have watched him cast today were somewhat blown away. There is simply no thrashing of the air and water as there is with my own fly casting - Ian puts immense power in, make no mistake, but it is all used at the right time and in the right way.

There are some monster salmon in the Namsen, indeed we saw plenty of fish of all sizes moving around and jumping today, but the light was very bright and only one smallish one was actually landed. But we are just about to head out again to take advantage of the lower light levels - bearing in mind that it is never going to get properly dark at this time of year where we are. I am very glad that my hotel room has got black-out blinds, otherwise my time clock would be all over the place. The chances of a few fish this evening are very good we are told..........

1D MK111, 16-35mm f2.8L lens (at 16mm), ISO 200, f16, 1/30th, polarising filter, Gitzo Traveller tripod

Above is a stunning little church that overlooks the mighty Namsen river, something that I just had to photograph against this massive blue sky and fluffy white clouds. There is just so much fishing out here in Norway, something that we in the UK really should cotton on to more - we come across and do a bit of "bash big cod" fishing, and there is nowhere like it for that, but there is so much more.......

Canon 1D MK111, 70-200mm f2.8L IS lens (at 70mm), ISO 400, f8, 1/640th

I was walking back to the top of the best to pick up my camera bag when I saw Martin Kelly fishing the head of a stunning looking pool you can see above. The secret here was to underexpose the shot to keep the contrast on the angler and the water, thus keeping the de-focused trees I have used to frame the shots nice and dark.

Canon 1D MK111, 70-200mm f2.8L IS lens (at 70mm), ISO 400, f5, 1/500th, Gitzo Traveller tripod

We pulled away from the fishing just after lunch to go and nail some proper casting shots further down river where it was more open, and the light remained perfect. Ian had been casting all morning with this 16' Hardy Swift rod, and when required, was putting out huge lines and covering lots of water. The trained eye will know how good an example of a Snake Roll this is.

Anyway, I had better clear my memory cards and get back out there - what a place to be working. I love my job !! And how well is the cricket going ? Come on England, we can do it.

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