From the time I got up yesterday morning until I was halfway back home after the job, it never stopped raining (pouring) for one second. That is from 5.30am until 5pm - up until this particular photo job, the wettest day I have ever photographed was out in Canada last year, see here. But yesterday has now taken first prize, and I am proud to be able to award that prize to a UK day, during summer of course. I tell you what, I am getting pretty good at this "do the photo job from under a huge golfing umbrella" kind of photography, and it was so extreme yesterday that it has actually turned out looking very cool indeed.
I was out with Nick Hart up at the stunning Southwood trout fishery near to Barnstaple in North Devon - what a great place, and without doubt the best quality stocked rainbow trout I have ever seen in the UK. They were stunning fish - firm bodies, fantastic fins and great strength. To see stocked trout like this is really good news, and if you are into your fly fishing, you really should go and fish this place (telephone 01271 343608). Nestled down at the bottom of a steep valley, the owner Nigel Early is a thoroughly nice guy and he breeds awesome trout. Nick helped his young son Thomas out yesterday, and managed to get him into a nice trout approaching 10lbs. Check out the near 9lb one that Nick landed in the photo above.
I have to give full credit to the guys' waterproofs, for without them it would have been a thoroughly miserable experience in all that rain. Both Nick and I highly rate the Greys GRXi range of fly fishing clothing, and I wear the stuff a lot for my shore fishing - a pair of chest waders and the GRXI wading jacket work really well together. It was ok for me yesterday, as I spent most of the time with this big golfing umbrella stuffed down the front of my wading jacket and into my waders - I feel like a big lampshade when I walk around like this, but it works. I hate being beaten by the weather, and if you stick at it like we did yesterday, the results are usually very much worth the extra effort. The shame is that no photograph is ever going to really show just how hard the rain was coming down. You might get some sense of it from the photo above - look at the surface of the lake. Today is a completely different day altogether.
Above you can see Nick bringing one of his trout to the net towards the end of the day. We had a blast and I am really looking forward to getting back to Southwood for a big blue sky cold winter day - I reckon it would look great like this, and the trout will be in even better condition than they are at the moment.
The forecast looks good for a quick crack at the bass late this afternoon and on until dusk. It's neap tides, but I like the look of the conditions. The faster I can get through what I have to do here, the sooner I can go fishing !! Not that these magnificent fish have got me badly hooked or anything like that.......
On the extreme metal front, you seriously need to check out the new CD from Ihsahn, called "Angl" - as you will no doubt know I am sure, this guy was the frontman for one of the most revered black metal bands of all time, Emperor, and his solo music is really growing on me. Check out some tracks here.
And what about this for perfect timing - Nick Hart and I are close to heading out to photograph some spectacular trout fishing in Montana, and I have just picked up a new CD from a new Montana based metal band called Martriden. It is awesome, and I reckon these guys could really be a force to reckon with in the years to come. Perhaps their harsh winters and famous big blue summer skies have inspired this delightfully brutal and catchy album called "The Unsettling Dark" - check here for some tracks. Once again I am able to present a subtle mix of fishing and extreme metal !! I'm getting good at this........