Henry Gilbey
Cape Cod - 1010.jpg


Henry Gilbey blog

When you genuinely couldn't give a stuff about blanking

I would like to present first thing yesterday morning as one of those brief fishing sessions where the act of not even getting anything resembling a bite, let alone actually hooking a fish, mattered not one single bit. Each to their own completely, but if fishing was no more than catching fish to me then I would have given the sport up a long time ago - and no, it's not because I don't catch fish every time I go!! Nope, just the simple act of being out on the coastline on an early morning like we had yesterday - I don't do religion, but when it's that special you have to wonder if there isn't something going on that defies human logic.

Photo for sale as a print, canvas, mousepad etc. - check here

Mark and I were fishing by about 6.45am. Conditions were ok, the tides were perfectly naff, and we found out later when the sun came up that the water was nearly ok but had that milky sort of look. Close to clearing up, indeed I fancy it might with the week ahead we are forecast to get, but put all that stuff in the mix together with early March and it's not as if you're expecting big bass to be crawling up your braid - it's fishing though, and wow doesn't that first properly warm weekend of the year kick one into gear and inspire you that there might just be a chance.

Photography is as important to me as fishing - very different but essentially one and the same to me and the way my brain is wired. Anybody into fishing has I am sure been suffering an acute case of cabin fever. We have all been through a pretty dire winter that for a while felt like there might never be a light at the end of the tunnel. And then we get a weekend like that. Does it get any better? Blue skies, genuine warmth, the world very suddenly feels like a more welcoming place as we move into spring - and because we are anglers, we are so often out at the golden first and last light periods, and yesterday morning for me was about as special as it could possibly get.

Photo for sale as a print, canvas, mousepad etc. - check here

Fishing is about being in the right place at the right time, and photography is no different really. You can do all the planning you like, but a lot of it is then down to stuff that is out of your control - and for me it's usually a case of going fishing and then hoping that at times things come together to get those sorts of photos that get me shaking with excitement. Mark and I chose a spot yesterday that we thought we might find some decent water, and by chance everything came together for me as a photographer for a few brief moments.

The angle of the sun at this time of year, the weather yesterday morning, the actual position we were fishing in, the time we were there, the shape of the cliffs in the background - and the photographer then recognising that a lot of things are coming together to give you a chance at some pretty special photographs. The photographer who also wants to fish but can't not put his rod down and pick up a camera when it looks like that. I might try and sell my photographs for a living, but for that ridiculously awesome but brief period yesterday morning when the sun is just starting to peek over the cliffs behind Mark, well that's nothing to do with work - it's passion, pure and simple. It's me wanting to do all that I technically and creatively can to photograph the combination of events to satisfy my creativity and also I suppose an urge to try and translate to other people via still images how awesome it was to be in the right place at the right time. It's what I do and can't help doing, like with fishing. Whether I succeed or not in getting across to other people (you lot) how special the world can be is a case of whether photographs like these "speak" to you.

Some anglers want to catch fish all the time and that is the whole point of fishing for them. Some anglers simply want to get out and about and hopefully catch a couple now and then. Some anglers are driven competitively and want to do better than the next person - whatever better actually is with fishing. Fishing is what it is, and there seems to be room for us all. I think about yesterday morning and not even getting a hint that there might be a fish (bass or wrasse) around. I think about whether it bothers me or not. I think about the warmth on my face from some spring sunshine. I think about fishing with a mate and having a good time just being there as nature goes about her business ,and because we were where we were, we were witness to a perfect dawn, and for me, a feeling of simple joy and pleasure at fishing and just being. How could I possibly be bothered by not catching anything when it's like that?

England march on. How the lads must regret the start of the first match against France, because we really should be heading to Italy next weekend to go for the Grand Slam. Wales came to Twickenham yesterday to try and grind us into the dirt as they did last year, but holy frigging cow did England front up again. Tell me you weren't wincing at the ferocity of some of those hits yesterday. Complete commitment to the cause and the simple fact is that for all the Lions in that Welsh side, we were far superior yesterday, indeed if you ask me the margin of victory flattered Wales. I am trying all I can not to get overexcited here, but tell me you aren't seeing a group of players that looks like they are proud to be playing for their country again - unlike say the England cricket team over the winter or much of the turgid mess in English rugby since 2003. We seem to be on the right road to something pretty special here.............

Henry Gilbey5 Comments