If you haven’t seen any of Todd Moen’s videos, you’re missing out… I cant deny it, they guy has ridiculous skills with both a camera and a fly rod, and has had the privilege of going to some amazing places.
Here’s on of my favorite Tmotion videos, just to set the scene:
But Perhaps his most popular piece is:
But the reason I’m really here is because of a more recent video, where Todd came to England. Fantastic, England finally on the fly fishing big screens! But I didn’t see everything I’d like to in this video. Hopefully the following discussion will explain why…
Watch for for yourself, then read on...
To start, the Avon - “Literally the birth place of dry fly fishing”. This is great, we have a lot of history in England and it’s what we are renown for, so it’s great to see someone embracing it. But is that all we want to be known for? Traditionalists falling behind in a modern world? Not me anyway. Then Todd hits on the sensitive issue that most UK water is private, he’s right, and it sucks. I used to fish a river with a school friend when I was about 10 or 11, and we used to enjoy trying to hide from club members who would take great pleasure in kicking us off the water, so when we finally grew up (a bit), we decided to play fair and buy a membership. The result? We weren’t allowed to buy one because we were too young. Ridiculous. Back to the point, I have to confess, I’m not really in to the whole catch and kill Rainbow Trout fishery thing in England. Yes I work on one, yes I fish them on occasion, but filling a hole with triploid, non native fish and then pulling them out within a week? Nah, not for me. I’m not disrespecting this kind of sport, in fact some of the guys that I see fishing Exe Valley have refined their skills to a level I can only hope to reach, I just like fishing the wild stuff. I get it, we don’t have a lot of space in England, not a huge amount of wild fishing, and if everyone who fished in England did go after the wild stuff we really would have nothing left.
Enough of my talk, the video is why we are here, lets see what they say about our commercial fly fisheries. I think they talk about our managed fisheries very well, highlighting that there is a science to it, whether other anglers look down on it or not. We are all anglers chasing the same thing, some of us just have different tastes. Think of it like music, one guys loves metal, the other loves hip hop, they just don’t listen to each others music, nor do they force their opinion on each other, they just love music. In the same way that I’m not going to force a Salmon angler to chase Pike… get it? But the video breezes over commercial fishing pretty lightly and moves on to Salmon fishing and Spey Casting.
Maybe its because I’m a young guy in a aging sport, but I hate the way we are all caught up in the flat caps, smoking a pipe and ‘trying to get away from the wife’ depiction. It may be true for some, but I do this because I seek adventure and have a ridiculous (and probably slightly weird) obsession with the aquatic world.
The rest of the video is all about Chalk stream fishing, with upstream dry fly only rules. You may want to ignore everything I say here, because in all honesty I’ve never fished a chalk stream. What I’ll never understand about chalk streams is why so many people want to fish them. Yes they’re an integral part of fly fishing history, but there’s so much more fishing to be had in the UK other than paying a triple figure sum (sweeping generalization, but not a total lie) to fish a river for the day. The “manicured grass and benches” kind of gets me as well, because how can you feel like you’re out in the sticks on an adventure when a ride on lawnmower goes past? Guess its not my scene… Having said that, Todd’s cinematic skills are enough to sell it to anyone, and the rest of the video is filled with great shots and some humor as well. I’ve never had my permit checked by a knight on horse back, but it would be quite amusing! There is also some frantic dry fly action, which has set me in a proper off season grump, I guess its time to find some Grayling, Bass or tie some flies.
I guess what I really wanted to see, was some little wild Brownies up on Exmoor, or Pike on the Somerset levels, I know the video is titled ‘Buckingham Trout’ but when talking about the other stuff England has to offer, there’s a whole array of things to talk about! But hey, that’s just my opinion, and I hope Todd enjoyed fishing England none the less!