Monday, 22 April 2013
Good and Bad: Fishing and Fly Fishing on TV!
Over many years my work colleagues, knowing that I was a fisher, would often ask me if I had watched a particular fishing programme on TV. Frequently, I would reply that I hadn’t seen it because I was fishing at the time! I then would invite them to tell me what I had missed. Nowadays here in the UK you have the benefit of being able to conjure up programs you have missed at any time using digital technology. The BBC version of this is called I-Player and it is brilliant. Other channels have their own programme recall versions as well. This has meant that occasionally I have been able to check out a fishing programme during late evening.
Now the bench mark I use for judging a fishing programme is a much acclaimed series called “A Passion for Angling” where Chris Yates and Bob James go on a grand fishing adventure across the UK. See http://www.passionforangling.info/passion%20for.html
Chris is noted for his eccentric style and his passion for freshwater fishing often with a center-pin reel. Chris prefers to fish using older methods and tackle, making him one of a rare breed of angler enjoying the cane rods and original fishing equipment of a bygone era. In his books and films Chris always has a strong emphasis on the enjoyment of being close to nature, and the other pleasures that come with fishing. What for me, made this series special, is that the two anglers are real gents, who show respect for the fish, the environment and for each other. Amazon also have the DVD available.
Sadly, there is currently one fishing programme presenter who gets to go to wonderful locations and fish for amazing species with local experts but whose behaviour is disappointing. He is probably a nice guy but some producer feels that to give the programme interest it has to be edgy. I particularly don’t like the way the presenter, under the guise of competing against them, is rude to the local fishers who are trying to help him. For me the programme would be far more interesting if more time was spent on techniques, tackle and the species. We all know local knowledge is crucial so you should not be “biting the hand that feeds you” rather you should be showing appreciation.
Presenting fishing on TV and making it interesting is a challenge but there are plenty of talented people around who could do that. Dare I say that golf is a boring game to watch, however, TV producers make it interesting because they have such good camera coverage, with knowledgeable commentators providing interesting background information. I would like to see an international fly fishing competition (preferably a drift boat loch style competition) covered by a number of cameras (some afloat) with expert commentary and explanations. Casting, reading the water, strategy, fly selection, manoeuvring and catching and netting could all feature. I think that if done successfully it could do much to promote the image of fishing in general and fly fishing in particular.
This is how I see it in the UK, please put me straight if you think I am wrong. I would also be interested in what happens on the TV front in the other 33 countries that are reading this blog.Can I close by welcoming the fishers in Brazil, Venezuela, Chile, India and Romania who have recently started viewing the blog. You are most welcome please let me know if there are any topics you would like me to cover. Kind regards Alan C firstname.lastname@example.org