The world's best flyfishing site.


Manual de Lanzado
Sección de Carlos
The Downloads


Monday: Paul Arden
Tuesday: Harps
Wednesday: Bernd Ziesche
Thursday: Mr T.
Friday: Ray
Saturday: Viking Lars
Sunday: Bruce Richards

Ronan's report

Sunday August 28th 2011

It was pointed out (with some justification) that an e-mail I sent to someone the other day was "a bit sharp" in tone. I resisted the temptation to reply that I'd try to be more blunt next time.

Sharpness in tone is generally a bad thing. This is the exception that proves the rule that, in most things, sharpness is good.

People are praised for being or looking sharp. The proper way to do this is to lick your forefinger and stroke it theatrically, in the air, near the person to be praised, and then you quickly recoil and exclaim "Ouch! You're so sharp you'll cut yourself!"

This has never happened to me, but I live in hope.

Sharpness is something we have a lot of nowadays, and things are getting sharper by the day: Hooks, knifes, axes. Chemically sharpened, or hand-ground by master craftsmen, these things will draw blood just by looking at them. They're that sharp.

However, the sharpest of blade-beating sharpness is nowadays to be found in the realms of photography.

We have max'd out macro-mega-pixels, and lenses with glass polished by the heat of falling stars. We have automatic gizmos that can detect 5 faces at once and focus to within a picometre of an eyelash. We have steady-cams and anti-shake, as well as tripods, monopods and brackets. And even if all that doesn't work you might still be able to sharpen things up in Photoshop.

So now we are over-saturated with hyper sharp, mega-bright, contrast-zinging images at every turn. Images blustering into our consciousness and demanding at full volume "look at me I'm so sharp!"

Relentlessly blue skies, and snowy white clouds soar above HDR hills, fields and rivers. Big trout perpetually balance minute mayflies on their noses; tarpon stand on their tails, sea-spray frozen against Ð yes there's that blue sky again. If the sky isn't deep blue then it must be thunder-struck, about to deliver a tornado. Amazing images made everyday.

Everything is foreground nowadays.

Life just isn't like that. Our brains work by piecing together fragments of a picture and filling in the gaps. In modern fishing photography there are no gaps Ð nothing for the brain to do. Today, it is all about exposure: Show it all, in every detail. It's called fish-porn for a reason. And it's getting boring.

A picture is seemingly worth a lot more than a thousand words these days. E-zines substitute easy images for words and thoughts. Every page an ooh! an ahh! Then turn the page and forget it as the next picture bounces ever more briefly off the retina.

We actually experience life as a series of contrasts between light and shade. Detail is heightened by the surrounding blur and black shadow. Interest is piqued by mystery and the half-revealed.

In the days before cheap colour printing, I could easily spend an hour or more poring over the latest fishing magazine, with multi-page articles supported by the odd grainy and blurred black and white photo, ("the author poses with a good trout").

It takes me about two minutes to flip through a modern e-zine. Click, yep nice fish, click, ice-blue river, click, leaping tarpon, click, advert (ooh something to read!), click, loop frozen mid-cast, click, click, click, done. Phew!

Today's technology means we can have any image we want, when we want it. I guess it's only natural that we'll start off by using it to shed more light and to see how sharp we can get things.

I'm looking forward, now, to seeing how things develop. The everyday of angling is about suspense and mystery; reflection, interpretation and unexpected beauty. Sometimes things are bright and scimitar sharp, but mostly we fish though the half-light, the almost-seen, the dark hint, the soft and the hazy.

Not always sharp, but definitely never dull.


Pic Of Day

SL Promotions



SEXYLOOPS SCHOOLS - Flycasting in England and Hungary. Contact Paul Arden for more info.

Sexyloops on Facebook: Sexyloops on YouTube: www.YouTube/SexyloopsTV. This is Snapcast - our irregular monthly mailshot!

<-- Copyright Notice -->