Surrounded by friends of many decades and places past, a week of salmon fishing on the Spey has become a part of our annual calendar. Filled with food, laughter, a more than adequate supply of booze and an occasional fishy catch, there are also quiet times in most days which allow for photographic exploration and musings on all manner of things.
“I’m going into town (Grantown-on-Spey – some 12km away) this morning. Do you need anything?”
“Yes please, if you’re going to Morty’s some 12 pound line would save me a trip.”
Morty’s – Mortimer’s – in Grantown is a landmark. If fishing, shooting or various other outdoor sports are your bag, you’ll know this local emporium as a place to buy anything from a shotgun to a bright orange triple hook fishing fly. Or a midge-repellent hat, or an oiled cotton jacket. A beanie, or anything else that your wallet might feel it can accommodate. These are essentials for outdoor sports-men and -women all.
And Morty’s is there to assuage the need during these few sporting mid-summer weeks, happily pocketing the punters’ pounds from 09:00 until 17:00 daily (except Sunday).
“Damn! I’ve just found this old reel in my bag and it needs a new shooting head. I’ll just pop into Morty’s and pick one up. Do you need anything while I’m there?”
Are you getting a sense of GAS?
Us photographers know this all too well, but fishing folk have yet to discover GAS, although most are already all too well aware of the cure. Of course, in writing this, I’m now busy lifting the curtain for them. Not that it needs much; there is probably an order of magnitude more gew-gaws, tsotchkes and paraphernalia available for the would be (part time) hunter than for us lowly photographers.
The riverine forest along this stretch of the Spey is pine dominated, decades old and lit by a low sun on the mornings when the clouds part. Then the light is magnificent, rich with greens and the soft yellow of the sun; don’t shake your head at that, this is Scotland in high summer, after all.
It’s beautiful and a very satisfying meander for the most jaded of photographer. With me on my photographic forays was an X-Pro2, 90mm f2, 56mm f1.2 and the stellar 23mm f1.4.
It also gives me a lead into a project I’ve had in mind for a while. On this trip, I’m able to concentrate on the ferns lining the roads and surrounds. The Fuji’s close-in performance is revealing details and surreal bokeh that I hadn’t expected.
And I make no apologies; I doubt this will be the only gallery of these images you’ll see from me on DS.
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