I have a couple of interesting posts stored in my head that I haven’t been able to write up yet. One is a trip to the Truckee River in CA that I did last week and the other is about an absolutely beautifully made movie about the historic Hardy brand called “The Lost World of Mr Hardy“. I want to do it justice and spend some time on the review.
In the meantime, I asked Andy Heathcote, one of the filmmakers, a few questions:
How often do you fish? Where? Do you own any Hardy equipment now?
I used to fly fish all the time as a teenager, mostly for trout. I bought my 1st motorbike and then a car just so that I could go fishing more but after leaving Scotland I couldn’t fish so much. It’s picking it up again in the past few years but fishing in the South of England is very different from the Scottish lochs where I grew up. I’ve got much less time too but have recently discovered fly fishing for sea bass at a local beauty spot under the white chalk cliffs of the English Channel. It has been a real revelation. When the bass arrive next month I’ll be there a couple of nights a week through till autumn, when they’ll head off to look for deeper water.
Heike came round to fishing after trips to the Yorkshire chalkstreams of Northern England and the lochs of the Outer Herbridean Islands off the Atlantic coast of Scotland. She really loves to sight fish and also wants to learn to Spey cast this summer. When she took up fishing I looked for a spare rod for myself (as she kept borrowing mine) and I thought about trying bamboo as I always wanted one as a boy. I bought a second hand 1952 bamboo Hardy Perfection but naturally I wouldn’t dream of taking it near salt water. This rod was the inspiration for the film. When I bought it, I realised how much interest there still is in the old bamboo and in Hardy’s. I’ve no Hardy reels yet but do have my eye on several models once we have sold a few more DVDs.
– Where there any moments when you did not feel that all the time and effort you put into the film up to that point would pay off?
We loved filming but editing was the hard part. I’ve made more than 30 films, although none as long as this. In every film there is always a moment when you think, “this film just isn’t going to edit together”. This film had that feeling for months but eventually you see a light at the end of the tunnel and a great edit can suddenly come together in a day or two. It’s strange, story problems can stare you in the face for months but then one solution creates a domino effect and suddenly you see a way to make the whole film work. We went from months of despair to elation in a matter of hours.
– Are you working on any new projects? Or concepts?
We have a four potential new projects in mind, two angling related, one will hopefully expand on the collection of archive angling films we have access too. I love working with archive film, the sense of history and the past coming alive, it gives me a sense of connection. Heike meanwhile is off to Germany for the summer to film a documentary about two best friends, one a collaborator and one a dissident from the Stasi days (the Stasi were the East German secret police in the Cold War communist years). Most of our films do seem to have some history flavour about them, hopefully more will also involve angling and can bring the passion across to a wider public.
Well our name comes from the pigs the French train to dig up truffles. Those truffles can be incredibly valuable and delicious treasures buried deep within the dark of the forests. Those rare little gems are the kind of stories we want to dig up too and then tell them to the world.