Wednesday 5 March 2014

Kiss the Water

Why do salmon snap at flies? This is, arguably, the abiding mystery of salmon fishing, because returning salmon starve themselves on their journey to their breeding grounds, living only on the fat of their sea years.

Eric Steel’s mesmerizing and quietly enthralling documentary explores this conundrum by focusing the life of the bespoke, and now legendary, fly-tier Megan Boyd. Boyd lived and worked all her life in Brora, in a remote cottage without electricity or running water, surrounded by feathers from swans and parrots, bits of fur, gold and silver and turquoise thread, where, by the light of a hurricane lamp, she tied thousands upon thousands of exquisite salmon flies, accompanied only by her dog. Over the years a steady stream of “toffs,” including the Prince of Wales, made their way up the A9, the road that winds from Edinburgh to John O’Groats, to beat a path to Megan’s door.
Using a combination of interviews, animation and translucent images of the Highlands, Eric Steel attempts to capture the essence of this most elusive lady. He has very little to go on, and there is a “sub plot” to the documentary that seeks to equate Princess Diana with a salmon fly, not entirely successfully, but it is the only glitch in this otherwise fascinating and wholly original documentary.

Kiss the Water is being shown in cinemas all the way from Caernarfon to Aberfeldy. It screens at Ludlow Assembly Rooms on Thursday 6 March at 2pm and 7.30pm and at The Courtyard Hereford on Friday 14 March at 6.15pm when producer Kate Swan will be present to introduce the film and answer questions.

Be sure to catch it in a cinema near you.



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