But to repeat my introductory rhetorical: What is it with extreme fishing? Or rather, as R.G. might say: What the **** is extreme fishing? Please comment with any answers to this, and let me know if you reckon you’ve ever done it. For what it’s worth, I can think of one example of extreme fishing I once enjoyed. I was about 17 and sailing a Topper sailing dinghy (remember them – plastic, unsinkable) in the Solent one summer, trailing some mackerel feathers around an old feature of wooden stakes (built in the months leading up to the Normandy Landings in 1944 for the days preceding when the Landings fleet started to gather in the Solent).
Well, I got in among the fish and started to catch many. I shook them off the hooks into the boat which was at this stage full of six inches of water in the well and they were swimming about in it as I tried to navigate the boat so it wouldn’t hit the stakes. Then I capsized and saw all these dazed fish swimming around and was bobbing around in the water trying to scoop them up while righting the boat. Pretty irresponsible (like I said I was a kid). But pretty extreme.
And I nearly caught an extreme salmon on the Varzuga at 60 yards on a shooting head in the famous Thirty Nine Steps rapids there. I was fishing with Jess James who kindly held the loops of running line (we waded to our safe limit) then he released the loops as I did the longest cast I’ve ever done in my life. Do you know what, we actually hooked a salmon from a lie out in the rapids the size of a kitchen table but we had a tangle in the running line and I tried to keep touch with the fish while Jess unfankled but when we were clear… the fish dropped off! Fun tho, and pretty extreme.