Fd: How was 9p#5 Media born?

We are fishermen since very young, practicing every kind of technique in the beginning. Then, progressively, fly fishing became our only method. It is in this spirit, with a technique that is efficient and esthetic at the same time, that we started taking images of our fishing trips. After that, the videos came quite naturally, when we realized with pleasure that the reflex cameras that we had invested in took great videos too. In order to make it consistent, we created in 2012 the 9p#5 Media association. This structure enables us to buy things jointly, and furthermore to have a name and be seen. The goal being, for now, to create fishing videos, without any commercial purpose.

Fd: What kind of locations have you visited to make your films?

In the beginning, our main playfield for videos was the Dordogne River. In France, this river is named “La Belle” – the pretty one. The landscapes are amazing, wild, and they hide beautiful surprises with its big graylings and trout. There are also nice hatches that result in an intense activity of the fish at the surface, which is really interesting for the videos.

Then, we started filming the Tarn River, in its higher part, which is almost as beautiful and wild; or the Vienne in Limousin, which is a river where you can find nice off-season fishing, grayling in particular.

In the end of April of this year, we organized a trip outside France, in Ireland. It is a quite simple and very attractive destination. We already had a bit of experience there, fishing the Lough Mask and Lough Corrib. For different reasons, we decided to fish only from the shore. It’s a very atypical way to fish in this country where every single fishermen casts wet flies (or sometimes mayflies) from boats.

We also knew that the atmosphere, the landscapes, the lights and the colors would be ideal to capture fine footage. Our expectations were met. It was an incredible trip that we recommend to every fly fisherman. Besides, we had exceptional conditions (heat, sun, no wind) in the beginning of the trip, which enabled us to live crazy moments: catches on dry flies very early in the morning, others sight-fishing with nymphs
in the afternoon, and incredible night action. Alone in the world, in a wild place, with nature’s sounds with you all day long. Many birds and small mammals fishing right beside you... The best.

Fishing was quite complicated, and delicate. Trout have lots of food there, so it’s difficult to fool them with the imitations. We had lots of catches with small buzzers on 18 or 20 sizes… Local fishermen couldn’t believe their eyes seeing us fishing with such tiny imitations.

In the end of the stay, the wind and the rain came back and some mayfly and olives hatches went on… and made it possible to witness the incredible quantity of flies that come out. This triggers an alimentary frenzy that brings a lot of fishermen to these spots too.

What’s also complicated in lake fishing is the behavior of trout. They are not still behind a rock, they move a lot. So, you have to understand what they are up to, and to be able to drop the fly on their trajectory.

In all cases, they are very good fighters. They have various colors, they are wild, and authentic. People we met there were charming, the atmosphere in the pubs was great. Incredible memories. We wanted to be able to communicate all this in our video: Fishing the Lough Mask.

1024w1024h1mimg_54638bd1214e3.jpgFd: And what can you tell us about fly fishing in France? What advice would you give to the anglers that visit your waters for the first time?

France has a huge potential for fly fishermen. For salmonids, of course, there’s the rivers but also the mountain lakes. For now, we have not as much knowledge about preying fish and migratory fish, but it can be practiced in many places. We also have saltwater fly fishing, that we’re just starting to discover, but we will talk about this later on this interview. Of course, all of this is very fragile and some rivers have suffered from massive pollution these last years, as for example the Bienne, or the Loue in the Jura – a mythic river, that has been visited by a lot of foreigners, and that is currently being polluted, with general indifference. One has to be careful, and there is an increasing number of persons that fight so the rivers can be protected, in order to keep its high standard. The hydroelectric dams also have a strong impact on the life of our rivers. All of those things have to be dealt with.

When all is put together, there really are some incredible places where fishing is pure pleasure. You can find some record fishes. And each technique is good: dry, wets, all kinds of nymphing… As far as we are concerned, we fish much less with streamer flies, but it is certainly very efficient.

Some very well known rivers, like the Dordogne or some other rivers of the Jura region, have a very high density of fishermen. One of the particularities of fishing in France is to fish fine and delicately: small flies (14 to 20) and thin tippets, 5X (12/100), and even in some cases 7X (10/100). The drifts are long and without drag, the leaders are long too: 2 to 3 mts in the summer. Some very educated fish will not give you a second chance. And if the first try is not good, the fish just goes away.

Here are a few tips for foreign fishermen: use simple flies, but in different sizes [you can see their own patterns, here]. Use long leaders. Be very discrete when approaching the fish.

Many guides are also here to help understand the river. We also think that French people will be willing to help and give good tips on forums and specialized websites. Even if the best spots remain a bit secret, don’t hesitate to start a conversation… If things go well, secrets will be disclosed… especially between fly fishermen.

Fd: Are you working on a new project? Any upcoming film?

We have an ongoing video project. We don’t know yet how long it will take us, but we hope to release it quickly because there might be a nice surprise regarding the broadcasting for this video… To be continued.

Indeed, Frédéric Gori, sea fishing guide in Toulon -on the verge of the Mediterranean Sea- and specialist on tuna fishing invited us. The challenge of catching a tuna on the fly on our French coast was very exciting. We had the luck to be helped by lots of people to fulfill this project. As a matter of fact, there was the fundamental question of the equipment: catching such a combative fish requires adapted equipment. TOF Flyfishing nicely lent us - and we thank them infinitely given that without them the project would never have been possible - a 9p#16 (9 feet, for a #16 line) rod, and a reel with a very powerful brake… Huge stuff and really exciting to handle. We had everything we needed to complete the challenge: the gear, the guide and favorable weather.

We can say that the challenge was met. We have lived incredible moments on the boat in the Mediterranean Sea. We have discovered an aspect of fly fishing that we did not know at all. Indeed, it was the first time we ever fished in saltwater. Dolphins, whales and stingrays accompanied us throughout the days. Frédéric is an amazing person, really qualified, and we got along just great. An ideal guide that we can recommend, he helped us fight with really powerful fishes: mackerel, bonito, and others of this type… And, of course, tuna.

How great it was! We have been able to shot lots of footage, and we really hope to make a video that will honestly describe what we lived, since it was simply AWESOME.

As of other future projects, we don’t have anything planned for now. We would like to do something around a canoe artisan. His work is fabulous. And his boats would be perfect to fish in a lake or to go down a river. Next season, we probably will have the opportunity to go film in the beautiful rivers of the Jura.

Fd: How do you come up with the stories for your films?

We are amateurs in what we do, we don’t have specific training. As a consequence, we constantly learn new things on how to think the movie, to capture the footage, to edit, but also on how to communicate and spread in this infinite and complex world that is the internet. As of the pre-production, we still have a lot to learn. Our approach for now is to let stories emerge from what we live and what we see. We are really responsive to lights, colors, and we try to focus our shooting with this angle. Besides, being only two persons on this project of making videos, we are pretty technically limited both having to fish and film.

In all cases, we ask ourselves lots of questions in order to improve ourselves. For example, we are currently searching for better quality lenses and sound recording.

On the other side, our goal is not to make or to tell a story ourselves. Even if some people manage to do it very well -as for example, the gifted group Jazz and Flyfishing- we find it very complicated: you have to be very relaxed in front of the camera and it can be difficult to be subtle or funny. For now, our realizations are closer from to fly-fishing clips.

1024w1024h1mimg_54638c26a241b.jpgFd: Speaking about other fly-fishing filmmakers, do you have any influences or references?

We have many references and influences, not only from the fishing world. Of course, there are people like them, Jazz and Flyfishing, or the guys from Frontsidefly that make great quality videos. We really like the world and the esthetic of the brand Surf Finisterre. We are also very fond of the image quality of the TV show True Detective: the way they capture the landscapes, the atmosphere created by the music, the colors, the light…

And, then, there are many things to be seen in extreme sports videos -snowboard, surf or mountaineering- that have a similar way to what we can do with fly-fishing videos. Less well-known artists, from outside of the fishing world, like Romain Evrard, have a really appreciated eye and technique too.

Fd: Is there a particular message you want to give through your films?

Our goal is not to send out any particular message in our videos. We don’t want to be moralistic, even if we are attached to defending our rivers, our lakes, our coasts. For now, it is for pure pleasure that we create these videos. If we can make people enjoy themselves with our videos, then we have succeeded. We also try to think and edit the videos so they can be appreciated by everybody. We often ask their opinion to our friends that are not fishermen. It’s a more poetic, more esthetic, approach.

We also defend the idea that fishermen have to be on the waterfront, they have to be in the rivers because they will be the first to be able to witness what’s going on. We can communicate ideas through our videos so that discussions arise.

There is no doubt that fishing is not dealt with correctly in France. We still have a hard time suggesting a modern administration, in line with today’s fishermen and their practices. Things have to change, but it is very complicated. We fish exclusively in no-kill areas. This allows the conservation of certain areas with good fish population. And of course, you have to release the fish. 

Find more about them and their projects, here: 9p#5 Média