The River Keeper from Matt Dunkinson Photography on Vimeo.

The chalk rivers of the UK and Hampshire in particular typically bring thoughts of upper crust anglers casting dainty dries to rising trout. The rivers are often thought of as the birthplace of fly fishing. Rivers like the “Test” and “Itchen” are gorgeous meandering streams that are steeped in tradition and are looked after by a group of folks called the River Keepers. They are the guides, security officers, and protectors of these places.

In the fall though after the trout season has closed these river keepers target another species: giant pike.

“This is the time that the keepers are busiest, improving the beats, preparing for the following season. Behind closed doors a lot goes on however as even river keepers have to stay sane and so imitative fly fishing remains,” Matt Dunkinson, a photographer/videographer based in the UK, wrote in the video description. “Targeting twenty pound pike on the fly is no mean feat at the best of times, but it’s in the dead of winter that we realise exactly who is keeping the balance in these historic waterways.”

Enjoy this little piece. It’s gorgeously shot and edited. It’s also strangely making me forget all about spring; making me long for those dark, rainy days in the fall where big fish eat big flies.

Eat your heart out, Joe Cermele.