Kiss The Water is a documentary about Megan Boyd, a Scottish woman who made salmon flies that every fisherman wanted to have, but it’s not JUST that. It’s an impressionistic tribute that romanticises the skill and craft of the woman and the art of salmon fishing in a way that, as it continues, makes it hard to argue against.
I have been fishing, quite a few years ago now. I’m rubbish at being an alpha male and, in typical fashion, I was a bit rubbish at fishing. Yet I wanted to be good at it. I was just using a standard baited rod set-up and I wanted, from the very start of the day, to catch a fish, reel it in and prepare and cook it that evening with my own manly hands. Well, that ended up happening, with more than a little help from the friend who was taking me under his wing for the day. It was a fantastic day, relaxing and inspiring. Even when I was having one of the many moments in which no fish were being fooled by my inept attempts to catch them I was able to watch my friend as he began to fly fish. Casting and flicking the reel, making it dance in ever-lengthening sections across the water. It’s quite breathtaking to watch.
Mixing clips of people talking about Megan Boyd with footage of water and fishing, of course, and some gorgeous animation from Em Cooper that adds the impressionism to the feature, Kiss The Water works in much the same way as the creations that it celebrates. A simple core, rather unspectacular, with numerous elements added that bring colour and life to the whole thing. Some of the tales told are so delicious that they seem apocraphyl (especially the reply from Miss Boyd regarding an invite to collect an award from The Queen), but all that Megan Boyd left behind, due to her slightly reclusive lifestyle, were those tales and her magical salmon flies. Both speak volumes about the woman, but only one is solid.
Perhaps the central message that Kiss The Water wants to pass on to viewers is one of caution. Looking at something so closely and picking apart every detail is often a sure way to destroy the magic, and maybe it’s only when the magic is destroyed that people realise just how much they wanted to keep it alive. When Salmon return from the sea to freshwater areas, they only want to spawn. They don’t eat. No fisherman knows exactly why it goes for the fly. Considering that piece of information, perhaps more documentaries should be as moving and romantic as this one, to ensure that the magic is not destroyed.
DIRECTOR: ERIC STEEL
RUNTIME: 79 MINS APPROX