Caught by the River

Wildie II

8th October 2023

Nick Fallowfield-Cooper introduces his latest Fallon’s Angler film on the Wildie — the fish of monks, kings and thieves alike.

Unlike our rivers, the demise of our farm ponds is more discreet. Once an important part of rural life, neglect has played a large part in the loss of these habitats. Overgrown reed beds drink the ponds dry, warmer weather and a year-on-year leaf fall eventually leads to a silted-up and oxygen-depleted bog that often falls to the plough or redevelopment. 

In the last fifty years, over half of these ponds in Britain have dried up.

First documented in the 16th century, an old strain of carp was introduced into many of these ponds as an ornamental trinket — a trend borrowed from the French nobility — and possibly a source of food. Today, this carp is synonymous with these ancient ponds, clinging on together, on the edge of memory, a union of old. 

Wildie II is a film about an angler who has a passion for finding these places and the feral carp that still swim there — exploring the fragility between life and death.