Thursday, May 21, 2009

Fetha Styx

I noticed this morning that one of my trout snaps won April's photography contest at Fetha Styx, a purveyor of fine, custom fishing rods.

The winning shot:

Thanks to my Fetha-ed friends for selecting the image!

I added a few additional photos to the collection up at Currant Creek last weekend. The cutthroats up there are beauties.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Run for the Border

In some kind of twisted humor, the non-fisherman Murphy has enjoyed a phenomenal Spring. Here in the Rocky Mountains, April and May weekdays have been full of sunshine and warm temperatures. Weekends, on the other hand, have been below freezing and stormy for 2 solid months. At long last Spring broke through just in time for our Mother's Day trip to Idaho.

I was excited to meet Mom's new English mastiff puppy, Harley. At 14 weeks he tips the scales at 55 pounds and is expected to absorb voluminous quantities of nutrients until he reaches 200 lbs.

The dogs love Idaho. Kaiser and Sadie at first were very intimidating to the soon-to-be pituitary giant, but before long he warmed up and began his bid for alpha male status. The sunsets in Ririe provided some soft light for photographing the pups. Sadie is now 2, and Kaiser is about 22 months.

I tested the waters on Ririe Reservoir, which is a sleeper spot for large splake, fine-spotted Snake River cutthroat, and smallmouth bass. The runoff from Willow Creek had the water extremely off color, and I caught good numbers of kokanee salmon that were inexplicably in very shallow depths. Several fine-spotted cutts also made it to the net, but nothing over 16".

This was a good time to put my new Outcast PAC 9000 through some paces. The low-profile quad pontoon boat covered about 2 miles of shoreline with far less effort than I have been used to in the past. I plan on writing a short review of the boat in the next week or so.

My friend Lynn of BS Flies was nearby in Rexburg, and kindly offered to show me around. Lynn is an experienced guide and as I approached his truck I noticed a considerable gravitational field surrounding the F150 that was pulling nearby objects into shallow orbits. He explained to me that through careful research he has developed a system for never forgetting important fishing gear. The premise of this solution is simple and brilliant: Take everything with you, all the time.

On the drive North we stopped a few times in order to trigger controlled avalanches of equipment in the extended cab to avoid creating a dangerous situation should the brakes ever need to be applied.

We arrived at the fishing destination just in time, as the combined mass of my gear on top of his seemed very close to collapsing upon itself and forming a white dwarf.

The genius of the Large Fishing Collider soon became apparent when we discovered the all-important boat plug was broken and useless. Lynn walked over to his vehicle and proceeded to delve into the cubic hectare of valuables in the back seat. At one point I believed that he had been swallowed up by the leviathan, Jonah-like, but he soon emerged with a brand-new rubber boat plug and we were in business.

The full moon and clear skies over the previous night made for slow fishing but the potential was there!

Lynn runs one of the only guide services that I'm aware of that focuses almost exclusively on stillwater. Contact him ( if you want a world class experience on Henry's Lake, Island Park Reservoir, Ririe, or Sheridan Reservoir.

Of course we couldn't pass up opportunities to photograph a few birds. There were bald eagles, osprey, all manner of waterfowl, rough legged hawks, and American avocets surrounding the open water. We got a few photos of the avocets and a rough legged hawk.

Thanks again to Lynn for great company on the water, I'm looking forward to the next round.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Storms, Sails, and Rainbows

HDR is a technique where multiple photographs are taken in a series using bracketing, where some images are both under and over exposed intentionally. These images are then overlayed to create strong contrast and graphic compositions. Over the past couple of weeks I've been experimenting with this concept out at Utah's Great Salt Lake.

Drenching rains, which kept me from fishing today, had subsided. Unstable air chasing the front was perfect for sailing.

There was some verga to be seen, and a few drops of rain spattered down on the rocks.

Saltair isn't exactly what most would hope to find at the end of rainbow, but this one formed for all of 30 seconds before disappearing in the blink of an eye.

Looking East from the marina towards Salt Lake, plenty of storm clouds were still gathered.

I like the effect that HDR has on stone, and this compass at the observation deck is a good example.

Every time it storms I'm tempted to visit the Great Salt Lake. The skies and sunsets are spectacular, and this guy had the right idea with an ice cold one, a lei, and a caribbean style hat.