Thursday, July 30, 2009

Returning to the Scene

I once threw two size 13 hunting boots at a skunk in the pitch darkness of night while inside a new $1000 wall tent. This may seem slightly brash to some, but my potato chips had come under assault earlier in the evening by a chipmunk of ill-repute who I thought had returned for seconds.

After my Vibram-soled mortars failed to drive off the intruder, I extricated myself from a warm sleeping bag, walked over to the card table, and turned on my flashlight. It was at this juncture that a case of mis-stinking identity became apparent. There, directly between my feet, was a voluminous tail in the full, upright, and locked position.

What followed remains a partial mystery due to the frenetic pace at which events transpired. During what amounted to only a few seconds, I conservatively estimate that I circumnavigated the interior of the tent 3 times and attempted at least one MMA rear choke hold. Seeing that my foe was attempting to lock in a firing solution, I began jamming his launch sequence with blistering midnight profanity. At one point during the match I ended up outside the tent without using the door. It was here the skunk forfeited the bout and disappeared, much to the delight of the tent’s owner -- my father.

Last weekend Dad and I returned to the scene of this very incident, and caught brook trout in obscene numbers until our rotator cuffs had worn down to nubbins. It was great to spend time bending graphite together during the day and reminiscing around the campfire at night.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Hopper Time

Summer = Hoppers. Fly fishermen pay particular attention to them, because it means bombing terrestrial patterns the size of European swallows at gamefish. These tank-like, armored eating machines are really quite remarkable when you look closely, however.

I have experimented a little with new macro techniques lately. HDR is a method that has been increasingly used in landscape photography recently, but I've never seen it applied to insect macros. The use of backlighting and direct flash with HDR creates some fun images.

Monday, July 13, 2009

This is Fly

It was fun to collaborate on an article for This is Fly Magazine Issue 18 with Jason Morrison on fishing photography. Check it out at , on page 71 (back issues #18).

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


There are strange things done in the Boulder sun
By the fools who moil for trout;
The mountain trails have their fishing tales
That would drive a man to scout;
The Utah nights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of a lake not large
I caught a hundred brookies.

I have long been a fan of Robert Service and since he was born in Lancashire, England at the head of the Ribble River I don’t think he would mind that I’ve adapted his words to fly fishing.

Boulder Mountain in Southern Utah is home to many species of fish, but the brook trout is perhaps its most sought after denizen. Dark green backs flecked with jewel-like spots are set on fire by brilliant red fins that cut through the water on ivory edges. Few things in life are as magical as a brookie in crystal clear alpine waters.

As callibaetis hatched this weekend in prolific numbers at 10,000 feet and eager trout demolished our imitations, life became a series of simple connections.

Hand to Rod

Rod to Line

Line to Fly

Fly to fish

My Grandfather fished Boulder Mountain in the early 1900s on foot and horseback. Almost a century after his first Boulder Mountain casts, at one of his favorite lakes, it seemed fitting to land a fish for every year that has passed since then. Thanks for blazing the trail, Grandpa.

Thanks to writer and photographer JayMorr for the good company on this trip. I'm sure some of his images from the weekend will be coming to a fly fishing rag near you. Don't miss out on his shots at Fly Fisherman Forum.