Shooting the fly-fishing lifestyle – while it may not be the most artistic of genres – is often the most rewarding. Some of my personal favourite images fit nicely into this category, and remind me of the journey, the friendships I've made and the adventures we've shared. You don't need to exercise any great technical brilliance or have a perfectly sharp image, so long as you connect with your audience so they can relate to the image. The key is to always have your camera at hand, ready to capture those quirky moments that are unique to fly-fishing; the truck stuck in the mud, the wayward fly embedded in the face or eating your lunch sheltering under a tree in the torrential rain. Fleeting moments which often aren't repeated.
I'm kicking myself now for missing one such opportunity a couple of weeks ago. Tim had caught a lovely Rainbow and brought it to hand and we were preparing ourselves to take some nice underwater shots, when the fish slipped away and took off. In the ensueing calamity, Tim's rod suddenly became an 8 foot 10 and a half. Understandably he was a little dark about that, and that's when I should have put my photojournalist hat on, got in his face and captured that raw emotion. That sort of stuff is priceless, and would have no doubt been the most treasured images of the day. Instead, I was guilty of getting caught up in the occasion, and set about soothing my bruised buddy. He was hurting. I should have removed myself from the situation, and been an observer rather than a participant. Tim's a big boy and would have been fine without me. Of course that's a judment call you need to make; to shoot or not. With most scenarios, after a little time and maybe a beer or two, you'll be laughing about it, but there just may be an exception to that...
In this case, losing the very tip off his rod wasn't the end of the day for Tim. A lot of rods have fantastic warranties which you should be aware of, so nothing to worry about there, but also a lot of rod companies will use hot glue on the tip tops. We had recovered the broken piece and with a cigarette lighter and a pair of forceps, we had popped the tip off in a couple of seconds, and back onto the now shorter top section of rod. Fish on brother!
Here's a few thoughts on shooting the journey:
o Always have your camera ready
o be the photojournalist
o capture those unique “fly-fishing” moments
o tell a story, either with a single frame or with a photo essay series
o mundane moments work too
o capture emotion, humour, dispair. We all love drama!
o Predict the action
o in low light try using a slower shutter to catch motion, but take a ton of frames monochrome can look great in this style. Either shoot in black and white or convert in post processing