Catching up and editing photos......

It's often when you get home and life begins to return to a relative normality that a trip like this one begins to really sink in - usually I am able to download, view and roughly edit photos each evening when I am on a photo job, but we were without power when we were camping. I tend to remember most of what I shoot, but it's fantastic to be able to trawl properly through the shoot and almost rediscover all over again just what an awesome country Mongolia is. Have I done the place some degree of justice ? That's for you to decide.

Taimen are no easy fish to take on the fly, but there is an abundance of a trout-kind of species in these rivers called lenok, and they tend to be willing, numerous and very strong. They have been taken to around 8lbs on the river we were travelling down, the Delga-Muron, and on its own this is world class fly fishing - they smash dries and nymphs, and yours truly even managed to hook a few on the fly. Yes, you read that correctly. Most closely related to the taimen, I am somewhat amazed that more fly fishermen have not switched on to the fact that these lenok are reason enough to do the kind of trip we have just done. Kind of like some of the finest fly fishing for trout (lenok) that there is, in one of the most spectacular places on this earth. Oh, and you can also catch massive taimen as well. A no-brainer if you ask me. Sign me up for a return visit.........

We camped for two nights on the river bank you can see on the right hand side of this photo above - to sit around the camp fire as the sun went down over the hills and then wake up to this view was something truly special. Talk about a complete lack of light pollution. Aardvark McLeod run these trips via the outstanding Fish Mongolia guys (see here), and I can not tell you enough what a truly professional set up the whole operation is. To put us UK guys right into the middle of nowhere and enable us to experience what we did takes some doing, believe me, and once again I am staggered at what can be achieved by these kinds of people. Andy Parkinson and his team from Fish Mongolia deserve huge credit - my sincere thanks guys for having me along on this trip. I think you can probably guess what it meant to me.

Up until this Mongolia trip, I had never seen the chance to shoot a certain kind of casting/fishing photo, like the one you can see above. See how the sun lights up the angler, and then because of the angle of the sun and the high cliff walls behind them, you can deliberately massively underexpose the photo and allow the parts of the background that are in shadow to go almost black, yet the shafts of light still bring out the fisherman and the line. Any camera sees a scene like this and wants to show it as a kind of uniform exposure, so you need to know when to take control and tell the camera what to do. I took a reading off the angler above and dialed in 2 stops of minus exposure compensation to produce the effect you can see. It might sound all weird and technical, but the trick is "seeing" the shot with the available conditions and then committing that shot to your memory cards. What is great about photography is that we all see a scene in a different way, and what you see here is simply my "translation" of it if you like. Another guy might have nailed it completely differently.

It ain't all glamorous this working in fishing lark !! Above is a screen grab of my photo editing software Photo Mechanic (see here), with a bunch of RAW files on there to be edited, keyworded and then renamed. After that it's over to Adobe Lightroom for processing into JPEGs that can be sent to clients etc. There is no other way than to spend time in front of the computer monitors and get this done - with film I had to spend days hunched over a lightbox while I sorted out the trannies, and I work on my own here, so it is simply a case of eyes down and do what is needed. With multiple cups of coffee and black metal pumping out via iTunes of course..........!! How else do you think I do this stuff ?

I have got a thing for a species called a "redfish" - I have never seen one in the flesh, but I am dying to fish for them and photograph them. They just look cool, they take flies and lures, and they catch lots of them in the south eastern parts of the USA. Redfish just look full of character to me, and I stumbled on a very cool promo video of some redfish fly fishing that takes place in the winter time in North Carolina I believe. Check here for the trailer - how badly do I want to see these fish ? I guess some things just grab you. Sit back and dream.......