Getting ready....

Between frantically checking the edits made to my book and writing/photographing magazine features, I am starting to get ready for a trip back to the Seychelles next week. I reckon the ultra-remote atolls that lie many hundreds of miles away from civilisation offer arguably the best saltwater fishing anywhere on this earth. Nowhere for starters can you sight fish the flats for such insane numbers of big GTs like the one above. I am heading out there for my third trip to photograph this extraordinary fishing. There is only one group of guides that I trust for this "out there" fishing and that is the FlyCastaway guys from South Africa. You can book trips out there through the fly fishing travel company Aardvark McLeod. This kind of fishing is expensive, but what price the best there is ? See a bunch of photos from my recent trips here and here.

What you can carry is limited by various factors - weight restrictions, the sheer physical nature of the fishing (lots of walking and wading in serious heat) and actually photographing on the flats. Being out all day means that I need to carry camera gear plus sufficient water (dehydration is bad news), and changing lenses while wading is really difficult. Using one lens for long periods is a great discipline, but big blue skies usually allow for a lot of wide-angle photography. It is about as exciting as fishing and fishing photography is ever going to get. I spend most of the time on a trip like this in a complete state of excitement and then just collapse on the plane journey home.

All my camera gear for this kind of flats trip goes in a Lowepro DryZone Rover. This is a great bag for walking miles and miles, and it has an inbuilt water bladder system that is invaluable. Polarised sunglasses are essential : use the Maui Jim ones and you will not go far wrong. I am taking the Lagoon model with the HCL lenses, and a spare pair for a backup. I wear all the usual tropical fishing clothing - shirts, shorts, flats boots, neoprene gravel guards, hat etc. I have yet to find a better suncream anywhere than the awesome BullFrog. Annoyingly we can not get it in the UK, so I always pick up a load when I am in the US. I use the factor 36 Quik Gel that remains waterproof for ages. I have never burnt with this stuff once.