Canon 1D MK111, 70-200mm f4L IS lens (at 70mm), ISO 400, f8, 1/200, polarising filter
Check out an online gallery I have just created of some of the photos I took out in Montana last week - click here to have a look, or alternatively, look at the Links section on the right hand side of this page and get to it from there. I hope you like them - what a place.
Nick Hart and I arrived back in the UK after lunch on Monday, and I got back home just in time to see my two girls before they went to bed. Going away for work is a blast, but nothing ever beats getting home and seeing my family - obviously I could not resist showing my daughters the clothes that I had got for them in Bozeman, and they insisted on wearing their new dresses down to breakfast the next morning. I never thought I would say this, but shopping for clothes for my girls is more fun than buying fishing gear or CDs - mad I know, but it's true.
The trip to Montana was simply out of this world, indeed the place was everything that I hoped it would be and more. Where we were was without doubt one of the most stunning places that I have ever been lucky enough to see, and Nick and I are already planning a return trip to try and nail the Yellowstone river when it is firing properly. Talk to Aardvark McLeod about getting yourself out there sometime soon - it really is that special.
It has been eyes down here since I got back, trying to process all the photos I took out in Montana in time to take up to Hardy Greys - I fly up to Newcastle tonight and then go through what I got up there tomorrow for their catalogues etc. On Thursday night I fly back down here and then go away on Friday for a few days with my family over to Cornwall. Yes, of course, the bassing gear is packed and ready to go - what on earth are early mornings and evenings for ?
Above is one of the photos that I really like - moody light over the mountains, a really pretty little spring creek, and a fly angler looking carefully into the water for some willing trout. I deliberately under-exposed this image slightly, to accentuate the sky and retain the different colours in the sky and the grass, and I think it's worked pretty well. This is the sort of photo that I would really like a magazine designer to pick up on and run it across two pages, but you never quite know what your features will come out like. That is the nature of the business. You take the photos, hand them over, and then see what the various designers end up doing with your material.
Canon 1D MK111, 70-200mm f4L IS lens (at 75mm), ISO 200, f11, 1/400
Above is the last photo I shot out in Montana, of Nick getting out of his waders and slinging the fishing gear in the back of the car for the last time before heading home. The sun behind is rising on another perfect Montana day, and I grabbed the shot just before it became impossible to place the glare behind the car and create a silhouette. These kinds of photos are not planned, for I like to shoot as much as possible "as it happens" - I tend to think that fishing never looks any good when things are set up and staged.
I am really looking forward to getting back out and slinging some lures for bass. The weather seems a bit up and down, but it looks ok to me for a bit of plugging - reports are a bit sketchy it seems, but I know of a few fish showing. I really can't wait now to head over to Ireland in July to fish and photograph, especially after that huge 72cms bass the other day that I heard about. To get a bass that size on a lure would be something very special indeed......
On the metal front, it is also very cool to get back home and find a new CD or two waiting for you - take it from me on this one, you need to go and buy "Kolossus" by the Norwegian band Keep of Kalessin. You can see a video of one of the new tracks here. Their last album "Armada" was immense, but this new one is off the scale it is so good - fantastic levels of brutality mixed with insane melodies that get you right between the eyes. The drummer is off another planet he is so good. This is without doubt one of the great extreme metal releases of the year so far. What on earth do they put in the water over in Norway to keep producing such immense metal ? I put it on yesterday while my daughters were having their tea, and they loved it (and my wife hated it) - that is all the recommendation you need !!
Both Nick and I bought the most incredible book just before we left Montana on Sunday - it is not a fishing book, but it is without doubt one of the most awesome publications I have ever seen. Called "Yellowstone to Yukon - Freedom to Roam", it is a series of breathtaking photographs and short essays on this amazing part of the world - scenery and wildlife. The photographer is called Florian Schulz, and you can see more of his incredible work here. Some more details on the book can be found here, and you can buy it here for not very much at all. This kind of publication really inspires me to keep working on trying to improve my photography all the time.
A friend of mine up in Scotland has just emailed to tell me about a 17lb rainbow trout he caught the other day on a size 16 fly, from a float tube !! Stuart is one of the nicest guys you could hope to meet, and he is an excellent fly fisherman into the bargain - I bet the fish towed him around for a fair while. He also tells me about some really big salmon coming off the Dee very recently........