Photographers love having lots of gear, that is a known fact in this industry. The reality is sometimes having all that gear is justified because different scenarios result in needing it. Now how to know what is needed and what is not can be tricky but often comes down to experience. I knew when I got the call to fo flying this one beautiful Sunday afternoon that I would not have the right lens. Having been in biplanes before, the 18-35mm would just not be wide enough. A fisheye creates a better perspective but since I didn’t have it I had to make do with what I did have. Now the question is, is it worth getting?
Big or small catching fish is always about having fun and with a 4wt these little guys are a blast. Fall is a great time for brown trout as they are getting ready to spawn and are much more aggressive making them more likely to bite. What’s great about this is all of the colors they start to show and as a photographer more color is always a good thing. A little light and a nice rocky background set the stage for this aquatic treasure.
Fall is all about the changing of the seasons and seeing that dramatic pop in color in the trees. Some of us are lucky enough to live in areas where that is more prevalent than others. What I’ve always loved about this time of the year is when an afternoon storm rolls through and the sky becomes very dark. All of a sudden there is this great contrast between the dark sky and the bright leaves on the trees which makes for some great drama.
I keep trying to find new and fun ways to show the same thing and frankly, it gets to be kind of hard. There are a number of names for this kind of shot, the fin, and grin, the trophy shot, the specimen, etc. It’s an important photo because at the end of the day when you’re out on the water you’re trying to catch a fish and thus want to showcase it later on. What’s important to remember is how to highlight what makes each specimen unique. This one was a big baddie so I wanted more attitude and to achieve that I got low, used the pop-up screen on the Z50, and went wide with the 18-35. It’s a very simple technique to make a subject look bigger with more attitude.
Okay so it’s actually been a little longer than a year when this fire first started but it was burning all throughout September 2020. This has been one of the worst fire seasons throughout the West and thankfully we’ve been very fortunate to have not had a bad season here in the Bridger Mountains. It’s sad to see the scar left on the forest after a fire comes through but forests are designed to handle fires over time. The emotional and sometimes financial toll forest fires take on people is always harder to handle but like forests, we have to learn to adapt and to make things better so that we can bounce back while continuing to push forward. Problems like the ones we’ve faced this year won’t just solve themselves, we have to help.
Fall color is starting to pop up around Gallatin Valley but nothing major yet. I’m really curious with the hot summer and lack of water what kind of fall color year it’s going to be. In theory, it should be really good but anything could happen and one big rainfall, snowstorm or a month of cold weather could change everything. I took this last year while out fishing a local creek on the same weekend last year and now I sit here waiting and watching what this year will be like.
I love this time of year! The smoke, thanks to the hard work of all the people working on putting out the fires, has slowly left Gallatin Valley making for some really enjoyable crisp clean good feeling Fall days. The air is definitely getting colder with a small snowfall last week on the mountain tops. This is also the time of the year when German Brown Trout turn those gorgeous pumpkin brown colors that make anglers get all excited for fishing. As we get closer to closer into spawning season, their color patterns will turn even more dramatic making for some great angling but remember that they are going to spawn so be careful on the small streams and side channels as they start to make reds. This was a quick click with the Nikon Z50, FTZ converter and 24-70 AF-S.
The best part of getting up early is the reward of the catch afterward. Hyalite is a pretty cool reservoir for fishing as it has been stocked with Yellowstone Cutthroat, Arctic Grayling, and Brook Trout. For the avid angler in the valley, it’s a great place to spend a morning or afternoon. The photography can be fun as well with so many species potentially to work with. Due to the smaller size of the individuals, I opted for a smaller net with a black mesh fabric because it made for a better background prop as opposed to my usual one. It’s a small detail but it can make a difference.
I’ve never been much for getting up early but sometimes it really does pay off to get up early. Fall is here and we’re finally getting the lower temps combined with warmer afternoons making for some great photography. A couple of weekends ago I went to Hyalite Reservoir which is a place I tend to underestimate, one because of how beautiful it is and two just how much you can do up there. Despite how little time I spend up there, this was by far the most beautiful morning I have ever encountered upon the reservoir. The clouds were puffy and scattered and the sun heated up the air above the reservoir created an amazing layer of steam.
Over the years, if you are a follower of my Dad and thus me, then you’ve probably heard the sentiment that it only takes one to make a shoot worthwhile. That’s a very true sentiment! While it’s always nice to have diversity it can also be very overwhelming to have too many options and thus you might end up not seeing all the details or best photo opportunities of just one subject.