I started flyfishing in the winter many years ago because one of my friends thought it was a good idea. It was really cold, the eyes on our rods would freeze, if you got wet it could lead to frostbite and we didn’t always catch something. Despite all that, it turns out he was right. Winter fishing has become one of the things I look forward to the most out of the year because the trout that we do catch has some of the most vibrant colors I’ve ever seen. Rainbow Trout move out of lakes and up the river to their spawning grounds and during that time the males mainly turn the most vibrant colors. Females can also get good colors but nothing like the males. Just one of these beauties makes the whole day worthwhile.
It is not atypical in the winter months for large chunks of ice to come floating down the river. Dams need to regulate the flow of water that is coming out of that dam. As a result of this the rising and lowering of the water height, combined with the changing of the temperature, will cause large chunks of ice to break off and float downstream. It’s a lot of fun to watch the icebergs float away and occasionally others partake too. While I was out the other day I enjoyed watching a Dipper perch on an iceberg and float away downstream before eventually flying off.
Yep, spotlighting works with fish as well as just about anything else you can point a camera at. It can be difficult to get the lighting right with a subject that is flopping all over the place but if you take a second and look around you for the right light then odds are your photograph will end up stronger. I wanted the light only on this male Brown Trout’s head, specifically the eye. In this case, the sun was behind me and I used my legs to block out the light in the areas where I wanted the shadow. A simple click with the Z50 to preserve the memory of a really good day.
I hear this a lot and see a lot of bad behavior as a result but often times species get lumped into categories of being better than one another to the point where some are considered trash. Nonnative introduced species such as Carp or Small Mouth Bass in the rivers of Montana I can understand some not liking them but native species like the Mountain Whitefish get a bad rap for no good reason. All waters have natural biodiversity and Whitefish make up part of the diversity found in Montana Rivers. They aren’t the prettiest at times but still part of the ecosystem and sometimes, like this big one, they can look pretty darn good.
Just like this fish, I’m still alive! For those of you who have tried to reach my site in the last couple of days, I do apologize for the down condition my site has been in. I had a little with WordPress but all is fixed now. Yay! Just like this guy, everything turned out okay. It’s finally Fall, the temperature is dropping, the colors are changing and the fish are running upstream to spawn. It’s a great time of the year to be out as long as you are being safe. Stay tuned as I’ll be posting more as this fall unfolds.
There’s always a risk when you go on the water of something go into the water but sometimes you just have to take the risk. This past weekend when I ran into a camera issue, I instinctively pulled out the iPhone and kept shooting. The iPhone 11 Pro actually has a really good camera in it and in the moment it works really well to capture those moments you don’t won’t to forget.
This is absolutely one of the most fun times of the year as these giant bugs come back through the state of Montana and are feasted upon by the fish that inhabit the rivers. Big or small, everyone comes up to the surface for a taste. While the Salmonfly look like giant dangerous bugs they are actually quite harmless. Due to their size and color, they make for great photo subjects and the fish seem to enjoy them too.
I do love Spring in the Rockies! The weather starts to get a little warmer but there’s still a little nip in the air. The vegetation starts turning green as new life begins and the crystal clear air can be seen on the gorgeous rivers. The high alpine lakes are a great place to be as the runoff happens further below so the lakes stay clear. Photographically it’s a no brainer but the clarity you feel at that moment is hard to beat.
The Yellow Perch are common sport fish in the reservoirs and ponds of Montana. While they don’t normally get too big in the ponds, in the reservoirs where the food supply is more generous they can grow to be a couple of pounds. However, even the small ones are fun to fight and show off. Nighttime fishing is a lot of fun but poses certain photographic challenges. Flash is a must but even then it’s hard to get a good photo of something so small and moving about. In this case, practice a lot. These little guys are numerous and can be caught readily which makes practicing easier.
One of the aspects I love about fishing photography is that the slightest change of angle between the subject and the direction of light can have a dramatic effect on the colors of the fish. When I caught this fish it was actually a very dull silver but in the light, you can clearly see the green colors in its scales. Be ever mindful of those slight changes as they can alter your images quite a bit.
Image captured with Nikon Z50