There are a couple of staple shots in the realm of fishing that most photographers get accustomed to taking, the fin and grin, the release, the take, the underwater, and so on. One of the shots that I love taking but is hard to get in the habit of taking is the casting shot. There are a couple of ways to go about it; you can stand behind the subject or in front of the subject to get a more head-on view of the line, you can go from above depending on the terrain and equipment you have to use, or of course, you can go from the side. Personally, I think it all depends on the light, the foreground, and the background. These elements really dictate what stance to take on the photo. The Kootenai River is a gorgeous mixture of colors but the mountains in the springtime aren’t necessarily all that interesting, so going from the side made sense here. Plus, with my two friends both fishing, I wanted to see them both in the photo. There are many ways to capture this element of the sport and it’s important that no matter which way you do, that you at least try.
Well, I finally got all my photos finished from the trip, which considering the trip was a month ago, shows just how many I had to get through. I really did enjoy finishing these images though. The Kootenai River really is an amazing place and the topography of the land in that area of the state is just breathtaking. The river is controlled by Libby Dam, 17 miles upstream from the town of Libby, and regulates how much flows out from Lake Kookanusa. The Kootenai River is the third largest tributary to the Columbia River.
In the springtime, the flows are much lower than during the high runoff months of May and June, thus the river looks like this with more visible banks and pools. During the runoff months, the river swells and becomes very deep, very wide, and can be dangerous to navigate for outdoor recreation. While I was there last month on a fishing trip, we had to stop just once at the Kootenai falls, which is a natural barrier for fishing spawning, to do the whole tourist thing and see the sights. The Falls are accessible by a 1.6 mile easily manageable hike to the swinging bridge or the upper falls. Both spots are worth the trip. In the fall, the fish tend to pool up beneath the falls, and great schools of salmon, trout, and sturgeon can be seen. These were taken with the Nikon D5 and 18-35 f3.5/4.5.
My apologies for not posting much lately but I’ve rather busy since I got back from the latest Montana adventure, this one taking me all the way up north to Libby and the magnificent Kootenai River. It was one heck of a trip that I’m still processing images from and as you can see it’s unlike any river I’ve posted about before. The fishing was great and the photography was great so there will be more to come.