|Ron, a retired principal from Santa Barbara, attempting to land 20+ inch rainbow.|
WARNING: This blog contains fish porn.
When I was in my late twenties I got the bug to write an article or story on fly fishing, so I did. I had just read Nick Lyons’ book, The Seasonable Angler. I could identify with Lyons’ conundrum of balancing family, work, and fly fishing (and of course, I added serving My Lord to that equation). I never submitted the article to anyone, but it did light a smoldering fire. I’m sure this blog has its roots in that early effort.
|Approaching the Dave Deacon Campground from the north, 6:30 AM.|
It took about thirty years for me to decide to write another article, this time for Southwest Fly Fishing after fishing Dacey Reservoir for the first time last September. I submitted the unsolicited manuscript and the editor liked it, surely not because of its quality but because they had never covered Wayne Kirch Wildlife Management Area before and the trout were respectably large. Their problem with my submission was my pictures; their composition might have been passable but their technical quality was not. But, editor John Shewey liked it enough to suggest pairing me with a professional photographer to supplement the article with the high quality pictures the magazine is known for. So, I spent the last two days of May fishing Kirch with Jeremy Allan (Jeremy Allan Photography) and his posse.
|Here is Jeremy shooting Brandon's big bow from Dacey Reservoir.|
|Here was my view of same trout.|
|And yet another view from FisherDad.|
|Colter and Ben getting in on Brandon's photo op after Jeremy got what he needed for the article.|
Shewey warned me this would feel like work. I have a pretty vivid imagination and I knew getting the elements of light and composition just right was not easy to do, and while an amateur would take hundreds of pictures hoping “the one” falls into place, the professional would take thousands. Throw in the “fish” element and you begin to realize that large fish don’t volunteer for the opportunity to appear in a magazine, let alone the front cover. It appears timing and luck reign on a fishing periodical photo shoot.
|Brandon and Colter getting the Flycraft Stealth boats ready for launch.|
Note their narrow profile, and these boats weigh just 80 lbs.
|Jeremy photographing Brandon rescuing a snagged fly using the Flycraft paddle boat.|
After the photo Ben left poor Brandon there to extract himself.
|Jeremy caught me with a fish on. It's obvious that he's a professional photographer.|
|Brandon snapping Colter with his first-ever largemouth bass - the popper got him.|
Several 16-inch bass were caught by our group.
|The ubiquitous 16-inch Dacey rainbow sporting their classic coloring.|
|The boys working it from the anchored Flycraft Stealths - they just killed it from there.|
Imagination aside, I didn’t really know what to expect. In the outdoors I tend to be a loaner. I enjoy the solitude, and it allows me to fill my soul and recharge my batteries. There’s not often peace when you are raising six children and work a day job that requires constant interaction with all sorts of personalities and egos. Jeremy, Ben, Brandon, and Colter were absolutely great to hang around with, and the usual angler banter was quite amusing. They were extremely professional and knowledgeable about all aspects of fly fishing. Despite my penchant for outdoor solitude, I had a blast experiencing but a glimpse of the other side of anglers who also make their beloved hobby their profession. Lots of single-minded dedication going on with these guys. For a different perspective check out Ben's video of our trip highlighting his Flycraft boats.
|My longest of the trip at 22 inches, but it probably weighed just 2.5 lbs |
due to an injury or illness in his jaw that must have affected his health.
|One of two Black Crappies I landed on our visit to Cold Springs Reservoir.|
|This was just one of the many 19-inch rainbows we caught.|
|A three to four foot Great Basin Gopher snake that got into my Outlaw Escape.|
Colter had Jeremy shoot his rod that carries his name with the snake's matching colors.
|A male Ruddy Duck with his signature baby-blue bill.|
Ron said it’s the solitude coupled with the fishery’s quality draws him to leave Santa Barbara for Kirch every year. Now there’s a testimony.
|The November/December 2014 edition of Southwest Fly Fishing.|
Jeremy's shot of Colter and Brandon made the cover!
|The inside cover TOC... feature article on page 38.|