A big part of fishing is observation – watching how trout react to insects - watching them feed on and below the surface. Silver Creek, with its clear, slow moving water, is an aquarium. Many days I will pack my camera and a tripod along with my fishing tackle. Some days the rod hardly gets used.
Fly fishing and photography were created to complement each other.
Roderick Haig-Brown wrote, “My senses are much keener when I am walking with a rod or gun in my hand.” A fishermen watches the sky, notices the breeze, the insects in the air or on the water and the dimple made by a rising trout. He is alert and aware. As a photographer I am constantly looking at the light.
I can’t look at anything without composing a picture. My senses get sharper when I have a rod and camera in my hand. I started guiding for Will Godfrey in 1975 on the Henry’s Fork of the Snake River in eastern Idaho. The mid 70’s was the wooden boat era, before fiberglass drift boats came onto the scene; and also, a time for Kodachrome.
This region, central and eastern Idaho, is famous for great light and dramatic landscapes. Throw in some of the best dry fly water in the world, colorful guides and locals, sprawling ranches and ever changing weather, and you see why almost every fly fishing photographer comes to this area, or lives here. From Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to Yellowstone Park, to Sun Valley, Idaho, millions of photos have been taken of the great hatches, fish, guide trips, scenery and wildlife.
These photos are from the film era. Film was expensive and my film budget was below minimal. I carried my Nikon FM camera tucked inside my waders upwards of 100 days a year. I only shot 6 rolls of 36 exposure film a season and did not know what I had until after the season was over and a package arrived in the mail from Kodak’s Palo Alto, California lab. I had to pay attention to composition, manually focus the camera and use the light meter, every shot counted.
My passion for fishing started when I was very young and evolved into fly fishing at 9 or 10. I bought my first camera when I was in high school and enrolled in Mr. Devoe’s photography class as an elective at Boise High School. From that day forward I always had a camera around my neck. I have been the owner of Silver Creek Outfitters, a premier fly fishing guide service and fly shop, for 34 years.
I started my guiding career at Will Godfrey’s Fly Shop in 1975, guiding fly fishermen in eastern Idaho, western Montana and Yellowstone National Park. I earned a degree in economics from Boise State University. I am a serious amateur photographer and have had photography published in Gray’s Sporting Journal, Orvis, Fly Fishermen Magazine and various other periodicals and books.