Look at a fire map of the West (InciWeb) from California to Montana and you will see dozens of blazes. Fire and to a larger extent, smoke, is the new norm in the west. July and August in the mountainous areas and in some places along the coast, year-around.
A bit of smoke and lots of sun and hot weather too. Late July, Picabo, Idaho.
Excited to have a feature piece, both words and photography, in the new issue of The Drake Magazine.
The story is on my trip out to Faraway Cayes on the Miskito Coast in Honduras this past March and the Honduran guides I was with, Miskito Indians, trap boat fishermen, and the long boat ride in the 40' Captain Dennis to get there...
I had the privilege of spending a few weeks on the Mosquito Coast and Faraway Cayes in Honduras this past March. It was an incredible experience on many levels. I'm working on an editorial piece, words and photos, on that trip. My story is slated to be published this July. So..., more to come on that.
In the meantime, here's a link to Beyond The Horizon, a roughly 22 minute video on Faraway Cayes. It's certainly a fly fishing frontier and as a heli-fishing operation, really worthwhile. Think lots and lots of tailing bones but the trip is for the person looking to have many shots at permit each day.
It still feels like spring and technically it is for five more days... The image below was taken yesterday on a beautiful sunny day.
I just returned from a backpacking trip along the coast in Olympic National Park with my two sons. Think eagles and ferns and otters and rain and beach... You can even have a monster fire on the beach in solitude with the abundant driftwood.
It's easy to forget when packing that the Olympic Coast is a rainforest. It's wet. When the sun comes out it's a bonus and we were fortunate to have a little sun here and there.
Below is a shot of Pablo Vinaras (the head guide at Limay River Lodge in Argentina) on the Limay this April. Split shot just means part of an image is taken below and the other part above the water's surface. I use a large AquaTech dome (PD-85) on my housing with a 14-24 lens to get the wide, split shot look.
Below are a couple of images of mine in the new issue of The FlyFish Journal (Issue 9.3).
Zac Mayhew and John Huber on a drakeless evening on Silver Creek. For those of you who don't know, Silver Creek opens each year on the Saturday of Memorial Weekend, which is this coming Saturday.
Brown Drakes can start anytime, even before opening weekend (hopefully that doesn't happen) and it's a hatch that really kickstarts our season. Many of us look forward to it all year. It doesn't last long (about a week) and usually happens in the evening.
Catching the Drake event on the first evening means, usually at least, fewer people around and fish keyed in on emerging bugs and duns. It's less complex in many ways. There's no debate, for example, between using a spinner or dun or how far upstream the hatch has progressed.
In any event, a few of us start showing up on Silver Creek every evening once we think conditions are good enough. It can be burdensome for family members who are not interested and stay at home on years when it could be as many as fourteen consecutive evenings without any sign of bugs. I think fourteen consecutive drakeless nights is my record (It wasn't too long ago that the first night of Drakes was June 13). Compound that with the fact that once it starts, non-interested family members are potentially left in the dust for an additional week.
The image above was one of those drakeless evenings where the downside is a beer or two with friends and a stunning evening.
Above, John Huber throws a mouse on the early end of what he and I now think of as our best mousing night ever. Silver Creek.
I feel really fortunate to travel for a variety of reasons--generally fly fishing related. I've found over the years, regardless of where I am, I'm most energized when wandering foreign streets and meeting new people.
In the case below, on a recent trip to Andros Island, I had access to a cruiser (bike) and rode up and down the 9 miles along Mangrove Cay (think the middle part of Andros which is the largest Bahamian Island). People drive, by the way, on the left hand side of the street (A former British Colony. Independence was July 10, 1973).
There really is no "town" per se on Mangrove Cay. Just scattered, simply constructed, and sometimes vibrant homes along the main road which is on the east side. There are a few conch shacks where people stop and drink Kalik (Bahamian beer) and eat conch salad or fried chicken.
What was striking to me, I had never been to Andros before, was both how few tourists there were and how kind, genuine, and happy in a sincere way, the local people are.
There's not a lot of money floating around Andros and people are living very simply. Below, I came across this great group of kids after school playing basketball in a half concrete, half dirt, yard.
They were pretty young and found a wooden pallet to jump from. What surprised me was how excited they were to not only have me and my friend John Huber watch them play and show interest in them but to also have me take pictures of them.
Not one of these kids had proper shoes on and the rim was bent and small concrete chunks were scattered across their playing area and none of this slowed them down.
A long term project of mine is taking portraits of fly fishing guides all over the world. A guide's hands also tell a story. Below is Ronald Green. He's a guide at Mangrove Cay Club on Andros Island in the Bahamas. He's 31 and I would happily fish with Ronald any day. He's a genuine person.
While Andros is the largest island in the Bahamas it has a really small population. Mangrove Cay lies in the middle of the island and the people there are soft spoken, warm, and kind. There's no rush. People have time to talk. Kids play basketball after school on dirt driveways in bare feet. Other than at lodges, tourism is not apparent.
I just returned from a week on Mangrove Cay in the Bahamas where we were dodging squalls for the large part of the week. The clouds made for some memorable skies...