Words and Images from Ed Felker

1 Fly, 10 Fish, 100 Degrees

It’s hot today. Damned hot. But I felt like walking down to the river with my fly rod and making the most of an otherwise dreadful day. I brought along my new trusty Olympus TG-1 waterproof camera and had some fun with it too.

The heat kept most sensible people indoors, but it wasn’t bad here on the water late morning. A steady breeze kept things reasonable. But I only spotted a couple people kayaking in the couple hours I was out there.

At this time of year, this grass grows in the river everywhere. The good news is it makes for good, safe habitat for fish. The bad news is it makes for good safe habitat for fish. It’s a challenge to fish water like this without getting snagged continually, but luckily the water was very clear, so you could actually cast to the gaps and watch your fly move underwater. To successfully navigate a streamer through these clumps and end up catching fish is pretty fun and rewarding.

I don’t understand what the camera is doing to make this dark edge around the fish, but to me it gives it the look of a bad movie special effect or something. This is a healthy little smallmouth bass, one of eight small ones I caught today along with a couple pretty sunfish.

This cool wooly bugger is the only fly I fished with today, tied by my friend Josh Williams of Dead Drift Flies. I think it really comes to life in the water, great looking fly.

I feel like the key to my photography is to just take a LOT of photos, because most of them are going to be uninteresting, technically flawed or both. If that’s true above the water’s surface, it is doubly true beneath it. Because you can’t see what you’re shooting, you just pick your settings, hold it underwater and snap away. I took over a hundred underwater pics today (many on ‘burst’ shutter to try to capture movement), and ended up with a half dozen or so keepers. And while the keepers admittedly aren’t that great, I did make some progress in figuring out the settings I like underwater.

On the settings that use a flash, like this one and the photo at the top of the post, to me the photos have almost a surreal look to them.

Well of course, I let this little guy go hoping he would swim toward the camera. No.

I don’t know if you can see these at the top of the picture, but I have a large pod of large carp right off our river bank, and I will figure out how to catch them one day! The largest of these, like the blackish looking one in the top right of the photo, is probably 30″ long and as big around as my thigh. I saw 12-15 carp and some impressive catfish in this hole. I fished to them for a while but they were not interested in my silliness.

And speaking of silly, you find odd things in and around the river all the time. This rubber ducky had a number on the bottom, leftover from an old Brunswick, Maryland Railroad Days game where you buy a number, they release the duckies upstream, and as they catch them downstream there are prizes given out. This wayward fella missed out on the game and was stuck in a little eddie for who knows how long, so I sent him on his way down river.

3 Responses

  1. Ed, looks like you had an awesome day regardless of the dreadful heat! And I love that little ducky. We have a similar race on the Bouler Creek. Hope it cools down for you soon. Nell

    July 7, 2012 at 7:12 pm

  2. Great shots… I am so selling my Pentax when I can and getting this one. Shooting underwater is kinda fun as you just never know what you will get. For me it’s also frustrating as the water is hardly ever clear, but this also has to do with current breaking over the camera and subject. I am glad you got out today, these shots totally made it worth it IMO. Maybe you can help me get my flyrod going.. I have backing but need to get the rest but not sure how really.
    Anna
    http://www.akginspiration.com

    July 7, 2012 at 8:14 pm

  3. Awesome shots!

    July 8, 2012 at 10:29 am

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