Last week I traveled to the Northeast to shoot the first leg of a new book project. Over the next year, I’ll be working with writer Pete McDonald to produce a large-format pictorial (that’s a pitcher book for you Oklahomans) on the ravenous and eclectic fly fishing culture of striped bass, bluefish, false albacore, and other hard-pulling, bait-crashing, surf-busting species. We knew the weather would be suspect this time of year, but we were still hoping for more sunny days than not. That didn’t happen.
It was raining when I flew into Laguardia and it was raining when I left. It also rained in between…a lot. We did have one nice sunny day, but the rest of the time it rained…a lot. We also had wind from every point on the compass, and we lost an entire fishing/shooting day when the seas climbed to eight feet and the beach sand blew at paint-peeling velocity. Despite the conditions, we made do and got all of our bad weather photographs out of the way. This trip forced me to scheme and finagle, and my underwater housing came in particularly handy on the last day when the driving rain would have otherwise made shooting impossible.
The second installment of this project has not been scheduled, but it looks like we’ll be heading back up there sometime this spring. Our plan is to follow the fish in a circuitous route from Maine to the Carolinas. This book will eventually arise under my Departure Publishing imprint. Hop on that mailing list if you’d like to keep abreast of our progress.
A big thanks to everyone that helped us out on the shoot: Paul Dixon, Jason Puris, and Jim Levison in Montauk. John McMurray in Jamaica Bay. Captain Mike Warecke in Old Saybrook, Connecticut, and The Salty Fly Rodders of New York out at Breezy Point.
Here are a few selections to get you started. If you’d like to see the entire shoot, please click here.
Victory among the rocks at Breezy Point
Underwater striper near the Connecticut River
Good place for chowder after a day of taking waves in the face
Birds over bait near Montauk Point
Bluefish gnashers (and goo)
Postcard weather at Jamaica Bay
Stripping for stripers
A schoolie in the surf
Obligatory fall color shot