Check Out the Winners of our “New Season” Photo Contest

Kris Magenheim’s photo of his friend Dave was the runaway winner.

Three weeks ago, to celebrate impending Opening Days in many states, we launched the “New Season” Photo Contest, which required entrants to post their favorite fly-fishing photo of 2019 to the Orvis Fly fishing Facebook or Instagram page, along with the hashtag #NewSeasonRecon. We got more than 600 entries, from all corners of the country and featuring a wide variety of species.

On Monday, we presented you with 10 finalists for the contest’s prizes. After almost 1,800 votes, we had a clear winner and second place, but there was quite a battle for third. In the end, just nine votes separated third and fourth. Congrats to all the photographers who made the finals!

Your top choice was Kris Magenheim‘s dreamy shot of an angler throwing a beautiful loop into the mist of a waterfall. Kris–who lives in Temecula, California–describes how he captured the moment:

This picture was taken last summer on the San Joaquin river near Rainbow Falls. My buddy Dave had gotten me into fly fishing earlier in the year. It was my first season fly fishing, and I was hooked!  We ventured back to the Mammoth/ Devils Postpile area a few times before I decide to bring my camera along. I was eager to capture shots like I see on Orvis’s Instagram all the time. We hiked back to the falls because I knew I wanted that in the background. Dave did his thing, and I snapped this photo of him. He even caught a few rainbows while I was shooting. I printed and framed this photo for Dave last Christmas as a thank you for all he has taught me about fly fishing.

For capturing such a powerful image, Kris won a Recon Fly Rod of his choice, and he decided on an 8’6″ 4-weight

Neal Henderson’s action shot from the famed One Fly came in second.

In second place was Neal Henderson‘s beautiful image from the Snake River, with the Tetons in the background. Neal, who lives in Jackson, Wyoming, explains what’s going on in the shot:

The photo is taken in Grand Teton National Park. The anglers are fishing in the Jackson Hole One Fly tournament, where each fisherman is allowed just one fly all day and they get points for numbers and size of fish. All fish are measured and released. That stretch of river is, in my opinion, the most beautiful  float anywhere in the world.

For coming in second, Neal gets a Mirage LT Reel of his choice. He went with a size III, for a 5- to 7-weight rod.

The winner of the battle for third was Mary Kris Smith‘s perfectly timed shot of a large salmon taking to the air at the end of an angler’s line. Here’s how she did it:

Last September there was an early salmon run in Central New York, so we decided to take the short drive to Altmar to fish the Salmon River. I sat up on a rock scanning the stretch of water in front of me, watched and waited. I noticed my son, Lucas, was focused on this one pocket of the river and started snapping pictures of him and his father who was sitting along the river bank just behind him. I had just turned my lens toward the nearby bridge where a horse drawn buggy was carrying an Amish family across, when I heard my husband ask Lucas if he had one on. 

I focused the camera just ahead of where his fly line was being stripped from the water and waited for the fish to surface and possibly vault from the river, as they often do. Seeing the shot in my head before it actually happened, I quickly repositioned myself to focus over my son’s shoulder for a different perspective. Just as I got into position, the salmon breached the water and torpedoed a few feet through the air. I thought I’d missed the shot, and then Lucas lost the fish.  As he came to terms with not landing the salmon, I reviewed my shots and realized I had actually caught this image with the fish, my son, and a forever memory we could always share.

Mary Kris, who lives in Yorkville, New York, gets a 5-weight Hydros Trout Fly Line for her efforts.

Everyone who voted for our finalists was eligible for a prize, as well. We plugged in the numbers, and the widget at random.org spat out a winner: Brian Tugend, of Moosic, Pennsylvania, who wrote, “ Tough to pick three out of this group,” but then went on to choose two of the three winners. Brian gets a pair of made-in-the-USA Orvis Nippers in cobalt.

Finally, thanks to everyone who participated in this year’s “New Season” Photo Contest by submitting photos, voting, or commenting (or all of these). Stay tuned to this space for more photo contests, culminating in our annual “20 Days in September” Challenge.

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