Written by: Will Long
[Editor’s note: Last month, Will Long wrote a story about winter fishing in Colorado, and several folks commented on the great photos he was able to create, even though he was alone on the water. So I asked him to tell us how he does it.]
Fly fishing with a friend, family member, or loved one can be a great way to spend some quality time together, and it does have some other advantages. You have someone there to lend you a hand when needed, whether it is netting a fish for you or taking a photo of you with your catch. While that kind of camaraderie is always enjoyable, there is just something therapeutic about going out on your own. Fishing by yourself allows you to just put all of the cares of world aside and get out and enjoy nature. Since a large majority of fly fishers practice catch-and-release, we now rely on taking photos of our catch to show others what exemplary fishermen and fisherwomen we are.
This can be a little difficult when you are fishing by yourself. There are a few things I have found that can assist in getting that great photo while keeping the fish safe. I like to use my iPhone 4S to take photos while I am on the river. The photos the iPhone take aren’t professional quality, but they are pretty darn good. I put my iPhone in a Lifeproof case, which keeps it safe from the elements while fishing.
One way to get a good shot is to just get a picture of the fish while it is still in your net. When you have a smaller fish, a close-up to capture the beauty of the fish can suffice. But it’s a different story when you catch a larger fish. A picture of a trophy fish lying all folded up in your net just doesn’t do your catch justice. What I have found works best to get that trophy shot is a tripod. You should have enough pockets in your fly vest to add a tripod to the arsenal.
One awesome tripod I found that works like a charm is the GripTight GorillaPod Stand; it’s a great product to help you get that trophy shot when you are fishing by yourself. There are several different versions of this stand, but the GripTight model is designed to hold your smartphone. Its expandable claws will hold your phone even with its case on.
The flexible tripod allows you to set up it on any terrain and it will securely hold your phone to take a picture.
The stand features a ¼”-20 screw so it can also hold a small point and shoot camera.
This GripTight stand fits great in my vest pocket and is quick and easy to set up. Once the fish is in your net, you can pull out your stand, put your phone or camera on it, and set the self timer. Then grab the fish and pose for your trophy shot. I have a camera app on my iPhone 4S called Camera+, which is a great photo-editing app and it also features a self timer. I set the self timer for 15 seconds, set it in the grips on the stand, position it somewhere safe on the side of the river, grap the fish from my net, and pose!
It works like a charm, and the fish is only out of the water for a short period of time! This is a great way to get a trophy shot when fishing by yourself.