Middle River Dispatches is a gumbo of posts about fly-fishing, conservation, politics and days afield.

Wet Work

Lily Wet long

wetter is better…


As a fishing guide and a journalist the chance to chronicle the outdoor experience is a side benefit of being on the water. Many times that means getting a photo of a happy fly-fisher with a fish.

Here’s the rub. The grip and grin, hero shot is great for the angler, but even when it is done right is not great for the fish and when done wrong can be deadly. My friend Dr. Andy Danlychuck has been beating the drum about this for a while and the idea has been stuck in my head.

I’ve done it, at lot and it bothers me. Sure, I am careful when I set up those shots but I’ve always worried about it. Of course I want the client to have a memento but not at the sacrifice of my business partner the fish.

Not surprisingly others have similar concerns.

Kirk Deeter has posted before on the subject and recently posted New Year’s Resolution Number One: Goodbye Grip-n-Grins in Field & Stream’s Fly Talk. “Fact is, a lot of fish get killed to make photographs, and we need to do more to improve that one way or another.”

Cameron Mortenson of Fiberglass Manifesto posted Keep ‘Em Wet. “The more that I think and talk about it, the better idea this becomes.”

Native Fish Society is running a photo contest to help drive the Keep ‘Em Wet message. “So, let’s get creative with the way we photograph our wild fish by keeping them wet and in the water.”

You only need to look at some of Brian OKeefe’s photos to see how to do it right.

The time has come for better, wetter photos.

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