PHOTO ESSSAY | SAINT BRANDONS ATOLL 6° 35’0.0”S 59° 40’0.0”E – North East of Mauritius
I’m thrilled to see the voyage to St. Brandon’s Atoll in the Mauritius made it to print. Each time I think about this incredible adventure with the crew at Flycastaway I still can’t believe it. What an incredible area, I had no idea places like this actually existed in reality. A journey I will always remember and a place I will always want to return to. This essay is from my trip last year while on assignment for Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures with the amazing crew at Fly Castaway. It has been said the Cargados Carajos Shoals is very remote, way off-the-grid and is extremely difficult to get there. I couldn’t agree more.
Big thanks to William for letting me tag along with him on the flats with my camera and to my bunk mate Murray for putting up with all my gear, I’m glad we both had the same taste in room temperate!
Be sure to head down to your local shop and grab yourself a copy or better yet, order a subscription, you won’t be disappointed. This issue is packed with great articles and some impressive photo essays, its not one to be missed.
ST BRANDONS ATOLL RECAP Middle of Nowhere, Indian Ocean
I just returned from an inspiring trip to the Indian Ocean and ST Brandon’s Atoll, what an incredible adventure. I never knew a place like that existed. It was very inspiring to see a healthy fishery and ecosystem that is still intact. The wade fishing for bonefish was as incredible. It’s an ocean safari of animals and birds that I’ve never seen before. It’s not a place for everyone, a long journey filed with flights and a massive ocean crossing. We had a great captain and the 15-foot seas for 24+ hours didn’t seem so bad. Hats off to the FlyCasway team for showing me their amazing office. Thanks for your hospitality!
SAINT BRANDON’S ATOLL | INDIAN OCEAN 16° 35’0.0”S 59° 40’0.0”E – North East of Mauritius
Here we go, cue the automatic “out-of-office” email reply! ….My bags are packed, Global Rescue and SAT phone in tow and I am heading out the door in less than 24 hours. It is going to take 4 days, 4 plane rides, 2 hotels and a 28hr, 268-nautical-mile ocean crossing later to get there. My final destination is a very remote place called Île Raphael on St.Brandon’s Atoll, it’s about 10,393.44 miles away from home.
St. Brandon (Saint Brandon), also known as Cargados Carajos Shoals, is a collective of over 50 islands, coral ridges and vast sand flats on an extended reef located in the middle of absolutely nowhere Indian Ocean. I will be on assignment for Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures with the Fly Castaway boys targeting anything that swims on the flats, mainly giant bonefish and giant trevally. It has been said this place is literally the next frontier in the world of saltwater flats fishing. It is very remote, way off-the-grid and is one of the few remaining protected pristine places left on the planet, not too mention, its extremely difficult to get there.
I am beyond excited and I feel very lucky to be on this trip. This is for sure a once in a life-time opportunity for me, I am looking forward to the adventure and I can’t wait to make some photographs.
CUBA | HOW ABOUT A HAM SANDWICH AND JACK, SAY CHEESE Jardines de la Reina, Cayo Largo, Havana | Cuba
Oh Cuba… what can I say about a place that Hemingway didn’t already say? A Ham sandwich, betcaha Hemingway didn’t mention a ham sandwich. oh wait, he did. Breakfast, lunch or dinner, a ham sandwich is always an appropriate food in Cuba. That and a few more other odd things like funny money, cool old cars, ancient churches, talented artists and willing jacks can be found at any given time here! Did I mention the jacks crush Warpath crease flies on the surface?! Yes, yes, they do!
“It was considered a virtue not to talk unnecessarily at sea…” ― Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea
It was a thrilling few weeks in Cuba…now I’m repacking, headed to South America next week.
A SERIES OF BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOGRAPHS A few Black and White moments from my life on the road
“When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in Black and white, you photograph their souls!” ― Ted Grant
+Playa Blanca, Yucatan Johnny Pares spinning up some topwater bonefish flies.
+Skagit River, Washington Scott Wilson swinging for saltwater rainbows on an early foggy morning.
+Las Pampas, Argentina Argentine Gaucho, Jonathan Nunis, observes the outcome of his trusty calving rope work. Jonathan is one of the few old World gauchos, the last of his kind. It’s very much a fragile way of life in the new realm of technology, power and greed. I’ve never felt so humbled, so welcomed, so very small and insignificant in the big small world. It’s my hope their way of life continues forever.
+Casa Blanca, Yucatan A Yucatan Osprey heads to a palm tree with breakfast in its talons. I enjoyed watching the hunt and the feast, a day I won’t forget.
+Remote backcountry, Argentina Yvon Chouinard studying maps of the expedition in his tent. Andes Mountains, Argentina. This image represents my childhood dream and my childhood hero. A good role model and hero can make a difference, especially for the youngsters. It could be anyone really, a parent, a friend, someone who over came the odds, maybe a neighbor, perhaps a coach, an explorer, probably someone with a backbone that created positive change, it could be anyone with integrity, guts and bravery. These types follow their own quest, which is more often than not, the hard road. They fail but get back up and keep on going with their integrity and spine in tact, and they instill the seed of chance in others. Decades later I was the middle of the Andes Mountains gearing up for a big adventure. Ironically my childhood hero was also on the expedition team. I feel very fortunate to have captured this moment, for me it’s an internal lifetime accomplishment. It was also an inspiring moment, solidifying with certainty; the only limitations are those we put on ourselves. You can do anything you want to, you just have to actually want to do it. The champ is still going hard, still following his dreams, and still forging his own path. And its not everyday you get to bring your childhood hero on an expedition and take his picture when he’s not looking. Thirty-years later, I’m inspired once again.
I’m very excited to see one of my images on the new Spring 2013 cover of the The Drake Magazine!! It’s been a great publication for many years, one that I eagerly look forward too as both a fisherman and photographer. For me its a humbling honor for any of my images to make into print ,and making the cover has always been a lifetime goal of mine.
This image below is of good friend ,and phenomenal angler, Millie Jo Paini fishing her beloved Henry’s Fork river. It was a great hatch that day and both Mille and husband Rich were out doing what they both love to do, “play the game ” (dry fly fishing) on the famous Railroad ranch section. There are a few other goodies inside from BGP, including a little somethin’ somethin’ by friends Johnny Pares and Rita Rose Adams on dry fly bonefish from a recent trip to Casa and Playa Blanca in the Yucatan. The shot was very challenging for many reasons. It didn’t come easy and we spend days trying to get it. After dozens of hook-ups and we finally managed to get a few that really show the fully open mouth of a Bonefish trying to eat from the surface. It was one of the most amazing fly fishing experiences I’ve seen. I know I won’t look at bonefish the same way ever again. Rounding out the issue is buddy Tom Watkins over at the good ol’ TroutHunter freezing on the pages in the spectrum section. Nothing like a brisk mid-winters day of fishing on the Henry’s Fork. Huge thanks all the anglers for doing what you do and letting me document it with my camera, without you these images and adventures would never happen.
This issue is action packed, lots of solid content from some of the most talented writers and photographers in the industry. So head down to your local fly shop and grab a copy today, or better yet, get a subscription!.. hell, snag a shirt too.