fly fishing rock creek montana

Fly Fishing Photography – Taking Selfies

I really dislike the term selfie. Sounds like something out of a teenagers mouth but the glove does fit. I used to take the occasional self photo of fish on my Pentax waterproof point and shoot. It involved a self timer and some guesswork to take photos that rarely worked well. I’ve caught some huge fish that ended up being released immediately or photographed in a net because timers and camera positioning was too much of a hassle. Cell phones have really changed the game and taking a quick picture without harming the fish is really easy now. It’s really not about getting a super pro photo but capturing the memory with a quick snapshot. Here’s my process:

  1. Use a good net. I like short handle, wide mouth nets that give the fish plenty of space. They make handling much easier and the fish doesn’t stress with a little extra space to move around.
  2. Find a place to prop the camera. I wear a backpack and simple set the backpack on the ground with the camera on top. It takes all of 5 seconds to get setup. The angle isn’t always perfect but it works.
  3. Set your camera to self timer mode before you start fishing. My Samsung has a 5 second self timer that takes 3 photos in 2-3 second intervals. The 3 photo sequence is great. Usually one or two come out weird but one will take.
  4. Face the screen towards you. This is the biggest advantage with cell phone cameras. No more guesswork on where the frame sits. You can make quick adjustments and re-position to get inside the frame and catch the scene.
fly fishing photography
Squatting down to get in the frame on an Alberta river.

That’s really all it takes. Try to setup with the sun behind the camera and you’ll have some solid fish photos. You can even use the self timer function to catch action shots. Notice the net in the picture above. It’s inexpensive, has a rubberized bag and is very light. Perfect for hiking around and it works great for fish handling. Sometimes I setup the camera in advance if I plan on fishing a single run for a while as well.