Monday, November 9, 2009

Where have I been hiding?

Niagara Falls at night

Where have I been hiding? Well, really nowhere. This time of the year is my slower season for charters and I decided to take advantage of a couple opportunities to do some traveling. I just returned home from New York state where I met up with Nick Pujic and his crew from Fly Max Films. Nick is the film maker who rode with me this past summer when we filmed, Fly Nation- Stuart, FL, by now most of you have seen the trailer full of killer tarpon, permit, jack and cobia action. By the way, the full length version is going to be shown at the film tour.

L to R -Rob McAbee, Yoshi Aoki, Rebekka Redd, Naoto Aoki, me, Nick Pujic, Josh Nugent, Tim Myers.

I flew into Buffalo, NY where I met up with 7 others, I will post a picture listing everyone. The first day we drove into Canada to fish the Niagara river, dirty water due to high winds the day before made it tough fishing, I believe we only landed one brown trout but, the scenery was beautiful! The next three days we spent in the Oak Orchard area of NY, I was very impressed with the amount of fish in such a small stretch. I really looked at this opportunity in two ways as a photographer and as a fisherman. I really wanted to catch one of these big browns but, I also really badly wanted to photograph someone with one. We broke up into groups to cover more water, I spent day two with Rebekka and Nick. Nick shot video, Rebekka fished and I shot stills. Rebekka landed a nice female brown trout that I got to photograph. Luckily for me Rebekka does not take a bad picture, so photos were easy. By the third day of fishing I was still skunked and I was getting colder by the day, not the recipe I was hoping for. I really wasn't that cold the first two days but the third morning was different. I woke up feeling a little off that morning, not my chipper self, but I pushed through because I knew that this was my day to fish. The crew really wanted to see if I could fish and not just take pictures. I guess I had something to prove. It didn't take long for the Aoki brothers, Naoto and Yoshi, (aka fish ninjas) to locate some browns for me. After about 10 minutes of throwing to the same fish I think the brown finally started to feel sorry for me and decided to eat! Naoto landed the fish and handed it over to me so he could photograph it. At this point I was freezing cold and I just realized that I had to put my hands in the water. These are things you don't think of when your standing in your flip flops in south Florida. So after a quick photo session I let the beautiful brown trout go. Okay, now my teeth are chattering and I can't feel my toes or hands for that matter and after another hour or so on the water my entire body was shivering! Not a good sign, so I finally checked my manhood at the door and told those guys I was heading back to the truck to warm up. That was the last I put on my waders for the rest of the trip. I ended up catching a wicked awesome cold (that is for all you folks from NE) and even bronchitis, that I am still trying to get over as I sit here at home 5 days later.

Photo by Yoshi Aoki

Photo by Naoto Aoki

I don't want anyone reading this to get the wrong idea, the fishing was good, as a group we caught plenty of browns, and steelhead. Rob McAbee, you know the Bug Slinger guy, caught his largest brown ever, 16 pounds and a nice steelhead and the fish ninjas caught countless fish. For me the fishing was secondary because I got to spend 5 days with some of my favorite friends that I don't get to see often enough.

Enjoy the pictures, I am going to finish beating this cold because I leave for Belize on Saturday. This time I am traveling south not north! Stay tuned for a report from Turneffe Flats lodge in Belize!

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