Friday, April 25, 2008

Idaho Falls Flyfishing & Fly Tying Expo 2008

Every year I look forward to tying at the Annual East Idaho Fly Fishing and Fly Tying Expo. It has been some what of a tradition to head up with Jason Haslem and attend the show and banquet. Over the last few years we have had some great times while helping raise money. This year I had the opportunity to meet with Al and Gretchen Beatty, Dave Whitlock, Charles Jardine and many other incredible fly fishers and tyers. This year my name got flubbed up in the tying schedule and thinking that I was left off as a scheduled tyer, I showed up with excitement to photograph the event. Upon arriving two things occurred. One, I WAS on the schedule to tie and did not have my tying materials and Two, I forgot my Canon XTi. I had left the camera sitting on the table at home. My 400mm lens was sitting next to me in the car seat but no camera body. In an attempt to pack quickly just coming off my Alaska trip, I was to busy to ensure that I had packed my biggest investment for the trip. Long story short, I made a visit to the local Walmart in Idaho Falls to see if they had anything I could purchase to shoot with and to my disapointment I was out of luck. I am very grateful that Alan and Joni showed up to the show toting an extra camera (Canon XT). Alan let me use his camera all weekend long and I was able to capture some great fly tyers on the digi. The annual trip to Idaho Falls always has me driving home with motivation to get to my tying vise. The mentorship and encouraging words from Al Beatty were a highlight for me. Getting to know him better and listening to all that he shared with me meant a lot. Jason and I had some great moments while attending this years banquet. I won the Dave Scadden pontoon boat raffle, and also a fly tying bench. They are nice additions and I am excited to use them both. Having dinner with Lynn, his wife, Nick & Stef, Steve and the rest of the crew was a lot of fun. It was a great weekend and one that I will remember for some time. Highlights from the weekend can be found at:

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Growing up I had a dream to visit Alaska. The thought of large Salmon on the fly and fly-in's to remote water have me yearning to go. My pockets have been shallow and the money for such an adventure are met with realization and disappointment. Over the years the dream has been kept alive, and in the back of my mind. Big bad Alaska shows itself through the colorful pages of fly-fishing magazines. Article after article on Alaska how-to's, including "How To Flyfish Alaska On A Budget" and so on. I've heard stories of those who have gone and conquered and the cries from the less fortunate who still dream the dream. My story begins...

Work has been hoppin', it has kept me on my toes. I received word that we had a new client sign up for one of our web applications and that they had specifically requested that I be on company site to install the application. "That is fine", I thought. "Where am I going?" ALASKA

In a matter of moments my dream to visit the "North" became a reality. The anticipation, the hype, it was there, bigger then ever. I hopped on a plane and scrunched my long legs into a small seat. Next to me sat a fairly large, burly gentlemen that introduced himself as "John from Anchorage". He was returning to go home from a funeral that brought him to Utah. We built up a conversation and before the five hour flight ended I knew two solid things about him. One, if it had fins on it, he chased it. Two, his name was John and I always had a place to stay in Alaska when I want to visit.
All I had to do was call him up and throw down some gas money and it was "on".

Wrapping up my work in Anchorage, I only had a short window of time to discover all that I had planned and dreamed. Fly fishing with most outfitters was out of the question and with light snowy conditions, strong winds, all the lakes were still frozen over. The responses I received from the fishing guides were all met with the same dissapointing news, "You are a month early my friend, fishing doesn't come on until late May or June".

I decided to hit the road in my rental and before long I was surrounded by the most impressive scenery I had ever seen. I stopped at several points to take photographs. I pulled off into Girwood and stopped for some lunch. Walking into the small food shop I was greeted by a young woman. Her body was covered with some impressive art. Sitting at a table appeared to be some locals. The woman greeted me with a smile and asked me what I would have on the menu. After asking for her recommendation she said "Get the burger it's the best!". I have never had a better burger and fries in my life. So good I snapped off a photo for you all to experience. If you want to know the name of the place, I do not recall it, however it is next door to the Great Alaskan Store, gift shop in Girdwood.

I spent most of my day driving and stopping to take photographs. I visited the Alaskan Wildlife Conservation Area and captured some animals in their natural habitat. It was an amazing experience and one that I will never forget. I saw wolves, bears, eagles, and they were all impressive and ah-inspiring. My dream to visit Alaska came true. But I still have some unfinished business...

SALMON on the FLY!

(more of Alaska's photos to follow...)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Photo Correction

This week I have enjoyed recieving photos from several friends with the intent of doing some photo correction. Using CS3 I have gone in and made edits to the original prints. Below are some of the samples. Curve adjustment for both contrast and light, a small sharpen and a tone filter were used.

Al Beatty ( sent over a photo of some flies that he has been shooting for a current book project with Dave Whitlock. Minor adjustments were made to bring out the background color and enhance the detail of the beautifully tied flies.

Another example includes using a black background.

Lynn Scott with BS Flies ( shot over a wonderful shot of an old house. I enjoyed playing with this photo immensley. It had a great feel and I wanted to capitalize on the age of the home by adding some age to the photo.

Nick Jones with Rainy's Flies ( sent me some recent shots taken of his new line of nymphs that will be featured this coming year with Rainy's. The photos were taken with a point and shoot Canon Powershot. I played around with the exposure and did some minor corrections with the sharpness. The colors used in these flies are spectacular. Although the changes are minor, the enhanced photo displays more color and depth.

I want to thank Al, Lynn and Nick for letting me display their photos and using them as examples.

Monday, April 7, 2008

The Art of Fly Tying Materials

This past week I have spent time behind the lens using a reverse macro. By reversing the lens on my camera I have been able to capture some up close macro shots. I will be experimenting more in the coming days and will post my results shortly. Here are a few from my first attempts at capturing tying materials up close. Enjoy~

The reflective light from Crystal Flash gives off a very nice effect. I really enjoy the shot above. I will be putting out a series of photos this week based off this initial capture. Thanks for your comments and feedback!

Peacock has always been a favorite of mine when it comes to tying materials. The colors make for some nice portraits. I currently have this as my desktop background.

My first attempts at shooting Pheasant tail had me wanting to embed flies into the macro shots. I still would like to try this and will post some results of having flies resting on top of some materials.

Dyed Rabbit was fun to shoot. The Depth of Field in these shots give off a nice smooth effect wich each barb of hair. I need to shoot some other colors.

Another example...

All Images © Jason Morrison - All Rights Reserved