Jul 29 2009

feeding frenzy at the flat creek ranch

Published by at 8:36 am under documentary,process,travel,visual concepts

There is this esoteric part of fly-fishing where it is important to match your fly with the current hatch of bugs on the stream. With a mix of skill and luck the goal is to toss out bomb-pops just as the trout are running up to the ice cream truck. I witnessed this amazing feeding frenzy for the first time on this trip. Rather than casting a fly to where a fish should be swimming it was possible to be standing a few feet away as the fish were leaping for the current hatch of flies.

The same spot at a different time of day only revealed flowing water. When I’m shooting for myself I go through similar periods of feeding frenzy mixed into periods of stillness.

20090705 stk 1228 feeding frenzy at the flat creek ranch

The mountain lake at the ranch

On trips to exotic locations I want to shoot up a storm and have to work to balance being social and being a photographer. On shorter trips I give myself permission to keep the cameras in the bag and take a break.

Over the 4th of July weekend Anne and I visited theĀ Flat Creek dude ranch outside Jackson, WY. This was exotic enough to haul my camera bag and computer on the plane, yet the location was familiar enough to make shooting optional. It was also far enough off the grid to ignore any work and just read, ride and fish at the ranch.

20090705 stk 12221 feeding frenzy at the flat creek ranch

Carved door and porch at the main lodge

I admit to being a bit disappointed that there wasn’t the inspiring views of theĀ Grand Teton peaks that could always be seen on a previous trip. They could be viewed though after hiking through mosquito infested forests. (Some people consider this to be fun.)

20090705 stk 1373 feeding frenzy at the flat creek ranch

Classic bathtub in our cabin

But in the middle of the night a simpler vision of the beauty that did surround me came to mind and I crawled out of bed early and fired off this series of photos of our cabin and the near-by lake.

20090705 stk 1318 feeding frenzy at the flat creek ranch

The amazingly well-trained ranch dog at the lake

That was it. One early morning flurry and then back to searching for the cut-throat and brook trout churning in their own feeding frenzy at a new hatch of flies. I returned to my vacation, relaxing, and waiting for the next idea to hatch.

Mark Harmel

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