Monday, April 26, 2010

Back in the Saddle - Flyfishing the Lower Sacramento River

Photo of me by Matt Payne

I'm almost embarrassed to admit it but I haven't been fly fishing since last November. It has been a constant annoyance for me not being able get out and fish. It's funny how quickly prior commitments build up and begin to consume so much of your time. I was in dire need of getting out onto a river system. Enter Montana fishing guide Matt Payne. This past weekend I had the opportunity to go fish with Matt and his buddy Matt Swan, a guide for The Fly Shop, on the Lower Sacramento River up in my old stomping grounds of Redding, California. Payne has recently moved to the Sacramento area with his wife Janelle and has been actively scouting out northern California rivers for his guiding business. He's a great guy and a damn fine fisherman. We made a day of hooking into rainbow trout, drinking Coors, and talking all things fish. You couldn't ask for a better day. This trip was a real treat for me because for the majority of the time, I had a fly rod in my hand and not a camera. Sometimes it's nice to change it up. Still, shooting pictures is hard to resist. I made a few frames of the Matt's rowing and nympthing near the Sundial bridge that I was pleased with considering it was high noon sun beating down on us.

Later on I met up with an old fishing buddy of mine Justin Miller, of The Fly Shop, and we cooked up some Argentina style steaks and as a happy experiment, we grilled poblano chili peppers stuffed with feta cheese and wrapped in bacon. I'll be thinking about that meal all week. Justin is probably one of the most talented fly tyers I know. He was all stoked about his upcoming stripper fishing trip and with that, he decided to design a new fly for the occasion. I have yet to meet someone who gets so pumped about fishing like Justin does. The guy thinks like a fish. Like a true perfectionist, he left nothing to chance and decide to test out his new pattern in his bath tub and if need be would make design adjustments. It was so nice to be in the company of trout bums again. It was an overall killer weekend. Already looking forward to the next outing. -M

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Gary Vaynerchuk: Do what you love (no excuses!) | Video on

Gary Vaynerchuk: Do what you love (no excuses!) | Video on

I don't normally share this type of stuff on my blog. But I think this guy's message holds true to so much of what I believe in and what I constantly strive to do in my life. Get out there and do what you love to do. Check it out. -M

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Art of Pigeon Racing and The Best of Winter Sports

Like I mentioned in previous posts, the last month or two I have been shooting some pretty cool assignments. I met this pigeon racer and his wife who own over 600 pigeons. A short story that yielded some cool shots. I've been continuing to play with my Profoto lights and apply them to our annual Athletes of the Year section of our paper. Far from perfect but as I continue to grow as a shooter I am starting to really dial down and command my light. It's an ongoing battle to say the least and a hell of a lot of fun.

Boy's Best Friend

This was a pretty cool story I got to do earlier in the month. I spent a week following Anthony and his Labrador retriever Saffron around in an attempt to show their unique relationship. Anthony is a diabetic and was having a lot of trouble monitoring his sugar levels. So his parents in their search for a solution came across this cool program called Dogs4Diabetics. Enter Saffron. She is a trained service dog that can smell when Anthony's blood sugar levels are getting low often times up to 15 minutes before he actually is low all through his breath and sweat. She's trained to jump on him and warn him. This process can happen up to 20 times a day. It's was a pretty cool relationship to watch. Since Anthony's sugar levels can fluctuate at any time, the two are essentially together 24/7. The assistance doesn't come without responsibility. Anthony is the only one in the family who can care for the dog. As a service dog going into places most dogs don't, Anthony must also keep her clean. A task that has developed into taking her into the shower when he goes. As his dad puts it, "Having Saffron by Anthony's side serves as a safety barrier between him and the emergency room." I had a lot of fun shooting this piece and getting to know them.

Remembering March Part Two

Spring is California is incredible. Everything has been so green and the temperature has held steady at around 65 degrees. All this nice weather has really brought people out in the community. It's like someone flipped a switch. Now all of a sudden their have been a constant flow of pretty interesting stories and overall everyone around here has been in a good mood from the nice weather. Always a good thing. It has also been extremely busy around the newspaper. Hence my lack of posting. So here are some photos that I shot from the month of March.

Thursday, April 1, 2010