Besides enjoying teaching fly fishing and promoting this great adventure, Jon Kleis loves photography. When he’s on the river, he’s also packing his digital SLR camera along with his Go-Pro video cameras to capture some memorable moments. As one of Angler’s guides, he’s able to merge these two interests together. Clients of his take home the story of their day on the river, and they also will take with them a photograph of their day on the water with Jon – hopefully a picture that includes a nice Brown or Rainbow! So I asked Jon for two tips and techniques – one for photography and one for fishing.
Jon suggests two things that will make your fish pictures more vivid. The first is a common one: extend the fish toward the camera. This little trick will change the perspective and make the fish appear larger in proportion to your body. The other tip is to have the camera slightly below the fish and the fly fisher. Shoot looking up at your subject from a lower angle. In that way, you will frame your subject with the foliage around the bank or the blue skies above, rather than looking down at your subject against a backdrop of either the river or the bank. Try to plan ahead, though, to frame your shot so you can quickly release the fish back into the water.
Jon’s fishing tip is to try a yarn strike indicator next time you are nymphing. Although they are more wind and water resistant than “bobber” type of indicators, which makes them more difficult to cast, that quality of water resistance also makes them a bit more effective when a strike happens. Since the yarn resists movement in the water, it creates more tension and, Jon argues, that tension helps set the hook. They also have a softer landing than bobber-type indicators and can minimize spooking the fish.
Jon will be offering a free seminar on fishing photography on Saturday, April 20 at the Shop from 1:30 – 2:30. It’s free but you need to register here. If you would like to schedule a guide trip with Jon, please call the shop.
Orvis 101 Introduction to Fly Fishing
Orvis 201 Streamside