I shall call him Tiny.
My buddy Chris Hodge sends photographic evidence that he is not missing the east coast striper scene one bit since he went west again. As he said in his note, “I’ve been studying fishing purely streamers and I think it’s paying off.”
His name and images, like one of our favorites above, are showing up everywhere in the fly fishing industry. Based out of Ogden, Utah, Corey Kruitbosch (here’s his blog) actually has a day job in the gaming industry but still gets it done on the water with a rod and a lens. Somewhere between his job and his passion he found the time to answer a few questions about photography.
Honestly, I couldn’t really give you a solid answer. I am pretty blown away myself. I feel really lucky that I have been able to get some great encouragement form some fantastic editors. My approach has always been to ask what types of images different editors are looking for. I’d like to think that maybe I am capturing some images that describe the feeling that we all have when we are fishing.
How does working in the gaming industry shape your approach to fishing photography?
I think that working in 3D space, on a daily basis, tends to help me to visualize some of my angles. The one thing that about working in games that has the most influence on me is, the people. Working with large teams to make a product that would be impossible to do alone is truly inspiring . I am constantly surrounded by talented, creative, and artistic people who have a very diverse set of skills that I continually learn from. Artists with with specialties in 3D modeling, animators, concept artists, UI designers, and Art Directors help me to continually evaluate my artistic approach.
A few professional photographers have told me that, outside of accrued technical knowledge, a key aspect of quality shooting is discovering angles. Meaning, finding an angle to shoot from that moves a subject beyond ordinary. Is there one non-technical thing like that you can point to that, creatively, helps you shape your work?
Always looking at others work … I am constantly looking at, and inspired by, the work of other photographers and artists. If I see something in a film or a painting that I like, I then ask myself … “How could that fantastic shot be applied to a fly fishing photo? What is it that makes this so good? What is it that I like about this?”
I also carry a notebook with me, most of the time, to jot down photo ideas or concepts.
How do you work with a subject matter that is a breathing, moving, and not necessarily cooperative living thing?
Sometimes I just don’t get what I’m after. It’s those times when I just put away the camera and fish… Or vise versa, if I’m having a bad day on the river.
When on a shoot, do you work from a checklist of key shots or do you let the action unfold in front of you and work from there?
There are times when I head out with an idea or a concept that I’d like to try, but I rarely have a shot list. I actually enjoy the fact that I am not doing professional photography 100% of the time. I think it helps to keep me shooting the stuff I like and not the stuff that I think I might be able to sell. Hopefully, this will help me to develop a unique style that’s “mine”.
Any favorite shots that you feel best represent who you are?
That is tough … I tend to like the shots that most have to to with the memorable fishing days. The shots that are about good times, friends, and capturing those moments. I keep a ‘favs’ set on flickr, but, if I had to narrow it down to just a couple shots…
One of the first shots I got published. This was the epiphany shot, that really made me think “damn, it could be really fun to take good artistic shots of the fly fishing experience.”
Nothing is better than our moments on the river with good friends.
*Photos reposted with permission of the owner, © all rights reserved by Corey Kruitbosch.
I won’t be fishing the trout opener but I will be thinking about it, maybe a little.
Of interest mainly to people in the NYC Metro:
My buddy Stefan wanted to find out more about the Connetquot and forwarded me this email response he got.
On Behalf of Ronald F. Foley, Regional Director, LI Region March 25, 2009Dear Mr.REDACTED :On Behalf of Commissioner Carol Ash, I am writing in response to your e-mail of March 19, 2009 concerning the Connetquot River State Park Preserve Hatchery.Trout in the Connetquot River and hatchery have tested positive for Infectious Pancreatic Necrosis (IPN). We are working closely with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to address the matter.No trout will be hatched or raised in the hatchery this coming season in order to give us time to both develop a long-term strategy, and to implement immediate tactics to decrease the virus throughout the hatchery and the river. However we ultimately resolve the IPN issue, the park preserve will remain open to fishing, riding, hiking, birding, nature walks and all the programs and activities the public has come to enjoy.IPN is not a simple condition and there is no simple answer that comprehensively addresses the complex impacts IPN presents to the natural ecosystem of the watershed, to everyone’s satisfaction. We will do our very best to achieve the state’s objective to eradicate IPN in the Connetquot River and our hatchery, and to continue to provide world-class fishing, as well as the opportunity to visit and witness the operation of our 19th century hatchery.Connetquot River State Park Preserve, its buildings, grounds, the river and the hatchery are “a jewel for all to enjoy”. Our goal is to ensure that the park and the experience will continue for generations to come.Sincerely,Ronald F. FoleyRegional DirectorLong Island Region
The Connetquot represents in one localized microcosm the best and the worst of a hatchery sustained fishery. On the one hand, a stream this close to such high population density could never support pure wild fish with unrestricted access to them. Operating a stream on a pay-to-reserve English beat system with a carefully managed stocking program allows for solitude rather than shoulder to shoulder and the chance to fish larger than normal brown, brook, and rainbow trout.
On the other hand, it is not reality.
On the one hand, the big sea runs and the cagey eight-pound holdovers with the hooked jaws exist in numbers not seen in normalcy.
On the other hand, the fish just out of the hatchery will hit a cigarette butt.
On the one hand, the state park encasing the stream is well protected and maintained and offers sanctuary for deer, wild turkey, fox, osprey, even bald eagle. The fishing is restricted to fly only, with barbless hooks. Rules violations result in banishment.
On the other hand, the catching can be so prolific it becomes a numbers game.
And then you have the bizarre scene now where in order to save the river, the trout must be killed. The hatchery had to close its doors and dump 80,000 fish into the river. Since January 1st there’s been a 10-fish a day bag limit. It’s been pretty fished out.
Some really big browns–feral holdovers that shed their hatchery dumbness years ago–are still left. Some guy pulled a 30-incher out last week. Of the few fish we saw caught, we estimated one to be 7 pounds and the another probably four. They were not released.
What happens when a Montauk Surf Vampire and saltwater guy with a slight Florida ditch obsession conspire to fish a trout stream? Nothing.
More later on the state of said trout stream, stocked, and the ongoing efforts to de-stock it in hopes of restocking it later. In a word, bizarre.
[UPDATE: Jason did in fact hook and land a rainbow, but I had blocked it out of my memory.]
*(With apologies to Robert Lowell)
Last year I liberated my dad’s old Horrocks-Ibbotson fiberglass fly rod from a dusty corner of the boat shed. [I'd say "borrowed" but that implies the intent to return it.] Since then it has become my favorite stick for trout fishing. I’m pretty sure it was a low end rod in its day, but it just has a great feel to it for trouting applications. Plus, at only 7 1/2 feet, it’s much easier to wield on the small brush lined streams I frequent before the stripers show up.
I’m having a hard time finding quality information about the manufacturer, though. So far this is the most relevent link I’ve found. If anyone knows more about the company and its rods, shoot me an email or leave a comment.