I guess I was a pretty lucky kid when my father put a fly rod in my hand at the age of five or six, which sparked in me a lifelong passion for wandering small mountain creeks and streams in search of the beautiful little wild trout that thrive in those icy-cold and crystal-clear waters! To this day I still love wet-wading small streams, standing knee deep in the sparkling water with a three or four-weight fiberglass rod in my hand, hoping that one of those wily fish will take my fly...
Having moved to the Sierra foothills in northern California about ten years ago, I have spent many happy hours from late spring to early fall throwing flies at rainbow, brown and brook trout while enjoying the peaceful and relaxing surroundings that these local streams provide. In addition to fishing and photographing my home waters in the Sierras, I have also been fortunate enough to travel to Montana on a fairly regular basis each summer, and I recently had the great opportunity to experience my first fly-fishing adventure in southern Chile!
Like most other anglers, I assume, I have always been amazed by the bright colors, intricate patterns and uniquely beautiful markings that these wild trout possess, each and every one like a piece of hidden treasure as it emerges from its watery domain. There’s nothing quite like that first glimpse of a fish as it finally comes to hand, and I often find myself pausing to admire its bright and wild beauty.
Every once in awhile I am lucky enough to find a fish willing to cooperate and pose for a photograph or two with my waterproof camera before being carefully released back into its home waters. It’s always been a thrill to catch and release one of these beautiful creatures, but I never truly realized nor fully appreciated just how beautiful these trout really are until I started taking these underwater photographs. I like to think of this as performing C-P-R (Catch, Photo and Release) on the fish, and these photos not only serve as a lasting memory of a great day on the water but also allow the fish to continue to thrive in the rivers and streams that they call home. Enjoy!
Blair H. Spaulding