Big Hole Run

by Fire Girl Jess on April 21, 2015

Dawn on the road.

Dawn on the road.

Another quick update from the road. Spent yesterday on a sprint run to the Big Hole River with Jake and Ken Stock. It was a 5:30AM to midnight day once more, with a nearly twelve-hour float on the upper section of the river. We saw many fat, ambitious brook trout, but it looked like the browns had not moved up yet. Hard to argue with a breezy, gorgeous spring day; a startling reminder that any day under that Big Sky is a good one.

In the Bozeman area on work for now, then heading over to Missoula tomorrow. Stage one of three for this trip is nearly done. Stay tuned.

Jake and Ken scout it out.

Jake and Ken scout it out.

It's hard to see, but that fish eye says "Bite Me."

It’s hard to see, but that fish eye says “Bite Me.”

Ranch land companionship.

Ranch land companionship.

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This Week on Chi Wulff

by Fire Girl Jess on April 19, 2015

Morning traffic: Madison Valley ranch horses cruising along in spring sunshine.

Morning traffic: Madison Valley ranch horses cruising along in spring sunshine.

Little bit different flavor on this week’s Vermont Chronicles post over at Chi Wulff. Head on over and give it a read!

Heading over for a sprint run on the Big Hole tomorrow… check back for the full report.

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Back on the Mo

by Fire Girl Jess on April 17, 2015

Meet Mr. Brown.

Meet Mr. Brown.

When the invite for a run up to the Missouri River came at about 7PM the day prior, I was stoked. Bozeman guides Kent Stock and Jacob Hinshaw were heading up the see what was shaking on the river and had room for a third—and were kind enough to extend an offer. As good fishing days often seem to be, it was long; I was up at 5AM and made it back to bed after 1AM this morning. Lack of sleep generally means it’s been a good day.

Huge thanks to Ken and Jacob for letting me bum a ride in the boat and hang for the day… it was beyond nice to get into some healthy Missouri River fish and to be back on that water. No matter how much time I spend on it, that river will never cease to amaze me.

Enough words… on to the top edit from yesterday’s trip. The next few weeks are going to be a wild ride, so check back for updates.

Thumbs up from Jacob while Ken looks on, net at the ready.

Thumbs up from Jacob while Ken looks on, net at the ready.

Ken's boat is brings its A-game.

Ken’s boat is brings its A-game.

What we like to see.

What we like to see.

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Latest Published Pieces, and Hell or High Water

by Fire Girl Jess on April 13, 2015

Inside front cover, TRCP 2014 Annual Report. Fishing off Sanibel, FL.

Inside front cover, TRCP 2014 Annual Report. Fishing off Sanibel, FL.

Hey all. Time for a quick break from the battery charging, lens filter stacking, fly line cleaning, and checklist checking to throw a post up here. Flying out to Bozeman Wednesday AM, so the next update will be from the road. Have a week of shooting for Fire Girl clients, then bumping over to Missoula for the Orvis Guide Rendezvous (hope to see some of you there!), then back to SW Montana for a week of shooting for Orvis. I’ll be taking over the Orvis Instagram feed for that last week, so be sure to keep an eye out!

Back to living out of a suitcase. Loving it.

Delaware River stonefly.

Delaware River stonefly.

In other news, things keep ticking along on the freelance side. Pick up the latest copy of The Drake for a writing / photo combo about Russia and vodka. I was thrilled to contribute the inside front cover image to the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership’s 2014 Annual Report. And there’s more cooking.

Just spent this past weekend at the Hell or High Water event, held at West Branch Angler on the Delaware River. It’s a regional kick off for the season, and despite cool weather there was a fair turnout. Taught some Fly Fishing 101 classes, mingled, and got a quick float in on Sunday. Read about it in this week’s Vermont Chronicles on Chi Wulff. Huge thanks to everyone who stopped by to say hi, and to all of the FF101 participants who braved the wind and chilly weather for some casting instruction.

Cheers, guys. Next post coming your way from Montana.

Drake Magazine, Spring 2015.

Drake Magazine, Spring 2015.

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Today’s Chi Wulff Vermont Chronicles

by Fire Girl Jess on April 5, 2015

Shuttling rigs on a spring day. Missouri River, Montana.

Shuttling rigs on a spring day. Missouri River, Montana.

Back on Chi Wulff this week with the last installment in The Vermont Chronicles. Some spring-y photos, a bit of Easter reminiscing, and a brief lay down of April’s travel calendar. (A.k.a. ten days until I head back home to Montana… it’s about damn time.)

For my Northeastern readers, head on over to West Branch Angler on the Delaware River near Hancock, New York this next weekend for the Hell or High Water Fly Fishing Festival. I’ll be around teaching basic fly-fishing lessons… drop by and say hi! Then it’s back to Vermont for two days before heading out on assignment to Montana.

Hope everyone is enjoying some sunshine and time with family today. I’m camped in organizing camera and fishing gear, and drinking coffee like there’s no tomorrow. Cheers, y’all.

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The Mighty ‘Mo Featured in Fieldsports UK

by Fire Girl Jess on March 29, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-03-29 at 9.25.57 AMAs much as I love those publications and clients I’ve been working with for years, there’s always a little thrill that comes from a new collaboration. Working with new editors, new layout designs, and a new voice is always challenging, exciting, and just plain fun. And there’s something extra enjoyable when it’s a truly international outlet.

COVER APRIL MAYSo it was a true pleasure to bring a place dear to my heart—Montana’s Missouri River—to a UK audience in the latest issue of Fieldsports magazine. The feature includes a host of images, mostly captured during my season documenting life on the river, and a written essay that, so far, is getting some pretty awesome feedback. (Huge thanks to those of you have who provided said feedback.)

They say it’s far easier to tell a story you’ve lived, to talk of places you’ve seen and things you’ve experienced firsthand. I’d push it a step further and say you can’t write—really write—without experiencing something. Research can only take you so far, and at some point you’ve got to be throwing that streamer, rowing that Adipose skiff, running those shuttles, dodging that hail. And then you can write the hell out of it.

And it’s freaking fun.

Huge thanks to the editorial staff at Fieldsports for making this such an enjoyable collaboration. Already looking forward to the next project. And thanks to everyone—in Montana, the UK, and everywhere in between—who actually reads the words, looks into the photos, and provides thoughtful feedback. You guys make it all worthwhile.

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New Commercial Work and Project Prep

by Fire Girl Jess on March 23, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 6.56.10 PM

An email from Orvis—leading with a Fire Girl image.

Sometimes when we’re waiting on something we get impatient and the days seem to blur together. I’m in that mode right now… mid-April brings the start of a busy few months of assignments, and I’m in prep / plan / production mode right now. After a flurry that lasted a few weeks, plans are pretty well laid out, logistics in place and I’m just damned edgy.

Some people aren’t meant to stay in one place for very long, I reckon. I’ve never done well sitting still. Give me action. Give me work. Give me a camera and an open horizon.

Storytelling copy for Orvis.

Storytelling copy for Orvis.

And so I plan, work like a maniac in the hours between, and pace my apartment, staring at the skating rink that is my parking lot and cursing temperatures that still aren’t topping out above freezing. A good friend sent me a picture from home country today—Montana’s mighty Missouri River, in fact—and it was green. That wicked green that’s so bright you think you’re eyes can’t really be reading it right. The boys were still swathed in layers; waders and fleece and jackets, but you know spring is coming. Color has arrived in full force, and there’s water to be rowed.

I’ll post a schedule soon about where I’ll be in the coming few months, and the projects that are taking me around and about. There’s some good stuff cooking, and I’m excited to see it come together.

In the meantime, more and more assets from the Orvis shoot last November in Belize are being used—every day I see another Fire Girl image on the website, in an email, in a catalog. More copy pops up; another story told. That’s the best part—the stories being told. Whether with words or with images, it’s those stories that make it all worthwhile in the end, that keep me pacing this damn apartment. It’s a big, big world out there.

So here’s to telling stories, and living them.

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