The Inertia: Exploring Samoa

by Fire Girl Jess on April 28, 2017

Really happy to see my first piece with The Inertia run today! The Inertia sells itself as the “definitive voice of surf, mountain and outdoors” (it lives up to the claim) and  I’ve enjoyed reading the site for years. A photo essay from last March’s trip to Samoa just ran on the site today, and I look forward to working with the Inertia editorial team more in the future!


From D.C. to the Jungle

by Fire Girl Jess on April 28, 2017

Just back from a fantastic week in Washington, D.C. for the American Fly Fishing Trade Association board meeting and a few days of lobbying for clean water, public lands, and flourishing fisheries. It was my first time in D.C. (other than a night spent on the floor of Reagan International delayed while flying back from Belize a few years ago) and it was enlightening to see how the process works from that end of things. Absolutely looking forward to returning someday soon!

As always, it was a pleasure to work with the board and see the part fly-fishing has on the greater outdoor-industry economy. We’re small but vocal!

And now it’s time to trade high heels and skirts for my old, weathered Danner boots, cargo pants, and a healthy dosing of bug spray.

I’m back in Bozeman for a few days of rapid email catch-up and packing before departing early Sunday morning for Peru. I’ll have a day to acclimatize in Cusco before we start working our way down the Madre de Dios River and into the rainforest. It’ll be interesting, certainly… I have no experience in a true jungle environment and can’t wait to see what the trip brings!


Meeting the Adventure Travel Industry in Coeur d’Alene

by Fire Girl Jess on April 17, 2017

This past week I was thrilled to attend the Adventure Travel Trade Association’s AdventureELEVATE event in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. It made for an intense few days of networking, meetings, and making some pretty awesome new connections. It’s rare when I can sit down and meet with delegates from 16 different countries all in one action-packed day! Suffice to say, this was a hyper-productive event and I can’t wait to see what comes of the connections made this past week.

Networking aside, perhaps the thing that stuck with me the most after the event was the greater overview of travel. The why. Why do we travel, what draws us to leave the comfort and security of home and seek out new places and new experiences? We talked about how identity ties to travel, why certain people are drawn to certain experiences, and — perhaps most powerfully — the idea of traveling more and buying less.

But it’s the why that really sticks… why do we do it?

I love airports. They’re a mess — loud, dirty, and chaotic. People coming, going, passing through. There’s nothing restful about an airport. But you know what’s beautiful? People are changing. Every time you step outside of that comfort zone, of that 9-to-5 predictable routine, things happen. We’re forced to think again. To adapt. To flux. To think. We change.

Every time I’ve traveled — within the States or internationally — I come back a different person. I’ve seen things. Met people. Tried new experiences. Sure, maybe it sucked at the time. Things go wrong sometimes. But, at the end of the day, I’ve grown. I’ve bent and fluxed and maybe broken a bit — scars mean we survived, and I have a hell of a lot of them — but I’ve changed. I’m not the same person I was when I boarded the plane in Bozeman.

It was Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. who famously said, “A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.”

Cheers to new dimensions, then.

Thanks to the Adventure Travel Trade Association for having me out to Idaho — look forward to cooking up some more cool things soon.


Thrilled to partner with the Matador Network to talk about why we do this weird travel-fish-adventure thing:

“The allure of fly-fishing takes many forms. It’s said anglers go through an arc of reasons why they fish — beginners enjoy simply being on the water. Intermediate anglers start counting numbers of fish in a day. Advanced intermediates count fish but also start “headhunting” — looking for that large trophy fish that will make his Instagram shot the talk of the day. Advanced anglers travel, looking for exotic species they’ve only seen in images of movies. And then the lifetime anglers — the ones who will never give it up — those diehard souls come full circle and just fish for the sheer joy of being on the water.

Personally, fly-fishing has been a vehicle to see the world. I’ve worked in many aspects of the industry, and now find a home in photographing adventure travel and fly-fishing around the world. Fishing is an excuse to travel; a reason to meet people I otherwise would never have chanced upon, to see waters and villages I’d never otherwise have a reason to travel towards, to experience the world in an entirely new way. And sure, somehow I always manage to pick up a rod when on location. But it’s rarely the “fishy” memories that resurface… it’s the random airport meetings in small-town Belize, the laughter in remote Russian tundra camps, and the giddiness that comes from chasing a storm on a flats skiff and, thoroughly drenched, wondering what the world is going to throw at me next.”

See the images and the stories here.


OWAA Member Spotlight

by Fire Girl Jess on April 3, 2017

I’m thrilled to be featured in the Outdoor Writer Association of America’s member spotlight today. Click over to read about random nicknames, what I can juggle (it’s limited) and what I’d do if I won the lottery.

Big thanks to the OWAA team for the feature, and for all the hard work they do to support outdoor communicators!


Photography Tips in TROUT Magazine

by Fire Girl Jess on March 30, 2017

“Don’t be afraid to fill the frame! If this fish was half the size, this would be a far less compelling image.”

Thanks to the gang at Trout Unlimited‘s TROUT Magazine for the opportunity to share a few photography tips in the spring issue! This was a fun one to write, and really happy to share the space with some truly fantastic shooters. Give it a read, then leave a comment with your best fish photography tip.

If you’re looking for some one-on-one instruction to up your fishing and travel photography skills, shoot me a note about the Photo Workshops I’m teaching with Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures! (We have fun.)


Montana Springtime

by Fire Girl Jess on March 29, 2017

It’s (slowly) beginning to look like spring here in Montana, and I’ve been logging some miles this week traveling around the state for various shoots. There’s no time for thinking like time on the road, and it’s good for the soul to just load the camera up and go.  April kicks off what is shaping up to be a relatively busy travel schedule — trying to enjoy the time at home while I can.