“The only other thing I would say is that capturing a great image of a fish, generates the same feeling as actually fishing. Photography and fly fishing are so similar in the effort, gear prep, patience, and good fortune of the right moment. I usually pass up a turn to cast in hope of catching a better image.”

Will Graham has traveled all over the world to photograph fly fishing; however, there’s one species of fish that he’s never been on a dedicated trip for: tarpon.

“I went down to the Florida Keys with a few of my good buddies to do a dedicated tarpon trip with the goal of capturing a photo of a jumping tarpon. The sole reason why I wanted to do this is because I have never seen one before.”

 “Sure enough we end up in the keys, and we could not find the tarpon anywhere…”

“While we couldn’t find the tarpon, and they were nowhere to be seen, we found some bonefish and had a stellar day of casting to cruising bones.”

“We moved around a lot looking for tarpon, and they just couldn’t be found. We had no idea what was happening as they typically cruise around the area we were fishing in.”

“So, our tactic was to move location and see if we could find any tarpon.”

“We poled the skiff into another spot and finished a couple beers to change our luck.”

“All of a sudden, out of nowhere, this little red worm zips by the skiff followed by more of these worms.”

“We finally said, holy shit, it’s the worm hatch, the worm hatch is happening! Sure enough, we look over and there are tarpon rolling everywhere, cruising around destroying the red worms left and right.”

“It might have been one of the coolest things I’ve seen, considering this was the first time that I’ve ever been tarpon fishing and we’re in the middle of the Palola worm hatch. It was like the Catalina Wine Mixer for tarpon.”

“So, we were freaking out, Matt decided to change his flies, I started putting the camera together and a tarpon rolls right next to the boat.”

“Matt takes a shot to the tarpon close to the skiff and the tarpon ambushed his worm fly!”

“All of a sudden, the thing skyrockets right in front of us, Matt is yelling, Ryan is yelling, so pumped up, I looked at the camera and skimmed through it and got the photo of the fish in focus, capturing the first tarpon I’ve ever shot!”

Will Graham is a freelance photographer, following his passion to capture motion, aerial, and under water imagery to share stories of experiences. Be sure to follow Will on Instagram @willgrahamphoto and visit his site HERE to see some projects he’s worked on. 

Check out the articles below:

Photo Essay: The Fish of Providence Atoll

We’re Hitting The Road: Join Us For The Southeastern Fly Shop Tour!


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