Sunday, May 6, 2018

Fish Photos by Francis

This is just cruel.

It's early May, freshwater king fishing is just around the corner, and my friend Francis Estalilla sends me a copy of the latest issue of Fish Alaska magazine. On the cover is a photo that Francis had taken of his friend Shawn releasing a bruiser of a Kenai king. I'm trying to be patient about the upcoming fishing season, but photos like this are killing me. Soon, very soon. Repeat. Soon, very soon. Breath through the nose. Soon, very soon...

This is not Francis' first photo to grace the cover of a fishing magazine, nor will this be his last. I guess when his chosen profession is being an eye surgeon it would only seem natural he would have a keen eye for capturing the perfect fish photo. Truly a man of many talents.
Here's Francis doing what he's famous for in these parts: catching Kenai kings, and then releasing them. If you wonder why I'm such a fan of his photos it's because of the regulation on the Kenai River that prohibits the removal from the water a salmon that is going to be released. Most photos are alongside the boat, which usually leads to a bad camera angle and not really getting a sense of the size of the fish. Francis, as you can see, wears his waders and swims with the fishes for a quick pose/photo before releasing.
This is one of my better photos of a king release alongside the boat. It's good, but it doesn't compare to what Francis is able to do.

One way or another I'll be on the river this week. Salvage run, or perhaps fishing, it's time to get familiar with the water again. Maybe this will be the year I'll beat my record for the earliest king. For those keeping score, that date is May 11th.

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