The photos are all in and man, so many people should have known better! So many folks in fact that we couldn’t narrow it down beyond our top 20, so now we are leaving it to you to decide. For this round, you’ll have the chance to vote for your three favorite photos between now and 11:59 PM PT on June 7th. The top five horror shows will advance to the final round where they’ll have a chance to win their ashamed owner some sweet fly fishing gear courtesy of our good friends at Sage, not to mention a custom built throwback of the worst rod Sage has ever made.
Thanks to everyone who was willing to share their fish photo nightmares with us and thanks for voting!
Alaska Chic – Brian O’Keefe
I’m super incognito in this 1975 picture from Alaska. This photo was taken on August 17th,1975, the day before my 21st birthday. I spent that summer working for the Forest Service near Cooper Landing. We were so broke we survived off the fish I pulled out of the lake every day because we were making $4.15 an hour and a 6-pack of Hamms cost 48 bucks. The next day on my birthday I got kicked out of the bar for accidentally knocking over a table of beers before I even had a drink. I had to shell out a fortune for those drinks and spent the night hanging in an empty laundromat by myself while my buddies got drunk in the bar.
Best Recognize – Kevin Frank
Gotta love my ensemble, parachute pants and all with a brook trout. I actually tried to release that fish only to watch it belly up and die. It was a major turning point leading me to fly fishing. My entry is from a family fishing trip near Great Falls, MT in the early 90’s.
1980’s / Islamorada. No bandana, stoopid glasses, sweatshirt & a nice bonefish in an affectionate hug …
Looks like he’s into it. Yes?
Bookworm – Stephanie Warner
Some serious fishing fashion off Whittier, Alaska
Catch and Release Season – Jeremy Leder
If the green boots and fiberglass Fenwick didn’t give it away, the year was 1987 in Wisconsin. I think this was before it was cool to call it the Driftless area. My dad took this shot of me with an amazing rainbow I caught on a Wooly Bugger, because for some reason that was the only fly we used in the 80’s.
This fish was caught and released during Wisconsin’s early catch and release season starting in March. Also worth noting, this outing was part of a Trout Unlimited event in which my dad was heavily involved in the planning of. Clearly, it was a different time. I’m sure that fish did just fine.
Combat Fishing – Adrian Uribe
Pic is from August 1997 on the Banks of the Mighty Feather River at the Outlet Hole, combat fishing with beads for Kings.
Cowlitz Culling – Casey Sheahan
Culling the gene pool on the Cowlitz with a brace of hatchery brats headed for the barbecue, 1992
Day’s Fishing – Nick Yardley
A pic of a young me with the results of a day’s fishing from a small well stocked trout pond at Avimore, Scotland. As a family we’d take a week staying in a small cabin in April on occasion. As the rest of the family skied all day, I’d be dropped off at the pond to fish on my own till they returned – loved it and the rest is history!
Death Grip – Mathew Dahl
Circa 1995(ish)… Not knowing at the time that fish needed to be in the water to survive. I was off on my own fishing in longville, MN with the priceless popeil pocket fisherman. Being so proud and overwhelmed with joy that I had a death grip on this little guy… as you can see in the picture. This fish stayed in my hands for the rest of the day until about 5 hours later when I had to “release” it back into the lake… only to wake the next morning with the fish now completely white with a single painted turtle eating it on the rocks next to the dock. Still haunts me till this day.
If it’s raining out and the fish is out of the water, does that count as #keepthemwet ?
First Steelie – Stacy Chick
This pic is of my first steelhead. Unfortunately, a very dead, very wild steelhead. It’s from the Washougal River and was caught on 7/28/83 when it was still legal to keep wild steel.
Caught him on a #4 Fool’s Gold, that I tied, on a 20′ Wet Belly line using a glass fly rod that had a foam handle. Crappy Shakespeare reel. What a setup.
Now, I have shame, but was also VERY happy that day. I was 16 and I rode my girlfriends 10-speed bike 5.8 miles from that awesome garage door you see behind you to the honey hole under the Norway Hill bridge.
That’s right! I pedaled a small 10-speed bike 11 miles on the busy Washougal River Road to catch this thing! And on the way back carrying a 7lb steelie in one hand and the rod in the other all the while trying not to get run over. I actually got chased by a damn Airdale terrier that was a real bastard for about a 1/2 mile. I literally smacked his face with the fish.
Somehow I survived and rode all the way back up the hill to home and had someone take my pic with my first steelhead ever, that I caught on a fly I tied. Proud then, but man it was Before I Knew!
Fish & Fashion – Holly Dixon
I Killed a Musky – Ryan Rosenfeld
This is a musky on a stringer. I bonked it and ate it. Didn’t know any better.
Lake Taupo Bow – Damon Taylor
This was taken around 1999 – and I cringe every time I see it. I had just found out I had been accepted into the officer training in the Army – so was furiously trying to grow out my peroxide blonde hair back to it’s natural color (it was the 90’s, okay?). Then there is the jumper – all shades of beige and cream. And baggy track pants – with the well placed mysterious wet patch on the front (my waders were leaking – I swear!). The only thing any good about this photo is the pretty solid 6lbs Rainbow. Taken at night at Lake Taupo, New Zealand.
Lipping Brown – Sam Cady
Fishing lower lower madsion shortly after moving to Montana in early 2010. I landed this beauty of a brown and my bass fishing roots kicked in with a lipper. Not to mention my lack of wading belt and need for a canvas vest.
Madison River Mayhem – Andrew Schuster
I’ve only ever fished with 2 guides in my life this poor bastard (Zack from mro) had my father and his 3 sons (we actually caught a lot of fish). Before we New better – dad in a pink t-shirt my older brother bright red cap my poor younger brother in neoprene waders in middle of summer with an eagle claw fiberglass rod from Walmart and me with a grumpy old men, Gillian’s Island hat and some uncles waders? We all had polarized sun glasses Deniro’s character in casino would have been proud of!!! My brothers wore the flat brim way before it was cool!!! I think we all had the same vest to boot!
Picture circa – 1995
Portland Grunge Scene Steel – Andrew Rozic
My brother and I (I am the smaller one) making the early 90s Portland grunge scene proud.
Pure Steez – Eric
I may be pure steez with my tucked in sweat pants, way too long shirt and whatever that sweatshirt is but shit I wish I would have let every big King swim free on the Kenai.
Hopefully they will be back again.
(I’m the fine young man with the Pirate’s hat by the way)
Rainbow Wife Beater – Jeremiah Puckett
This photo was from fall of 2009 when I still was primarily a bait dunker. Notice the nice white wife beater that acts as an amazing back drop for this little bow. I got my index finger right between the gill plate and gills to make sure if the fish jumps his jaw is staying with me haha.
Sockeye for the Win – Matt Seitz
My dad and I, Alaska 1997. This Sockeye came out of my hands and its teeth hooked my shirt. I thought it was attacking me as it tore a hole in my clothes and was in fear for my life, then I cried as it swam away. My uncle snapped the photo just in time to capture the moment. Sockeye for the win.
That Hat – Billy Knouse
Before I knew that fish would not take me seriously in a purple dinosaur boat and this hat, let alone ladies. Circa spring 2008.
Now that you’ve seen some of the most remarkable throwback photos we’ve seen in a while, cast your vote for your top three favorites before 11:59 PM PT on June 7th!