It took years of embarrassingly awkward kodak moments to get here, but we are finally down to the final five of before you knew better photos. And now it’s up to you to decide before 11:59 PT on June 21st who is most worthy of the The King/Queen of Unfortunateness Award. And as if the pure joy of voting to crown a fellow angler with this dubious distinction is not reward enough, our good friends have sweetened the deal by making one lucky ballot caster the owner of a Sage SPECTRUM reel of their choice.
Without further ado, here are your final five:
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.
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
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.
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.
Now that you’ve seen some of the most remarkable throwback photos we’ve seen in a while, cast your vote for your favorite before 11:59 PM PT on June 21st!