Catching the drift from a log suspended above a river.
Montana’s remote Bob Marshall Wilderness is one of the few places in the world where you can target the threatened bull trout, and this float was on photographer Tim Romano’s bucket list for several years before it came together in July 2016 (the season opens in late May). His party of four took horses over the Continental Divide to make a nine-day, 43-mile float on the South Fork of the Flathead River. After “gluttonous” fishing for cutthroats on a tributary, Romano says, they hit the main stem and caught and released 26 bull trout in total. There were grueling portages around massive logjams, but the big-shouldered bulls up to 37 inches made it worthwhile. “We’d caught so many big fish by this point that we were just taking it all in,” he says. “It was hot, and my buddy jumped into the river off this log to cool down. I saw it was a good vantage. We’d been hopscotching all day, so I crawled out and waited for the other boat to drift past to get this shot. It was nerve-racking to be 30 feet above the water with my gear, but I was more worried about losing my camera than hurting myself if I fell.”
PHOTOGRAPHER: TIM ROMANO
LOCATION: SOUTH FORK OF THE FLATHEAD