Photo Essay: Shooting “Tributaries” in Iceland

Written by RC Cone


The Icelandic weather and wind can be harsh, but the rewards are worth it.
All photos by RC Cone

[Editor’s note: Back in July, we introduced you to a cool new fly-fishing film, Tributaries, from RC Cone, which is in production now. (Check out that post here.) Recently, we got RC’s latest update and a bunch of gorgeous photos from his ongoing adventure. I can’t wait to see the finished film.]

Bahamas to Iceland. I was looking for contrasts and I found ’em. On some of the nastier days, I wore every single piece of clothing I had under my waders and jacket. My flip-flops were about as useful as a bikini in Antarctica, yet I didn’t want to leave.


The contrast of the lush green lowlands and the frozen mountains was stark.
All photos by RC Cone

Iceland has become one of my top three favorite places in the world: a European/American mash-up of a culture that absolutely retains its unique qualities. (Think about the musicians: Sigur Ros and Mum). Just 330,000 people inhabit the island, which is mostly green, likely foggy, pastoral valleys, with craggy, steep snow-covered mountains and, simply put, big, mean salmon.

Siggi, my guide in Iceland, likes to laugh. Big jokes accompanied by a big laugh for a big guy. The fly he invented, the Hauger, is in most guides’ fly boxes around the country. He’s said to me over many cups of morning coffee: “You’re only ready to fish when you’re ready to fish.” He’s never in a hurry. Except when he’s fighting a fish. I’ve heard it called the “Siggi Sway”: He tugs on fish like a goddamn Viking pillages a town, with absolute conviction and zero hesitation.


Locked, loaded, and ready for the next river.
All photos by RC Cone

Iceland’s style is to hitch super-small flies and take salmon on the top. It’s an incredible sight, watching a big, angry salmon chase down a moving fly.

I’m on a small recharge in the states, and then I head to Argentina for almost three months. I plan on doing some post-production work and Spanish tutoring, until their fishing season opens on November 10. Expect a trailer soon!

Tributaries is a fly-fishing film of contrast and commonality. It will be debuting on the 2014 Fly-Fishing Film Tour. Click here for more information.

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