It’s December when the idea for the trip first surfaces. Travel to Samoa on an expeditionary fishing trip with hopes of large GTs and other salty species? Sure — why not? I’d been to the South Pacific before and fallen in love with the place. The heat and the salt gets in your blood and never lets go, an islander once told me. I completely agreed.
Three months later, I’m slogging the camera gear through 100-degree heat and searching the water for any sign of fish. It’s day three in Samoa, and we have yet to bring any fish to hand. Working with Australian angler Jonathan Jones, we’ve devised a battle plan that would cover the flats, the reef edges, and even the blue water surrounding the volcanic island. We’ve seen a few GTs, but nothing had come to play.
Things improve. A little. We get into some mahi-mahi offshore. A wahoo. A small GT. But nothing like what we’d hoped. Sometimes it happens — we’ve both fished long enough to understand that fact. But it’s brutal when you’re halfway around the world and things don’t come together. We make the most of it — logging dawn-to-dusk hours every day, trying every angle we can devise. And when it’s time to go home, we laugh it off in the knowledge the next trip will be better.
Jonathan returns to Australia, ready to chase fish in the familiar waters near his home in Sydney. After three days of travel, I make it back to Montana, almost immediately heading to an old, familiar spot on one of my favorite waters. Surrounded by snow, on the third cast I hook up with a healthy rainbow trout and laugh aloud. It’s a far cry from swimming in the ocean trying to photograph a leaping mahi-mahi. Fishing…and the places it takes us.
Jess McGlothlin is happiest on the road in the weird, far-off corners of the world. She sees her mission as a simple one: tell stories. Working as a freelance photographer and writer in the outdoor industry, while on assignment in the past year she’s learned how to throw spears at coconuts in French Polynesia, dodge saltwater crocodiles in Cuba, and eat all manner of unidentifiable food. See more of her work at JessMcGlothlinMedia.com.
A personal, portable, anything but soft-sided cooler that can easily transport at least 18 icy cans to your next adventure.