A Saluda river striped bass...

I have a confession to make.  This is hard for me to say, so i'll spare everyone the suspense and get right to it.  I've fallen out of love.  I know.  What about all the years together?  What about all those special moments we have captured and made a part of who we are together?  To those questions I would say this, "You just aren't the same as you were when we first found each other." You just haven't, well, kept yourself up.  You seem to lack clarity at times, and you definitely aren't as sharp as you used to be.  Finally, and I know this is hard to hear, but, you've just gotten downright heavy. You are weighing me down, and holding me back. I'm sorry, but I'm  just not in love with you anymore.  

He inhaled a zonker tailed streamer...

Nikon D7100, I've found someone else.  Well, technically not yet, but I'm looking.  First things first,  and the jury is still out as to who will be your replacement.  Yea, I've got options.  I always have.  You'll find someone else, you're still young.  It won't likely be and river wading, long bow toting, woodsman like me, but you'll find someone.  

The above images were taken with my iPhone 8 plus.  The camera is by cell phone standards, pretty fantastic.  There are plenty of other players out there, no doubt.  The central theme here is this, I'm frankly tired of carrying around a 6 pound camera and lens on all of my adventures.  Constantly having to drag it out of some waterproof bag or container is a total pain and causes me to miss shots at times.  Leaving it siting on my boat bag, or slung around my neck while wading is just tempting fate.  I have found myself on trips with my friends, minding the camera far more than fishing.  There are times when thats ok with me.  Sometimes, I enjoy just capturing the moment instead of engaging in it.  Capturing moments that will live on even as memories begin to fade is part of what being a photographer is all about for me.  However, lately, as my boys have become more active, and I've taken to guiding them along as they explore different pursuits, dragging a full size dslr along has become, well, a drag.  So you may have noticed that the quality of the photos in my posts and on the web page have declined a bit as of late.  Maybe you didn't.  One thing is for sure, as I packed my backpack to go wading the other day, I looked at my nikon sitting safely in it's pelican case, still smeared with mud from the everglades and the savannah river, and I just turned and walked away.  I had some tippet, nippers, a fly box, and a bottle of gatorade in my bag, and right in the top zippered pocket, my iPhone.  I wanted to fish.  I needed to clear my head, and cool my feet.  I needed to do those things without adding weight to my shoulders, because believe me, like most fathers and husbands, my shoulders carry enough weight as it is.  

A fighter for his size...

As for the future, who knows what i'll decide.  There aren't any really great answers to my problem at the moment.  Another dslr, mirrorless, waterproof cameras, go pros ect.  They all have their strong points and weakness as it relates to being a piece of adventure equipment.  For now, I'm happy to utilize my iPhone when it suits my needs, it handles respectable quality photos and 4k video with ease.  It allows me to very quickly go from rowing the boat, to videoing a friend fighting his first trout without missing a step.  I guess i'll know what I'm looking for when I find it.  It's out there somewhere, i'm sure of it.  One day, I'll find the one that meets all of my needs.  Until then, i'll keep my iPhone handy, and my nikon in a dry box.