Ben Engle

 

 

Ben Engle grew up in the Alameda, but trips to the High Sierra were frequent enough that fly fishing became an integral part of his life. From the age of 10 he felt more at home on small streams than anywhere else in the world. A graduate of Chico State, with a Bachelors of Fine Art in Printmaking, Engle was able to mesh the fly fishing world with fine art, through a series of projects revolving around the meditative state of fly fishing, that were featured in The Fly Fish Journal. 

Tracking

In The Moment (2013) shown below, is a long exposure photograph of tying a fly with LED's attached to Engle's Fingertips.  He tied the famous Rusty Rat and the photograph was a compilation of exposures over the 4 minute tying period.

In The Moment 2013

The rest of the photographs in Engle's show Tracking were all casting drawings.  Using a light attached to a rod and photographing with long exposures he was able to track the trajectory of his fly line moving through space, resulting in line drawings that interacted with the pools, riffles, and seams of the rivers he had grown to love.  

The expansive landscapes emphasize solitude and meditation that he associates with casting a fly rod.  Casting the line using simple repetitive motions produced unique lines in each photograph.  These photographs function as a documentation of the casting/meditation process which would otherwise be lost.

 But as of recent, he has been pushing the boundaries of the tying vise. He is currently revisiting the lost art of classic salmon fly tying. These full dress flies function as small sculptures and to most would only belong in a frame, even though Engle hopes to swing them for steelhead and salmon in the near future with the drive to take fly fishing back to its traditional roots.

To see more check him out on instagram: @Benengleflytying