Bill Bachman

Professional Photographer, FlyLife Contributor
My mother and dad taught me to cast a fly when I was a boy and I grew up fishing the mountain streams of northern Pennsylvania. Both were very good fly fishers, my mother usually being the one who caught the most or the biggest. She can still cast a fly at the age of 90, and the last thing my dad did before he died at 88 was to go on his annual fishing trip in the Yellowstone region of Montana.
You would think with a pedigree like that I would be an expert, but I have always approached fishing the same way that I have photography – unscientifically, enthusiastically and for the most part intuitively. Despite almost 60 years of tramping up streams I still don’t know much about the habits of trout or the life cycles of insects, I don’t tie my own flies, I only know about three knots, and I have used the same 7’9” 5-weight Orvis rod since sometime in the 1980s. But as in photography, it’s all about reading the scene in front of you. It doesn’t much matter what camera you use, and anyway it’s not the camera that takes the picture.
Professionally I have been a freelance writer/photographer for 40 years. I’ve produced several books of my own, contributed to dozens of others and worked for a variety of magazines around the world, including Australian Geographic and FlyLife, to name a couple of favourites. Between 2010 and 2016 I taught photography at Melbourne’s Photography Studies College, including four years in charge of the Advanced Diploma major in photojournalism. Currently I am developing a national training program for judges at the Australian Institute of Professional Photography’s annual Professional Photographer of the Year competition.
One thing I have learned in a lifetime spent in pursuit of the perfect picture (whether as craftsman or critic) is that trophy photographs are no less elusive than trophy trout.
Excellence is rare and the quest never ends.

A River Sometime