FlyLife Topshot Photo Competition 2017

Congratulations to all the finalists and entrants in the FlyLife Topshot Photo Competition 2017.  The standard and number of entries was extremely high and the judges found it challenging to select six finalists. Thank you also to everyone who voted during the competition, it's been a fantastic event and it will be back next summer.

Keep your eye out for the upcoming photo feature in FlyLife Magazine winter edition to see some of these amazing entries in full print!

A huge thank you to our judges - David Anderson, Brad Harris, Josh Hutchins, Jess McGlothlin, Peter Morse and Kristina Royter

Also thank you to our sponsors for their prizes - Mayfly Tackle, Owen River Lodge, Scientific Anglers, Nautilus Reels & Innovator

And the winners are...


1st Prize:  Francis Ko Hau Thong - 12lb Gold
Francis Ko Hau Thong, Singapore

'12lb Gold' 
It had been 5 years since I last caught a trophy brown. My guide, Kiyoshi Nakagawa, wanted me to have a trip I could not forget and had me hooked to this 12lb Gold. After 35 minutes of epic struggle I had to get him to pose with the fish. It would not be so fortunate without a professional guide.


2nd Prize:  Steven Ooi - The Dragon Slayer
Steven Ooi, Devonport, Tasmania

‘The Dragon Slayer’
The heat of summer in the central plateau of Tasmania brings out the dragons. Flying through the air above tarns is enough to make trout turn their gaze skyward. A wild central plateau brown captures a dragonfly midair in a dazzling display of agility.


3rd Prize:  Daniel Kent - Stump Jumping
Daniel Kent, Apollo Bay, Victoria

'Stump Jumping' 
Hooked up and holding tight to an acrobatic Twin Lakes, Atlantic salmon. The morning light and glassed out conditions add feeling and colour to a already magic moment.


Runners Up Finalists
Angus Kennedy, Narrabeen, NSW - 'It's All Part of the Journey'
Brendan Turriff, Relbia, Tasmania - 'Slow and Steady'
Shaun Quinlan, Lucinda, Qld - 'Back to Your Pack'




FlyLife Topshot Photo Competition 2017

The Competition

The FlyLife Topshot Photo Competition celebrates fly fishing photography in all its glorious forms. Landscapes, trophy shots, macro images, still life and portraits all have powerful roles in telling great FlyLife stories throughout the years.

Now it's your turn to get your camera out in the field and find that special composition in a fly fishing setting. With an esteemed panel of judges to select the top shots, this is your opportunity to have your photo run in FlyLife, one of the most respected fly fishing magazines in the world for its quality of writing and imagery for over 20 years.

So what are you waiting for, start shooting today and get your entries in!

Complete an Entry Form. All entries must be received by the Entries Deadline Sunday 26th February 2017.



Our sponsors Mayfly Tackle and Owen River Lodge are putting up some fantastic prizes.

1st Prize


Innovator HLS2 of your choice from 3wt thru 9wt 

Innovator Fly Reel to suit your rod choice

Scientific Anglers Wavelength fly line of your choice - MPX, Trout Taper, Titan Taper, Grand Slam Taper, Tarpon Taper, Titan Big Water Taper 

Owen River Lodge - one nights accommodation for two people at the exclusive Owen River Lodge in the heart of the Murchison/Nelson Lakes region of the New Zeland's South Island (offer expires 30th April, 2018 & subject to availability)

3 years subscription to FlyLife Magazine, plus a FlyLife 'Flying Fish' tee and cap

2nd Prize


Nautilus X-Series XL Max 8/9 Black

2 years subscription to FlyLife Magazine, plus a FlyLife 'Flying Fish' tee and cap

3rd Prize


Scientific Anglers Amplitude with AST Plus - your choice of Freshwater MPX or Saltwater Grand Slam

1 year subscription to FlyLife Magazine, plus a FlyLife 'Flying Fish' tee and cap



Amateur and professional photographers can enter. You may enter as many times as you like, however, only one of your shots can be selected as a finalist so select your entries with care. This is a competition of skill, not chance, so entering many times does not increase your chance of winning, it's all about selecting your absolute best.

All you need to do is fill out an Entry Form for each entry, attach your photo and accompanying details, and agree to the Rules and Conditions of the competition. It's that easy.

All entries must be received by the Entry Deadline 11:59pm AEST on Sunday 26th February 2017.



Our expert judging panel will select six finalists, from all entries received.

The criteria are subjective and will include:

  • composition
  • lighting
  • technical skill
  • uniqueness of the overall photograph
  • relevance to fly fishing in Australia, New Zealand, South Pacific and surrounds

The six finalists will then be posted on Facebook and Instagram where the public will vote on the winners via the most likes (or reactions) for each individual photo.


Public Voting - Winners

Voting will be open to the public on Saturday the 4th March 2017 AEST and close at 6pm AEST on Friday the 10th March 2017. So be sure to have your friends, family and followers vote for you during the voting period if you make the list of finalists.

Finalists and winners will be notified directly. Winners will be announced via social media and presented as a special FlyLife Photo Feature.



Digital images should:

  • Have a longest dimension of at least 3,000 pixels and be saved at 300 dpi (Around 10" or larger)

  • Adobe RGB colour space

  • Image files should be jpeg format – medium compression,

  • No larger than around 6 megabytes to ensure a fast upload experience (max 12MB)

  • RAW images will not be accepted


Photography Tips

If you are looking for some tips on how to shoot great fly fishing photos, be sure to check out Brad Harris' Better Fishing Photography article.


Judging Panel

Our experienced judging panel are experienced photographers and fly fishers in their own right and are regular contributors to Flylife.

Click on the judges' names below to view their profiles and top photography tips.

 David Anderson

Photo: David Anderson

David Anderson’s music photography career has spanned nearly thirty years; from local pub bands to touring with the Rolling Stones and has shot dozens of record covers and tour posters. He’s worked for most mainstream Australian magazines and newspapers and many more from around the world. In portrait photography he’s posed up a huge collection of film stars, rock stars, pop princesses, divas, boy bands, super-models, not-so-super models, legends, wannabes and even the Queen. In fly fishing photography he has been a regular Flylife contributor since near the magazines start with numerous feature articles and six front covers.

More on David Anderson...

David's Top Tip

"Fly fishing photography is always as much about the landscape as the fish and I think it’s very important to properly show off the surrounds when shooting." 

 Brad Harris

IMG 3729BHarris 970
Photo: Brad Harris

Brad Harris grew up in Cooma, NSW and learned to fly fish on the Snowy Mountain lakes and the blue-ribbon streams of the Monaro. This technical fishing background gave him a big head start when he moved to Tasmania 12 years ago.

Brad has worked as a pro photographer since leaving high school and submitted his first article to FlyLife in Issue 17 (1999). He began part-time as the magazine's staff-photographer for issue 42 (2005) and now works full-time for the magazine, taking care of pre-press duties, some graphic design and website content. He is relishing the chance to branch out into video work for the magazine and in his own sideline commercial photography business, BH Photo.

More on Brad Harris...

Brad's Top Tip

"Have your gear ready - sort out your exposure and settings before the action starts; the last thing you want is to be fiddling with technical rubbish while you’re trying to make a connection with the subject or catch the moment."

"Shoot P mode if you’re new to photography so that you can concentrate on what makes a great image, not a great exposure."

"Make sure your camera is always close at hand and available in an instant."

"And if you really want to hone your photography, don’t even take your rod."

 Josh Hutchins

IMG 2148Backcountry JH cmp 970
Photo: Josh Hutchins

Since catching his first trout on fly at the age of 13, Josh has spent years travelling the globe in search of the best, and often most exotic, fly-fishing experiences.

Josh has fished in Argentina, Thailand, Exmouth, Slovenia, Spain, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Tasmania & Mongolia – with many more trips planned.

Closer to home, Josh is well-known for his knowledge of the Blue Mountains and Central West of NSW. Growing up in these areas, Josh has spent 20 years exploring the local streams and discovering its best kept secrets. Through his guiding service, Josh is passionate about seeing groups and individuals develop their skills in fly-fishing, and grow a love for the sport.

As a writer and photographer, he is a regular contributor to FlyLife Magazine as well as various other online editorials. Thousands have signed up for his daily updates through his social media presence, Aussie Fly Fisher, and journey with him in his travel and fly-fishing adventures.

More on Josh Hutchins...

 Jess McGlothlin

 Jess McGlothlin

Photo: Jess McGlothlin

Jess McGlothlin has always had an affinity for the outdoors and travel. Growing up fly-fishing and playing in the wide-open spaces of the American West, she is most at home on the road in wild and rugged places, and can typically be found with either a camera or a fly rod in hand. Sometimes both. Lucky enough to start fly-fishing as soon as she could hold a rod, she spent an inordinate amount of time on the water as a toddler, a trend which has only continued as an adult.

She’s worked in the fly-fishing industry around the United States and internationally, in capacities from lodge management to copywriter. As a freelance photographer, clients include Patagonia, Outside, Orvis, Costa Sunglasses, YETI, The New York Times, and a host of other commercial and editorial enterprises.

Subject coverage ranges from Western rodeos to fly fishing far above the Arctic Circle in Russia. She has proven competence covering everything from international advertising campaigns to multi-day survival training sessions in remote, challenging environments to exploratory fishing trips. Her work has been featured in gallery shows in Russia, Germany, Israel and the States, and she has received international awards / recognition for both her writing and photography.

More on Jess McGlothlin...

Jess' Top Tip

"I’m a firm believer that shooting fish in their own habitat — whenever possible — is always the best way to go. I’ll work with an angler before we start fishing, explaining how I’d ideally like to see the fish held, what the plan is for the day, and how workflow needs to happen when we hook into a fish. For this king salmon in Alaska, I’d asked the guide to ensure he kept his fingers minimized (you can just barely see them peeking out from under the fish) and to ensure the fish was facing me, looking into what little light we had. Dark, silty water is difficult to work with when shooting underwater, but with a little bit of preparation we were able to get the shot!"

"Don’t be afraid to fill the frame — if this fish was half the size it would be a far less compelling image. We’d see a lot of dark, dirty water and a dark fish in the background. Focusing on the salmon’s eye gives clarity to what otherwise could be a “busy” image, and the turn of his head into a tiny bit of open water gives the feeling that he’s being released and going somewhere in a hurry. (Which, in fact, he was.) A fast shutter speed means that even in low light and murky water I was able to keep the eye sharp and freeze the motion of an active fish."

 Peter Morse

MorsieTipPic 970
Photo: Peter Morse

Peter has been writing on fly fishing since the mid-80’s. During the 90’s he had a very successful prime-time television series called Wildfish which ran for 26 episodes on a Tuesday evening at 8 pm.

Peter does a lot of writing and photography, travelling the country talking to clubs and conducting casting days and fishing seminars. In 2009 he achieved his Federation of Fly Fishers Master Instructor certification, something he’s very proud of because of the rigorous exam that requires a broad and deep knowledge of the sport. 

Peter has written several books including - “Saltwater Fly Fishing Fundamentals," "The Wildfish" a book about the TV series and “A Few Great Flies …. And how to fish them” his most recent book. Peter also has a DVD that is instructional and called “Arbor to Fly.” 

A regular contributor to FlyLife, Peter has written and photographed over 78 articles for the magazine and online and continues to educate fly fisherman on salt, estuary, fresh water fishing, casting and fly fishing technique. He is an international ambassador for Sage and RIO.

More on Peter Morse...

Morsie's Top Tip

"Go to bed with your camera and the instruction manual."

"Be daring, pixels are free."

"Put the rod down and pick the camera up if you want action shots."

 Kristina Royter

Photo: Kristina Royter

Kristina’s fly fishing evolved after meeting her husband Adam Royter, and was a natural progression in her angling career from those early days of spin fishing. Fishing Victoria and NSW extensively, and now calling the South Island of New Zealand home, Kristina’s focus is to share her experiences through talks, workshops and articles throughout Australia and New Zealand.

In the hope of sharing her ever-progressing knowledge with others, and in an effort to grow fly fishing among women and children, Kristina’s venture ‘She Loves It Outdoors’ aims to promote the fly fishing lifestyle through social media, and to connect at grass-roots level with the Australian and New Zealand angling community.

More on Kristina Royter...

Kristina's Top Tip

"Some of the most stunning fly fishing destinations, also pose some of the trickiest photographic challenges; personally, I aim to photograph 'those'  moments in time, as faithfully as possible - to transport my viewer and use my camera as the eyes to the world I'm seeing. Utilising the natural light becomes key for me, although sometimes it can be too harsh. When fishing, taking advantage of 'Gentlemen's Hours' helps me to include wider shots and feature the landscape - hours from sun up to 10am, then 4pm 'til  dark. Tripods are always handy, but not always necessary, rocks and logs can do the trick! If objects like trees are moving, bump up your shutter speed and try AV (shutter priority) mode."


Rules & Conditions


The “Organisers” of the FlyLife Topshot Photo Competition 2017 are FlyLife Magazine Pty Ltd.


The “Competition” is the FlyLife Topshot Photo Competition 2017 as defined in these Rules and Conditions.


The “Sponsors” of the Competition are Mayfly Tackle Pty Ltd, Owen River Lodge New Zealand and FlyLife Magazine Pty Ltd.


The Competition starts when publicly announced and ends 11:59pm AEST on Sunday 26th February 2017 (the Entry Deadline). 
FlyLife reserves the right to alter the Entry Deadline at its discretion during the competition.


Employees and contractors of FlyLife Magazine, Competition Judges and their immediate family members (spouse, parent, child, sibling and their respective spouses), are not eligible to enter or win a prize.
Entrants must be at least 18 years of age as of the date of entry, or have their parent or guardian’s explicit consent.


All entrants must register online using the Entry Form at to register.
You may enter any number of entries but each entry must be submitted individually via the Entry Form.
Entries will not be accepted via any other submission form such as email, postal mail or in person. 
Each Entry must consist of an entry form and a single image. 
Each submitted photograph, in its entirety, must be a single work of original material taken by the Competition entrant. By entering the Contest, entrant represents, acknowledges and warrants that he or she has full power and authority to enter the photograph, and that the photograph does not infringe any copyright or violate any other intellectual property rights.
The entrant agrees to indemnify FlyLife Magazine Pty Ltd and its representatives, including judges, sponsors and affiliates, from any and all third party claims arising from the photograph entered. 
Photographs that include sculptures, statues, paintings, and other works of art will be accepted as long as they do not constitute copyright infringement or fraud. 
If the Photograph includes other people, you must obtain a signed, written Photographic Consent & Release Form from all persons who appear in the Photograph submitted, authorizing use of the Photograph as provided below in "Third Party Releases/Licenses." If you are unable to provide a release, in the form provided by FlyLife Magazine, then your entry may be disqualified. 
The entries will be judged in accordance with the Judging criteria, as defined below. The photograph must not, in the sole and unfettered discretion of the FlyLife Magazine, contain obscene, provocative, defamatory, sexually explicit, or otherwise objectionable or inappropriate content. Photographs deemed inappropriate will be disqualified. 
Online entries must be made by the authorized account holder of the e-mail address submitted at the time of entry. "Authorized account holder" is defined as the natural person who is assigned to an e-mail address by an Internet access provider, online service provider, internet domain owner, or other person or organization (e.g., business, educational institution, etc.) that is responsible for assigning e-mail addresses for the domain associated with the submitted e-mail address.


Prizes are specified on the competition page at
FlyLife reserves the right to substitute prizes other than those specified to the equivalent value at its discretion.


Our expert judging panel will select six Finalists (the “Finalist”), from all entries received. The criteria are subjective and will include composition, lighting, technical skill, along with the uniqueness of the overall photograph and relevance to fly fishing.
The six Finalists will then be posted on Facebook and Instagram where the public will vote on the Winners via the most likes or reactions (“Votes”) for each individual photo.
Sponsors reserve the right not to award all prizes in the event an insufficient number of eligible entries meet the minimum judging, as determined by FlyLife Magazine and Judges in their sole discretion.
The decision of the Judges and public Votes are final and binding.
Entrants are entitled to encourage their personal contacts to Vote for their entry as a Finalist, including family, friends and colleagues.
Artificially or contrived Votes however, through methods such as paying for likes and reactions, including via 3rd parties, will void all entries for that entrant.


If a photograph entered contains any material or elements that are not owned by the entrant and/or which are subject to the rights of third parties, and/or if any persons appear in the photograph, the entrant is responsible for obtaining, prior to submission of the photograph, any and all releases and consents necessary to permit the exhibition and use of the photograph in the manner set forth in these Rules and Conditions without additional compensation. If any person appearing in any photograph is under the age of majority in their state/province/territory of residence the signature of a parent or legal guardian is required on each release.
By participating, ALL ENTRANTS grant FlyLife Magazine Pty Ltd and their designees, licensees or affiliates (the "Authorized Parties") a non-exclusive, worldwide license, through 31st January 2019, to reproduce, distribute, display and post the entries online so that viewers may view all Finalists and competing entries. In addition, each Finalist and Winners grant to the Authorized Parties a license for use of his/her entries in connection with the Competition and promotion of the Competition, in any media now or hereafter known, including but not limited to, print or digital publication in FlyLife Magazine showcasing the Winners; and promotions related to the Competition. Authorized Parties will not be required to pay any additional consideration or seek any additional approval in connection with such use.


Winners and Finalists authorise FlyLife Magazine Pty Ltd to reproduce, distribute, display and create derivative works of the photograph entry in connection with the Competition, in any media now or hereafter known, including but not limited to: publication in FlyLife Magazine showcasing the Winners and Finalists; FlyLife website; the Competition website and promotional sites; and in exhibits and promotions related to the Contest. Winners and Finalists authorize FlyLife Magazine Pty Ltd to reproduce, distribute, display and create derivative works of the photograph entry in connection with the promotion of the Contest for up to two (2) years from the announcement of Competition Winners.


By participating, entrants agree to release, discharge and hold harmless FlyLife Magazine Pty Ltd, and each of their “Entities”, including but not limited to, respective sponsors, judges, partners, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising agencies, agents and their employees, officers, directors, and representatives from any claims, losses, and damages arising out of their participation in this Competition or any Competition related activities and promotion and the acceptance and use, misuse, or possession of any prize awarded hereunder. FlyLife Magazine Pty Ltd and associated Entities assume no responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, or delay in operation or transmission; communications line failure; theft or destruction of or unauthorized access to Competition entries or entry forms; or alteration of entries or entry forms. FlyLife Magazine Pty Ltd and associated Entities are not responsible for any problems with or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer online systems, servers or providers, computer equipment, software, failure of any e-mail entry to be received on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any Web site, human errors of any kind, or any combination thereof, including any injury or damage to entrants' or any other persons' computers related to or resulting from participation, uploading or downloading of any materials related to this Competition.


This Competition is subject to Australian federal, state, and local laws and regulations. Certain restrictions may apply. Entries are void if the FlyLife Magazine Pty Ltd determines the entry to not be an original, or if the entries are illegible, incomplete, damaged, irregular, altered, counterfeit, produced in error or obtained through fraud or theft. Entrants agree (a) to be bound by these Rules and Conditions; (b) that the decisions of the Judges and public Votes are final on all matters relating to the Competition; and (c) if he/she wins that FlyLife Magazine Pty Ltd and associated Entities may use each winner's name, photograph, likeness, and/or voice in any publicity or advertising relating to the Competition or future promotions without compensation or approval. All federal, state and local taxes, fees and surcharges on prizes are the sole responsibility of the prize winners. In the event that the selected Winner(s) of any prize are/is ineligible or refuses the prize, the prize will be forfeited and FlyLife Magazine Pty Ltd, in their sole discretion, may choose whether to award the prize to another entrant.


If for any reason the Competition is not capable of running as planned, due to infection by computer virus, bugs, worms, trojan horses, denial of service attacks, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes beyond the control of organiser that corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of this Competition, FlyLife Magazine Pty Ltd reserve the right, at their sole discretion, to disqualify any individual(s) who tamper with the entry process, and/or to cancel, terminate, modify, or suspend the Competition. If FlyLife Magazine Pty Ltd elect to cancel or terminate the Competition, any rights in the submitted photographs will not be retained.