“I did a trip with Jonathan Jones (aka Redbeard) which was a shoot for Yeti. It was super challenging. We were in the Apolima Strait between the two islands of Samoa. I, probably naively, hopped into the water with my underwater housing to shoot a mahi up against the boat and what turned out to be a tiger shark came up and bumped me from underneath. Then I was caught between staying there and playing dead or swimming back to the boat. What do I do? I got back to the boat fine, but that was just day one of a ten-day shoot where each subsequent day I had to be back in the water doing the same thing. It messed with my head. That kind of set the tone for the rest of that shoot. What could go wrong, did go wrong. We had weather, I got sick, the fishing was shit and one of the guys  who was meant to come over with Jonathan to be an angler and a model got stuck in New Zealand in customs. We just had to take it a day at a time. Luckily Yeti was kind enough to let me couch the story for them on the idea that ‘Hey, sometimes you travel around the world and it’s not what you think it is.’ I was really relieved about that, because it’s sometimes tough to find editors who let you tell the truth of a story. They want everything to be glorious and nice and that’s not always the case.”

A mahi caught in Samoa

A mahi caught in Samoa, around the same time Jess McGlothlin was getting bumped by a tiger shark.

Get the rest of our interview with globe-trotting fly fishing photographer and writer Jess McGlothlin in issue 27 of The Mission below. As always, it’s free.