Marriage is many things. In simplest terms, it is a commitment to the one you love through sickness and in health, through stormy and calm moments in life. But marriage is much more. It’s about exploring the world together and learning about other cultures and lifestyles while admiring the world’s natural beauty. It’s discovering passions to explore and share such as fly fishing.

My wife, Lucy, and I dated for eight years before tying the knot this year. Since the beginning, we have grown together through traveling, meeting others, and recently for her, through fly fishing. After we moved to the Mosquito Lagoon area after college, I found myself on the water chasing tailing redfish on the flats more than I was at home. Lucy saw how happy and relaxed fly fishing made me and understood how much the sport meant to me.

It was only a matter of time before Lucy was traveling down the same path learning how to double haul, laying accurate casts, and understanding the feeding patterns of the fish that lurk in the grassy waters. Just as in marriage, we have had great successes: new species caught, epic eats, and finding new spots to fish. But, more importantly, we have had our challenges on the water: getting on each other’s nerves when casts don’t go as planned, stubborn fish pushing our patience, and getting soaked battling sketchy weather conditions. These challenges have created such a deep appreciation for the successes and are ultimately why we continue cruising the flats consistently. Fly fishing has taken us to new places, nurtured new friendships, and created some unforgettable moments that have made us eternally grateful.

The day after our wedding, Lucy wanted to get some wedding pictures that reflected us in our natural habitat. Fellow fly fisherman and groomsman, Mike Kirkland, met us on the water and snapped some pictures as we fought the winds in search of tails. It was only right that we headed out on our Gheenoe to flip some flies after saying “I do.”

For more content from Ray you can find him on Instagram @rayaltmann

Find more photos from Mike on Instagram @shallow_etiquette