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Home Wild Life 2020 Picture Wild Montana Countdown: Third Place
Jan 28 2021

2020 Picture Wild Montana Countdown: Third Place

“Tight Lines Under Dawn Mist Falls” by Bryan Dufresne


After pouring over 600 quality photos, we’ve selected the winners of our annual Picture Wild Montana Photo Contest.

This year’s contest theme was “The Joy of the Wild.” We encouraged participants to submit photos highlighting their connection to our public lands, waters, and wildlife while also showcasing the joy of exploring Montana’s wilderness areas, state parks, national forests, wilderness study areas, and other public lands.  

Luke Duran, art director at Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks’ “Montana Outdoors” magazine, picked the winners, and he had such a hard time choosing a top three that he chose a top five. 

We’re counting down to the first prize winner on Friday. For now, we’re excited to announce the 2020 Picture Wild Montana Photo Contest third-place winner.

Third Place: “Tight Lines Under Dawn Mist Falls” by Bryan Dufresne of Hamilton

Fly fisherman under a waterfall

Fly fishing below Dawn Mist Falls on the Belly River in Glacier National Park (photo by Bryan Dufresne)

From Bryan Dufresne on his winning photo:

"The scenic beauty and abundant wildlife stir the imagination like no place I have ever been. It's simply stunning. This photo was taken below Dawn Mist Falls on the Belly River in Glacier National Park. I was fighting an article grayling. My friend, Nathan Paul, and I were on a seven-day backpacking trip in the drainage." 

"Montana's wild places and public lands must be protected for a number of reasons," said Dufresne, when asked why public lands conservation is important to him. "First, they are nonrenewable. Once they are lost, they are lost. They are also an oasis for millions of Americans from the stress and grind of everyday life. They offer opportunities for parents to bond with children, for friends to create memories, and for people of like mind to meet. They provide unlimited freedom, and inspiration. They touch upon the spiritual."

Follow Bryan on Instagram to see more of his outdoor adventure photos. 

From Luke Duran, guest judge:

"A great example of an image that exudes energy and illustrates the power of nature. While this is not a technically outstanding photo, the composition is vibrant and compelling. Dark, underexposed canyon walls frame the action, while the overexposed water, mist, and glinting lens reflections from bright sunlight create an atmosphere of sheer joy. The subject is one lucky angler, dropping a line in what must feel like their own private fishing hole, against a powerful, rushing waterfall. The image captures the theme perfectly."

We’re counting down to the first place photo announcement by sharing the other winners, one by one, through Friday, so make sure to check back to see all the winners.

Thanks to everyone who submitted a photo this year. We’re always thoroughly impressed by the quality and variety, and we love to see all the ways you love and enjoy Montana’s wild places.

Keely Damara
Communications Manager

Keely manages our website, wildmontana.org, and social media channels in addition to providing communications support for our chapters, programs, and campaigns. In her free time, she enjoys fly fishing on Montana’s scenic rivers, hiking, camping, and exploring public lands in her home state.
Email Keely