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Are you ever surprised when someone you know to be a good angler turns out to be an artist?  How many fishermen have you met that are also painters, writers, builders, etc? After hanging around fish and fishermen for more than fifty years, it has become clear to me that fishing attracts creative thinkers. Fishing, by its very nature requires artistry, innovation, and experimentation.  It frequently compels us to turn loose of what we know, and reach out for things we hope for.

Everyone should believe in something; I believe I’ll go fishing. Henry David Thoreau

By now, you’ve probably heard me say that it’s the bad days that make us better fishermen.  Catching is easy when fish are biting, and almost any lure you throw in the water will work.  Conversely, it’s the tough days that require us to get creative and use the less logical side of our brains. My fishing partner Jamie Clough tells a story about an ancient old fly fisherman who has frequented the meat counter where he works for more than a decade. On each visit, he mentions a spot he used to fish where he caught big speckled trout.  His secret fishing hole was right under everyone’s nose and smack in the middle of one of the highest-traffic areas in the Chesapeake Bay. Jamie says he’d smile and nod at the stories, but never gave them a second thought until one day last summer.  After an unsuccessful and frustrating morning, he decided to check out the old guy’s unlikely trout spot.  Can you guess what happened next?  It’s a safe bet that Jamie will never pass by that spot again, and I’m thinking that gentlemen gets an extra-thick ribeye once in a while. Read More!