I know. It’s hard to believe but not everyone is a sketcher. Some misguided souls spend their leisure time doing things besides pushing pens and brushes around paper and discussing the virtues of Hansa yellow vs Cadmium yellow.
One such person is a guy I used with work with. Let’s call him Jim. Jim likes to spend his time standing in cold water, throwing a string with a piece of fluff on the end of it into just the right place with the idea that he may catch a fish. Sometimes he does, sometimes he doesn’t. It’s not that important.
It’s called flyfishing and, if some of my trips are any indication, it is properly named as you can catch a lot of flies on such adventures, or rather they catch you.
Flyfishing has much in common with sketching. It’s a process-oriented thing, where the joy is in the doing, not necessarily in what is produced. Just like a sketcher who does produce a good sketch, flyfishermen are pretty excited when they do catch a fish. And just like how the sketcher turns the page and starts another one, the flyfisherman typically releases the fish and starts the process of trying to catch another one.
And so it was for my friend, Jim, as he stood in Lyons Den Channel Pool on the Miramichi River in New Brunswick. His cast was well-made. Jim was in the zone, enjoying the ambiance of the place, enjoying his time on the river. Then it happened, Jim hooked the biggest salmon of his life, an 18-pound fish. His heart was probably still pounding after landing it, looking at his success, and as he released the beautiful fish back into the river. It was time to make another cast, but maybe, like I do once I complete a sketch, he took a short break before returning to the river to make another cast.
Jim sent me a photo of that fish and when he did he mentioned that he’d spent some time looking at my blog and that he was appreciative of my sketches. I couldn’t resist the thought of sending him a sketch of himself and his big salmon and so with the photo displayed on my laptop, I went to work. Here is the result…a man, his success, and I hope, an indication of the enjoyment that comes from doing something you love.