Monday, July 27, 2015


The frequency of my blogs has suffered of late. 

The last post was in November 2014. Early November. Since that time, we endured winter; this year, an inescapable curtain of gray and misty rain and occasional flurries that crescendoed into a massive ice storm which bent and broke trees and shut down middle Tennessee for a couple of days. 

Yet, as soon as the last bit of ice melted from our bowed birch trees, spring sprung, and temperatures shot into the 60s and 70s, as forsythia exploded yellow, redbuds popped purple and dogwoods donned their seasonal spectacle of white and green. As pollen pervaded the air, the rivers became bloated with hungry fish. I joined my good friend, Joe, for several incredible afternoons on the Stones River, as we chased pre-spawn largemouth and migrating stripe and hybrids. It’s good to have friends. It's better to have friends who fish. And, it’s awesome if those friends have boats. 

Reflecting on an excellent stripe run.
March through May, I spent a lot of time with family. In early March, I fished the Little Red River in Arkansas with Dad and my brother, Tim. Lots and lots of trout came to hand, and Dad taught me how to tie his deadly streamer fly pattern. Just a little while later, Dad blew out his Achilles, and I spent a few weekends in May in Memphis, celebrating Mother’s Day and my Mom’s birthday and helping her keep Dad from doing too much on his surgically-repaired wheel. 

Throughout the first several months of the year, Betsy and I have been renovating a house — an early 70s ranch on the banks of a nearby river, which is conveniently full of smallmouth bass. It’s been a labor love, sprinkled with sporadic (yet fleeting) doses of second-guessing, confusion and despair. Despite any turns in the road, we’ve not wavered in our approach, and look forward to soon realizing our dream. 

Commissioned Mahi

Amidst work, family visits, house-related stuff and traveling to Nashville for several Predators games, I’ve squeezed in a fairly productive stretch of painting. That productivity included several commissioned works, as I veered into some not-so-typical subjects for my customers. Thankfully, the efforts were successful, and I’m very proud to say my art hangs in a few more households than it did just seven months ago. I also donated a print of “Fourteen” to Troutfest 2015's auction, which helped raise over $20,000 for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Fisheries Department.

A very special painting for a very special person.

Regarding my art, the online store,, has been renovated and now features an updated and more user-friendly layout. Please check out my artwork — along with works from an array of artists — on John and Abby’s site. Secondly, the online magazine, “Southern Kayak Fishing,” launched in January, and the inaugural issue featured a spotlight on me and my artwork. The second issue offered me the chance to finally become a published writer, as my blog “The Multi-Boat Float” was picked up for publication. The magazine’s editor is Ed Mashburn, a fellow fish fanatic from Alabama, who I met on an overnight tuna-fishing trip out of Dauphin Island, Ala., a few years back. We struck up a friendship that has continued through the past several years. Ed’s an accomplished fisherman, kayak-builder and writer, and in addition to his work with Southern Kayak Fishing, he’s also a contributing writer to one of my favorite print magazines, Florida Sportsman. If you like kayaks or fishing or great writing and photos … or all of that together … please check out the latest issue of Southern Kayak Fishing

The annual Christmas card painting.

While it's been a while, I'm intent on reconnecting with my writing muse. The past few months have provided me with some adventures, and I hope to share some of those semi-true stories here. Please stay tuned, stay cool, and thanks for sticking with me.