In my pursuits of catching Tarpon on fly, I was introduced to a girl who was on a whole new level of awesomeness in the game of fly fishing. Her name is Alex, and I learned more from her in an afternoon of fishing the flats than I did walking the beaches for an entire summer.
Because of my passions of fishing and Florida History, I'm always on the lookout for potential painting locations. One of the last spots Alex took us to was a mangrove bank planted right on the edge of the ocean and the islands. There was a small white PVC-looking cross resting slightly off-kilter at the base of a mangrove island. My senses began tingling. Alex told me an incredible story of a pioneering legend who paved the way for saltwater fly fishing, who died at the age of 91 and in a weird twist, had his ashes stolen by a man (or woman?) wearing a black hoody.
Bill Curtis is known for many things, and the more research I do, the more I am in awe at the fact that I fished in HIS spot. He invented the poling platform, the Bimini twist, and he was the inspiration for a character in a novel, "92 In The Shade".
When Alex told me these stories, I went home and took time to do some research for a painting. I knew I wouldn't be able to capture a location people would instantly recognize, but the cross at the base of the mangroves was enough to consider it a historical painting in my eyes.
(This image of me fishing the flat here doesn't show the cross, but it shows the beauty of the Florida Keys. While fishing here, I could feel the location's past. So much history and so many memories were created here.)
This painting will be special to me because of how I got there. It certainly was an adventure of a lifetime for a girl who rarely leaves Palm Beach County. Thank you Alex for giving me this opportunity and showing me (and Kacee) your spot.