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The Pictures, The Stories…

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This morning I was thinking about the pictures on my website. Twenty plus years of being a fishing guide has created a lot of memories. The pictures on my website trigger for me many of those memories.

For example, there is a picture on my website of a person who I met more than 35 years ago when I was a graduate student in NYC. He booked a trip with me and surprised me the morning of the trip with a very old memory of meeting him through a mutual friend.

There is also a picture of a very interesting client who defined himself as an ethicist. His definition of himself was particularly notable as he was on Cape Cod visiting his “mistress”. I don’t want to sound “judgy” but I have to admit I’ve always viewed that as being a bit contradictory.

Then there are pictures of youngsters who now are out of college and embarking on their career paths. Many of these kids continue to fish with me. I am lucky to stay up to date with their young (and exciting) lives.

Of course, there are the “big fish”. And we all know that “big fish” are usually accompanied by “big fish” stories. No doubt, my clients have better memories of these “big fish” than I do, nevertheless, I have the pictures that live on in the eternal world of the web.

Sometimes my recollections are less about the actual picture than they are about the day the picture was taken. One picture always reminds me of the day that I anxiously awaited the arrival of the highly revered Bahamian guide that showed up at the boat wearing “street” sunglasses. He hadn’t even boarded the boat before asking me if I had a pair of polarized sunglasses for him to use for the day. I did. Later in the day when I shared with him my nervousness about taking him out he replied “Avery, you were a success from the moment you offered me your sunglasses”.

There was a client that loved my fly rod holding system. (For those of you unfamiliar with my system, you’ll have to come fish with me and see it.) His comment was “Leave it to a woman to figure out a simple system. Us guys would definitely over-engineer it”. That moment lives on in my mind and on my website.

Finally, there’s a picture on my site of one of my closest friends. J is an excellent fisherman and he has a pretty big smile on his face as he’s holding a “big fish”. When I see that picture, I remember taking him to “the spot” and telling him to chill out as he anxiously told me, “there are no fish here, let’s go”. I said, “We have to wait a bit for the tide, but you’ll see”. And sure enough he did see. With the tide came this school of “big fish” in shallow water and plain sight. Boom, he was tight on a fish. And the best part was that he told our friends, “You know, Avery really does know what she’s doing”!

Capt. Avery holding a striped bass in front of a client holding a fly rod