It wasn’t all doom and gloom back in first few months of the year, although at times it certainly felt like it, what with an unexpected funeral, and equally surprising family break up, together with a series of frustrating disappointments at work. Plus the trails of illnesses, etc. which I mentioned at the time.

But even in the darkest times there are usually shafts of light and often it is luck that plays a part in creating them.

Whilst working my way through one of the lists of new blogs that regularly appear on The Outdoor Blogger Network, I found an American site that combined fishing and art. A Year on the Fly, by Joel de Jong was at the time having a competition for some of his artwork and also a T shirt.

So I stuck my name down by way of an entry and when the competition closed a few weeks later an email headed “Winner, winner, chicken dinner. ” (not a phrase I had ever come across – but plan to start using) dropped into my Inbox email to announce that I had won second prize. This suited me because as well as some of Joel’s artwork, it included a HexFishing.co T-shirt and I had written in my entry:

“At the risk of sounding like a cheap date, I’d be happy with one of the Tees – which is only part of the 2nd prize.”

The package took a week or two to wend its way over to this side of the Atlantic and when it arrived I was again delighted because as well as the limited edition print of an endangered Apache Trout, and the T-Shirt (I bet I’m the only person in the UK with one!) Joel enclosed another of his prints featuring a pair of racehorses and some HexFishing stickers. What a generous guy!

If you like art of a piscatorial nature then I’d urge you to pop over to a year on the fly, and there’s always something new to see. What I particularly like is that Joel often goes through the stages of creation of a piece of art.

Of recent posts I really like:

and – well I’ll stop there, just go and see for yourself!