Years ago, my friend Cameron Mortenson introduced me to Fly Fishing. After practice casting a "noodly" old fiberglass fly rod on the lawn, I decided to look for a book for information on this intriguing new sport. I purchased the L.L. Bean Fly Fishing handbook written by Dave Whitlock, and read it several times, incorporating the tips and advice that Whitlock shared as I learned how to fly fish. I still have that book in my library, and look through it on occasion, since the advice is timeless.
As well as being an accomplished writer, Dave Whitlock is an outstanding artist. I've seen him at Fly Fishing Shows in the past, and had always wanted to purchase some artwork and talk with him. Last January, while at the Denver Fly Fishing Show, I decided to take the opportunity to pick up a couple of prints.
Whitlock is one of the nicest and most genuine people I have ever met. We spoke for quite awhile and I shared my memories about the LL. Bean book he wrote. He was very gracious and humble, and gave me some interesting insight on that specific book and others he has written. I asked him if he would sign the prints I had purchased, and he said that he would be happy to do so. When I handed him the prints, instead of just signing his name, he pulled out a set of coloring pencils and took several minutes hand coloring the prints while we talked. He was very careful and thorough with his work, and did an outstanding job of bringing the prints to a new life. He then signed and personalized both prints. I've framed both prints, hanging one in my fly tying room, while the other one is displayed in my office. The experience I had with Dave and his wife Emily was great. They are both great people, and it was a pleasure meeting them at the show.
Cameron took several photos of the experience, which I've shared in this post. Dave Whitlocks's art is fantastic, and I would highly recommend that you visit with him when you have the chance.