Finally A Fishing Tattoo

     A year or so ago I was reading a post on one of my favorite blogs the Uncommon Angler.  It was a great story about fly fishing on Beaver Island.  Included in this post was picture of guide Austin Adduci with his hands on the oars.  Look closely at those hands for a second, see the tattoos?  I was fascinated by this as not only an obsessed angler, but as a fishing guide, and lover of tattoos.  After finishing the post my life went on as lives usually do.  Recently though...I've been going through a bit of a hard time mentally.  I've really relied heavily on my friends, my fishing, my writing, and lots of reading to help me through it.  Long story short that lead me to a recent post on The Fiberglass Manifesto.  Something changed in me when I saw that post.  For me my tattoos have always been a point of strength.  They mean something to me.  They remind me of a moment and how I felt in the days or weeks leading up to adding a new design.  I needed to feel that kind of confidence again.  So I started driving around town looking at local artists.
     Chuck over at Ultimate Arts Tattoo listened to my story.  I showed him my favorite lure and my favorite fly pattern.  I explained that my right hand casts the flies and that my left hand casts the lures.  I told him the differences between the silicone skirts on a spinnerbait and the natural fibers of a musky fly.  While discussing the art work I explained the need for a barbless hook on a fly to protect the fish and how beautiful light is when it reflects off a willow blade moving through the water.  I also told him about my pending divorce.  About the struggles and he understood having been through it himself.  We agreed on a price and I scheduled an appointment.  Then I did my best to keep the whole thing to myself until the day came.
The artist at work on the fly pattern design.
     Arriving at the shop I was both excited and terrified.  Hand tattoos are a huge commitment, you really need confidence to permanently put your passions out there.  Chuck showed me his preliminary sketches and concept art and I was in love.  However a few small modifications were required to meet the images in my mind.  First off I didn't want them in color and he had drawn them true to life.  Second I needed the hooks to be visible so that I didn't have to spend all my time explaining to people what they were.  He started making the required design changes while I headed out for a cigarette.  After a few minutes he came to the door and said, "You ready?"
     I sat down in the chair and had a little nervousness in my stomach.  What would my mom say?  What would my kids say?  What if I chose the wrong lure and fly?  Well it doesn't matter because I promised my mom years ago that I'd never get a skull, spiderweb, or naked lady as a tattoo.  My kids would love it because they love me.  As for lure and fly selection only time will tell if I chose the right ones.  I can tell you that it hurts like hell when the tattoo needle goes over your knuckles.  Also we had to add some white ink to the design to make it stand out better against my fair Iowa boy skin tone.  Still I love the results and want to thank Chuck and the folks at Ultimate Arts Tattoo for the great work and friendly service.  Until next time...
     Tight Lines.

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