Sunday, September 22, 2019

JEFF KENNEDY - Gates Lodge "Artist in Residence" Journal #4

The "Artist in Residence" journals continue with artist Jeff Kennedy (be sure to read Journal #1, Journal #2 and Journal #3 if you haven't already) from Gates Au Sable Lodge.

Thanks to those have commented here and on social media on how they are enjoying this series.

The smell of bacon.  Every morning when I make my way to the Board Room, the air is filled with that delicious smell of bacon.  It is a wonderful way to greet the day!  Every morning John, the breakfast shift chef gets the bacon going on the flat top first thing before the shop opens. 

I’ve gotten to know John over the many visits up to Gates Au Sable Lodge.  I can tell you from first-hand experience he makes killer breakfasts!  My all-time favorite breakfast is the "Greenberg Special". I ate these most mornings because they are so good.  The "Greenberg Special" consists of a pile of hash browns, topped with a Chorizo sausage pattie, two eggs, your choice and topped with pico de gallo along with your choice of toast.  It fills the tank and I usually do not need to eat lunch. 

I got a quick warm-up sketch in and then headed out to shoot a number of reference photos around the lodge.  I was looking for cool shapes to motivate me today.  In front of the fly shop they planted milkweed to attract monarch butterflies.  Well, it did the trick!  There were adult butterflies, caterpillars and chrysalises.    I also got in another hybrid vegetable skin...the brook-chini. 

I grabbed some dinner at the lodge, then Courtney and I headed out to go mousing.  Being a Florida girl, she had never experienced mousing and wanted to give it a try.  It was a moonless night with a star and galaxy filled sky.  We fished a beat that I know well and we headed upriver. 

If you have never been mousing, it can be a bit of a challenge.  You cannot see anything and you have no depth perception.  But all the challenges are worth the reward.  I have fished this spot on many occasions and have only been skunked once so I was pretty confident I could get Courtney into a fish.  We waded up and she started casting.  It wasn’t too long and she had a hookup!  Not a huge brown but enough to get the adrenaline going.  She continued to cast thru the beat while moving two more fish.  We fished out the run and headed back to the lodge.

Jeff Kennedy unplugged his website but the Drawing Flies 365 blog is a great trip down memory lane.  You can follow along with his latest fishing exploits and studio news on Facebook and Instagram

Gates Au Sable Lodge is on the banks of the Au Sable River outside of Grayling, Michigan and has a longstanding history as a mecca within fly fishing.  If you haven't been, plan to go, fish, eat and stay.  Following along on Facebook and Instagram is a good idea too.

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