Talk long enough with seasoned anglers and eventually you’ll hear someone say, “there’s an art to fly fishing.” That’s a curiously poetic phrase. They’re usually talking about technique, presentation or tying, but it’s interesting to see the correlation one makes between angler and artist. The Black Gnats are equally interested in this connection, so we’ve started a recurring section called “The Art of Fly Fishing” to highlight the unique stories and individuals that bring these two worlds together. This week’s featured artist …
Interview by Garrick Dorsett
Jake Keeler is a fly-fisher from St. Paul, MN … where the fishing is good, the homebrew runs constantly, and the thermometer starts reading at “cold.” Jake has his MFA in painting and drawing and is a former college professor (true to our hearts). He now pursues a budding career in homebrewing and craft beers (you might know him from his days in Brewing TV), as well as putting out some killer fish-themed art. In his own words, his art explores “concepts of mortality, life cycles, and the raw and sometimes brutal side of nature. We fish, and by the very nature of doing so, we kill; directly or indirectly.”
Black Gnats: Who or what inspired you to get into fly fishing?
Jake Keeler: I’ve been fishing since 5 or so. Fly fishing came to me a bit later in life – around my late twenties. Two of my closest friends where/are serious fly fisherman. They introduced me to the lifestyle and method of fishing. It grabbed hold of me and I’ve never looked back.
“[Fly fishing] grabbed hold of me and I’ve never looked back.”
BG: Who or what inspired you to get into art?
JK: I’ve had art all around me from the moment I could see. I come from a long line of artists, so making art and creating things was – and still is – a way of life. It’s not Continue reading