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How Bill Dance Saved My Brain

I don’t feel normal. I’m irritable, sleepy and filled with nervous energy. Days are running together and I’m just going through the motions. Get up. Go to work. Go to the gym. Go to bed. It sucks. My brain is on a hamster wheel going nowhere fast.

This time of year is notoriously depressing because I’m trapped between seasons. Ice fishing is done. Bird hunting is long gone. The walleye, suckers and steelhead have yet to start running strong. And spring turkey season is still months away.

With fewer options to get outdoors I divert attention to anything hunting and fishing related that I can do from my couch. This blog is a great example. Exactly one year ago, in a state of fish-less depression, I started writing to relive some awesome moments with a rod and reel or a shotgun in my hand. I realized that if I could be doing anything, at any given moment, I would be either hunting ducks or hooking fish. This site was born.

I thought the blog would help my condition. But my posts focus on my latest trip. No trips, no stories. No stories, no posts. No posts means I’ve had to appease my brain with some meaningless activities. I’ve packed up the duck decoys. I’ve cleaned out the boat. I’ve even put my truck on craigslist to see what I could get for it. I told you, things get rough for me this time of year.

Last weekend I was at a breaking point. The thought of spending a Sunday afternoon grocery shopping, working out and filing my taxes made my lower eyelid twitch. I couldn’t believe this was my fate. At my bleakest moment, I heard a familiar song.

“The sun is justMy favorite celebrity angler starting to rise up over the tree-tops. It’s gonna be a beautiful day, that’s plain to see.”

It’s Uncle Bill. That’s right. The one and only Bill Dance. I’ve watched his show since I was a kid. I’ve spent hours listening to him talk to the camera. Which is slightly less time than he spends talking to the bass he catches.

I love his show because I always learn something. Fishing is all about subtle perfection. And Mr. Dance has honed his little tricks through more hours on the water than I’ll ever be able to match. Plus, Bill is just a good-old-boy. The kind of guy I could fish all day with.

It’s true he uses his show to hock all kinds of products. I get it. You’ve got to pay the bills. I’ve watched Bill sell just about everything from Blue Lizard sunscreen to lures. From monofilament to Mahindra Tractors. But it’s never ruined his show for me.

I’m not much one to get star struck. But you could have knocked me over with an 1/16 oz jig head when I met Bill a few years ago in Memphis. He’s just as down-to-earth and friendly as he is on TV. A real ambassador to the sport and a helluva guy.

So while I might have a few extra hours at home this month I can’t let it get me down. Even if I can’t get out on the water, I can always go fishing.

“With Bill Dance todaaaaaaeeeeyyyy!”


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