Andy Dear | Sunday, 19 January 2020

Nobody harder.
---Cameron Hanes

  I know Sexyloops is a fly fishing site, but January in Texas hasn't found me doing a whole lot of fly fishing. There are fly fishing related activities going on...tying flies, building rods and the odd bit of casting practice here and there. What I have been engaged recently in, is Deer hunting.

  When I was in my early teens, hunting consumed almost as much of my time as fishing did. It didn't matter if it was Deer, Doves, Ducks, I just loved knowing exactly where my food came from, and that it was harvested in an ethical manner commensurate with my values and love for nature. Somewhere along the way fishing took more and more precedence over hunting, until for many years I didn't hunt at all. Fortunately for us locals, fishing in Texas is a year round pursuit, and I didn't see any reason to stop for a couple of months to switch gears and go hunting. In fact, once I started sight fishing the flats with a fly rod, it was so much like hunting that it totally satiated my need to engage in the predator and prey relationship with any other type of "weapon" in my hand.

  Anyway, this is not a front page about Deer hunting. What it is about is the overwhelming continual dedication it takes to master a skill, especially an outdoor related skill. While sitting in my deer blind today, waiting for a deer to show itself (which by the way it never did), I wondered how many folks in the fly fishing community were aware of a gentleman named Cameron Hanes. Cameron is an expert bow hunter of the highest magnitude. Not only that, because of his obsession for pursuing Elk with a bow he has also become a modern day extreme athlete. Implementing year round physical training such as a 7 day a week weight training program, and running what is the equivalent of two 26 mile marathons a week, and in the offseason running 100-mile ultra marathons in the mountains, Cameron is redefining the parameters of what it means to be "passionate" about his sport.

  To be honest, I don't know a whole lot about Cameron. I've occasionally listened to him on a few podcasts and read a bit about him on the web. But I have learned enough about him to know, that I have great respect for the overwhelming dedication, discipline and commitment he has to the ultimate mastery of his tradecraft. And, I purposely use the word "craft" to allude to last week's Front Page about my feelings on the use of a fly rod as a tool to "craft an experience". And in Cameron's case, he is using a bow and arrow as a tool to craft his experience. What inspires me the most, however, is the lengths to which he is willing to go to make sure his experiences are the richest and most memorable that they can be. I say that, because the older I get the more I seem to value experiences over money or status or material objects, or any of those things that could and can be taken away in an instant.

Hope you all have a great week,