COVID & Flats Fishing with Artist David Danforth

Fishing the flats in the Florida Keys tests every angler’s patience and wits about themselves. Any trout angler who has visited the Keys for the first time can probably relate.
David Danforth, my buddy Mitch Bainter, and myself decided to do a little domestic saltwater trip to Marathon, Florida to fish with @kingfisherbackcountrychaters for some bonefish, permit, and tarpon.
We drove from Tampa to the Keys in a Jeep Wrangler, 375 miles in search of getting our saltwater fix on the salty flats.
I hooked into a tarpon for the first time but popped off. I learned that you need to bow to the silver king…
We had many shots at tarpon and permit but they were not wanting to dance with us.
David hooked into a healthy bone, but as always, Cuda’s came out to play.
Any day on the water is a good day. Cheers to the next adventure!
And remember to always mask up!
Photos and words from photographer Christian Graham. Be sure to check out his work on Instagram at @grahamcreative.
Flylords caught up with artist David Danforth to ask him a few questions about how COVID is impacting his business and what he is doing to combat this. 

Flylords: How has COVID impacted your business?

David: Both positively and negatively. The negative is I attend 12 to 15 different events a year all over the United States. Each month my inbox gets flooded with more regretfully canceled emails for fly fishing expos and outdoor events. The positive, even though I have a very unorthodox type of career, our fishing friends and family in the industry have supported us 10 fold more, especially online. It is already challenging enough to make a living off of “fish art” but throw quarterly lockdowns in and it makes it interesting.

Flylords: What have you been doing to adjust your business due to COVID?

David: Complete website overhaul. It looks like we will be online for at least the next year. I don’t see 10k attendee events re-opening soon. The items that I would typically sell at shows, I have been doing monthly flash sales for everyone to purchase online. It’s not as cool seeing each other face to face, having a beer and chatting about our adventures, but it still gives people a great deal on something that will brighten their day every time they walk into their room!

Flylords: Any positives from COVID?

David: Family and friends, we all get so busy and distracted, I used the time to slow down, feel more, take more in, and destroy the back burner list we all keep pushing off. The time with my wife and kids has been awesome and at least for once every person in the world was humbled and put into the same mindset all at once for the first time. The first month when we all were waiting to see how deadly and how viral it would or wouldn’t be, we were all one big unit, united by this situation. Making us all feel like one is a very positive thing. A virus does not care if your filthy rich, poor, purple, green, big, or small when we all have a common enemy, it brings us together.

Flylords: Where have you been fishing lately?

David: A few spots in the Everglades on backroads deep in the swamp, but the Keys are always my go-to. The past few months we have been fishing Marathon, Islamorada in the Keys finding some tarpon, bonefish, and getting denied by permit.

Flylords: Anything else?

David: Take advantage of our overstock sale prices we are offering. Normally our canvas prints range from $200.00 to $400.00. Our most popular sizes are 24×36 and 20×40, they are currently on sale for $155.00. We have hundreds of designs and species to choose from, just shoot me an email or DM to order. Here is a link to the shop:
Be sure to follow along with David on Instagram at @reellocal.

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