About: The Two of Us …

BAYLEY:  In my 11 years with Scott (we started dating when I was 18 and he was 21) I have caught trout, bream, large mouth bass, small mouth bass, red eye bass, catfish, gar, red fish, blue fish, pinfish, lady fish, sheep head, black tip shark, blue runners, king mackerel, Spanish mackerel & pompano … Just to name a few. ALL made possible by my ever-faithful all knowing fishing teacher and guide, Scott.

Before meeting Scott I was no fisherwoman, however I learned right away that if I wanted to keep him around I better learn fast. It wasn’t long before I started taking my own fish off the hook and had my first experience with ‘bass thumb’—I think this is what did it for Scott—he was hooked (on me)!! 😉 Picking up fishing was easy; I absolutely love, am crazy about, come alive beyond what I can put into words, just being outside. Fishing gives me this outlet (football on the other hand, Scott’s other love, I can do without). I often joke about being a squirrel in another life simply because I feel so at home being in the outdoors… wouldn’t it be wonderful to live in a tree!? While I don’t believe it possible for me to ever feel as deeply about fishing as Scott, I am thankful that it has given us a wonderful thing to do together. We’ve spent COUNTLESS hours on various lakes, ponds, rivers and seas – for this I am grateful.

Scott and I are very much in a transitional phase of life right now, or hell, all off life is probably a transitional phase, but I am finally coming to terms with this being okay and learning to be content with the transitions and the unknowns. I am so far from really settling into this but I try – really really hard – and when I can’t seem to make peace with it (which is often) I get to the park as quickly as I can to get in a good run. This is my happy place. Watching my husband navigate though this season has been a struggle but an honor. Typically, I believe that we humans are a hardheaded, prideful, stubborn group, so getting to observe someone so willing to grow and accept the “crap” in life is an absolutely beautiful thing. Of course there’s been plenty of tearful days filled with frustration but ultimately I am thankful the “ups” that always seem the follow the “downs.”

We’re not quite sure where this whole blog thing is going to lead us, but for now it’s giving us an excuse to fish more …

SCOTT: It is a tough thing for me to put into words, fishing, and what it means to me. I don’t know how to explain something that is so deeply engrained. I never have been very good at explaining my passion for fishing. It seems to be so much of who I am, however I would almost prefer people just see me do it rather than try to tell them what it does to me. I act like a little kid for sure, but what goes on inside me is something totally different.
For a long time it was my escape and at times it still is. Growing up it was my medication. I feel God gave me this as a gift. I am lucky to have something that at times frees me from myself. I still am a mess in those childlike moments but things tend to make a little more sense. I am sure you have heard people say “God moments;” moments where you truely try to explain them but you can not. They are yours and yours alone. You try so hard to invite people in, with big words, excitement, over the top hand gestures and maybe even a raised tone. But those moments are yours and sometimes someone relates or feels a small twinge but its not the same. Thats what I partially am fishing for… Those few fleeting moments that drop you to your knees, chill your spine, or maybe bring you a tear. Those few times are what get me through a lot of the “ho-hummness” of life.
There are certain days the wind will carry the smell of trout fishing as a kid in Boone, North Carolina from across the yard I am working in in the form of a plant or grassy weed. To this day I can not figure out what plant or weedy growth produces these memories but its there, and its alive in my mind.
I wanted to do a blog for a number of reasons: spending time with my wife, sharing my passion while giving me an outlet, and mainly giving me permission to fish more. I enjoy stories and the bridges they create. I love hearing about peoples lives and what gets them out of bed on those hard days. I truely feel lucky to have something I can still get excited about. The older I get the more real that becomes. At this point in my life I am trying to get back to the things that make me tick. I think of it like an old stuffed animal that has been pushed into the back corner of the closet. One eye is missing, half the stuffing is gone, maybe has a smell to it you are not sure you like. Accepting the way I was made has never been easy for me but I am in the beginning stages of it. I heard someone say once, something about being perfectly imperfect, makes sense I guess. Fish, nature, water and all the aromas, I will take it any way I can get it. I need it.


12 thoughts on “About: The Two of Us …

  1. So thankful God gave you the gift of catching fish, the gift to enjoy water, and nature. I am one who reaps the benefit of seeing you come fully alive with child like excitement when you fish and that is a gift to me! Still in my mind is the vivid picture of you in the surf catching over 100 Lady Fish. It was a joy and delight to watch people watching and their relishing the excitement. So beautiful! Keep on fishing and feel God’s delight in the gift He has given you.

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  3. Wow, Scott I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed reading this. It hit home with me. I used to try to get people to understand how I feel about fishing. I realized that I can’t do it. I can’t get them to understand. If it isn’t in them, it makes no sense to them. When I’m fishing, I am ALIVE! When I hook a 17″ smallie in the South Harpeth on a super fluke jr., a 6 lb Largemouth on a top water Sammy at KY Lake, or a 13″ Rainbow on a Pheasent Tail in The Caney Fork, my soul screams out with a wild voice that only God and I, and some people like you could ever understand. One morning a few years ago, I was standing in the middle of the Harpeth River at 4:45 a.m. when the sun was just starting to come up, with a fly rod in hand. I was determined to catch a nice Smallie on a fly rod. I was stripping a clouser minnow when a Smallie hammered it. I set, stripped and started trying to keep up with this fish. The current took him past me and I thought he would break me off. After a few minutes, I pulled him to the gravel bar. When I put my hands on him, I held him up and beat my chest, literally. I felt a feeling that most people will never understand. I looked to the sky and thanked God for allowing me to tangle with such a formidable foe. You would think I had just set a record. Truth is, the fish was about 13 inches, but he was bigger than life that morning.

    • Paul that is such an amazing story, I love it man. Thank you for telling it. I love hearing the ways that fish and all of those moments with God shape people. I can’t even tell you how much that one 13 inch smallmouth resinates with in me. I had a day last summer where we fished hard for 6 to 7 hours with out landing a fish. They just wouldn’t eat anything, we tried topwater, fished grass lines, drop offs, timber, and bluffs. We were fishing are way back to the ramp and we found a tree off the last point. I threw a sinko up on it and got a hit. I missed him, I couldn’t believe it. So I reeled down hard made a quick re cast and he hit again. This time I got him, he came out of the water and he was only like 10 inches. I was freaking out though, almost like I was in the bassmaster classic. I was playing him like he was a 10 pound fish. I got him in and started jumping up and down. It was just a 10 inch large mouth, but that one fish brought more satisfaction than if I had caught a 100 that day.

  4. I love the courage of both of you to bear your souls and be transparent. I know that it is healing for you, as well as the others you share your journey with. Mine may not be the same, but it doesn’t keep me from relating to so many of the struggles and emotions you express so well. I am blessed each time I am invited to look through the door into the intimacy of your lives
    . Thank you both for being so vulnerable. I think it helps others to do the same. God Bless……..

  5. Scott and Bayley, Anne Ross here. Will pulled up your blog for me to enjoy and I am so glad that I can know a bit about your lives together. I love to fish too! Will and Patience had fun seeing you friday night.

    • Anne, great to hear from you. It’s been forever! Do you do most of your fishing at the lake …? What’s your favorite type of fishing to do? Keep in touch – you should share some pics!!

  6. Most of the times I have fished have been with you Scott. I have loved those times.
    Very thankful you would do the baiting part for me and the unhooking & releasing part too. I have learned a lot about fish from you, quite a gift, many happy memories.

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