STORY: ROB MCABEE
PRINCIPAL PHOTOGRAPH & VIDEO FOOTAGE: SEAN MURPHY
VIDEO EDITING: 101 EXIT MEDIA
SOUND DESIGN: MIKE MANGUM
By definition, an artisan is a craftsman who is skilled at an applied art. Artisans make a high-quality or distinctive product in small quantities, usually by hand or using traditional methods. Typically, these folks specialize in one specific craft or product; in this case, Drew Chicone has acquired a master knowledge in quite a few.
I first met Drew through the fly fishing industry. He came to me looking for help branding his fly tying business, Salty Fly Tying. We stayed in touch throughout the years through a variety of trade shows and social media. At one point, he reached out regarding paddle board fishing, and like everything else that catches Drew's interest, he quickly became an expert at it. His specialty is tight-quarters sight fishing, developing a "process". Thanks to knowledge of the target species combined with bullseye casting technique, he can efficiently catch 30+ inch snook on a regular basis – from a Rover Aero and Rackham Aero!
In a time of large scale tying production, chain grocery stores, and mind-numbing online content, Drew's artisan level craftsmanship make him stand out in a sea of sameness. He loves to share his knowledge and passion with the world by doing things like creating new fly patterns and improving legacy patterns. He has even written numerous books on his crafts to help others enjoy his passions. A true hunter-gatherer, he's even tackled gourmet cooking by curating gardens of ingredients for top-level meals and sauces.
Whether it's metalworking, traditional archery, baking, or farming, it's refreshing to find passionate people willing to bring craftsmanship back into the world. These are the folks who will hand down knowledge for generations to come, combining skills taught over time with contemporary products and materials to keep the artistry that makes us unique as humans.