Fox River Deadfall
Fish the Fox
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Yep, once a year, usually in early spring, around Easter, I go into the crawlspace and pay homage to the Shrine of Dance's Eel. The Shrine, established in 1985, canonizes this near-perfect specimen of Dance's Eel lure that I picked up at a Venture store in Downers Grove, Illinois for about $6. The lure has seen many a bass-laden lake and pond, and come up fishless time and time again. That's when I decided its fish-repelling properties were too mystical to unleash on man or fish, and it hasn't seen the light of day since.
The Shrine of Dance's Eel
The shrine (seen above) consists of the linen-swathed altar on which the Dance's Eel rests, surrounded by four "eternal" flames. Legend has it that the mystical powers of the Dance's Eel are so strong, that any living creature that tampers with or approaches the shrine with less then humble intentions is stricken fishless for one year.

Read on, if you dare...

One day a few years back, I took a friend to see the shrine and help me with some yearly maintenance such as removing cobwebs, cleaning the linens, and moistening the lure's life-like action foam-rubber body. That's when we (actually my friend pointed it out) made a shocking discovery: the face of Bill Dance was developing on the cloth on which the lure rests!

Hysterical and confused, my friend ran off and I haven't seen or heard from him since. I've phoned his family a few times, and his mother informed me that he just sits in the corner and rocks back and forth, wearing his Tennessee hat mumbling something about beef jerky.

Intrigued by the discovery, I've contacted the Smithsonian Museum as well as scientists from around the world to investigate what has come to be known as the "Shroud of Dance." I don't really know if I believe it, you be the judge for yourself. If you squint just right, you may be able to see Bill Dance in it too!
The famous Shroud of Dance
The famous "Shroud of Dance"
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© 2018 Fish The Fox. All Rights Reserved. | "Fox River Deadfall" artwork by Paul Turnbaugh. Used with permission.