In the District of Columbia there’s an old fishing camp on the Potomac called Fletcher’s, about four miles upriver from downtown Washington. For those who know it, Fletcher’s is a place for releasing the pressure of city life. Weekend painters set up easels and study their canvasses, guys find room under the sycamores to flick around a soccer ball, and apartment-dwellers revel in the chance to grill dinner with great wafts of smoke. Fishermen, however, first claimed this place where the tidal Potomac quickly narrows to fifty, then forty, then thirty yards across, and it’s been the business of Fletcher’s over the last hundred years to meet the steady demand for bait, tackle, and boats.

William Bailey was born in Mount Holly, New Jersey, and has lived in Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Washington, D.C. Bill currently lives in downtown Durham. When spring comes, he fishes the shad run at Fletcher’s, and in the fall, he tries his luck for bluefish in the Hatteras surf. In a roundabout way, he’s named after the song “Won’t You Come Home, Bill Bailey.” Bill qualifies this last claim with “roundabout,” because he’s a lawyer.

William Bailey earned the Certificate in Documentary Arts at the Center for Documentary Studies in December 2011.

Read more about the fall 2011 Certificate in Documentary Arts graduates and their projects at cdsporch.org/archives/9595.

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