Paisley penned the song with his friend and future producer Frank Rogers while they were both students at Belmont University in Nashville.

By Perri Ormont Blumberg
July 10, 2020
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It's summer. And while the coronavirus crisis has impacted our plans in many ways, it can't take one warm weather joy away from us: Turning the volume way up, rolling our car windows down, and blasting some of our favorite country music tunes.

These days, that means a lot of Brad Paisley. And for the past few weeks there's one Paisley song in particular that we can't get out of our heads: "I'm Gonna Miss Her (The Fishin' Song)," from Paisley's 2001 album Part II. As we cruise down the highway or sit on our porch, Paisley croons, "Well I'm gonna miss her / When I get home / But right now I'm on this lakeshore / And I'm sittin' in the sun / I'm sure it'll hit me / When I walk through that door tonight / That I'm gonna miss her / Oh, lookie there, I've got a bite." For a minute, as the chorus hits the crescendo and we get that goosebumpy feeling, all is well with the world.

But little did we know the humorous backstory behind the Billboard #1 on the Hot Country charts. As our friends over at country music site Wide Open Country recently brought to our attention, the song was actually written in the early '90s when Paisley was a student at Belmont University in Nashville, several years before it made it onto Paisley's second studio album.

Paisley wrote the song with his friend, Frank Rogers, who would one day take on the role of Paisley's producer as he rose to prominence in the country music scene. When the duo sat down to pen the song that became "I'm Gonna Miss Her (The Fishin' Song)," it wasn't with a recording studio in mind, but as fodder for an upcoming school concert.

"The Belmont students thought that the idea of a man choosing fishing over love was hilarious and eventually, Paisley landed himself a record deal with Arista Nashville. Though the label was on board for him to put the song on his debut album, Who Needs Pictures, Rogers felt like the song needed to come from an established name. (Just in case female fans out there weren't wild about the idea of their man leaving them to go on a fishing trip.)," writes the article's author Courtney Campbell. "Though major names like Garth Brooks, George Strait and Alan Jackson wanted to record the song, Paisley was patient and held onto it until the timing was right."

The right timing, it turned out, ultimately came to be for Part II, roughly a decade after the song was first written. Watch the music video below, which also features Paisley's then-girlfriend and now-wife, Kimberly Williams.

Looks like Paisley may have gone fishin' and gotten some bites out on the lake—but he ultimately got the girl, too.