Fishing Rod Decoration

Painted Fish

The earliest cave paintings demonstrated our desire to record our quarries and our trophies. The Victorians turned this desire into art forms and whether it was the taxidermy of J. Cooper and Sons, a painting by Henry Leonidas Rolfe or a Russell carved and painted fish from The Fochabers Studio, we have wanted to preserve the memory of our greatest piscatorial conquests. Today, as these great fish should be returned unharmed, photographs provide our instant memory. I though, have always wanted a more solid memory and so for many years have produced life size cut out silhouettes and attempted to paint them.

The above photographs are of some of these efforts. One is a Spey springer of just over 23lbs and remains my largest salmon. It swims above my desk, a permanant reminder of an epic wrestle. It was created from measurements and photographs but heavily influenced by the wonderful paintings of Robin Ade.

Another is a yellow tail kingfish caught on a fly from the East Cape area of New Zealand's North Island. It wasn't weighed but measurements and my guide's estimate put it about 35lbs. Read the story in Kingie!  Others are a Seychelles bonefish around 8lbs, a blue runner from Los Roques and an Astove giant trevally. Read about Astove in Astove Geets and Goonbones.

There is a Yellow Tail Snapper from Los Roques. Not big but beautiful and delicious!

The most recent are a striped bass, a beautiful spring salmon of about 22lbs and a 75lb tarpon I caught in Los Roques, Venezuela a couple of years ago. Three of the most amazing quarries for the flyfisherman.

The first to appear above is my latest effort. An Atlantic Salmon of 59.5lbs caught in 1923 which remains the largest spring salmon caught on rod and line in the UK. It was caught on the Winforton Beat of the River Wye by Miss D. Davey. This image doesn't do justice to the scale of the fish ... it was 52 ins long! It will now hang in the former home of the family of Miss Davey.

They are great fun to do and and so much better than a photograph.