In late July, my good friend Anthony headed west to ply the legendary waters of western Montana. On July 31, he fished the Missouri River and caught his largest rainbow trout ever -- a very fat (and reportedly angry) 24-inch-plus fish. Anthony fooled the big fish on a small nymph and after landing it and taking several photos, he dutifully released the female 'bow.
Upon his return to working life and to fishing southeastern tailraces which are completely devoid of grizzly bears, Anthony contacted me about possibly commissioning me to paint a portrait of his trophy catch. After a few conversations about how he wanted it done, I gladly took on the project and produced the following painting:
I delivered the portrait to Anthony last week, and he's in the process of having the painting framed. Thankfully, he was thrilled with the work, and I can only presume that the portrait of his trophy rainbow will hang prominently somewhere in his home (if Anthony's smart, he'll first seek judgment and counsel from his wife as to finding that perfect spot on the wall) so that he can both frequently view it ... and use it as a conversation piece. We all love our fish stories, and what better way to start one than to point at the fish and say, "Hey, let me tell you about the time I caught that."
I really like painting these types of "catch and release" portraits. I consider it an honor to take them on and spend a great deal of time making sure I not only capture the character of the fish, but also position it in a way that pays tribute to both it and the angler.
If you're interested in a commissioned painting of your trophy catch, please give me a shout. I'd love to help you out.