Friday, December 23, 2011

Elk River Brown (An Anglers First Brown)

I recently had a new fly fisher ask if I could do a painting of his first brown trout caught on a fly.  Obviously I jumped at the opportunity and went to work painting this one of a kind memory.
While painting this beautiful looking Brown Trout I tried to remember what my first brown looked like or even when I caught it.  I remembered my first trout (rainbow) on a fly, my first bass, blugill, sea trout, ladyfish, and redfish, and crapie on a fly but I could not recall my first Brown trout or Brook trout.  Truth be told, those first few years of learning to fly fish have just sort of meshed into one continues memory of fish, weather, and water.
I do remember a few good days, wet miserable days, a few fishless days, and even a few fish full days.  I can recall areas of some rivers that struck me as simply beautiful at the time and a few times when I took a cold plunge and filled my waders while struggling to find my feet but surprisingly, I don't recall too many fish in specific detail.

I suppose this is the way it goes with most fisherman.  If you ask them specifics about the fish they caught five years ago, I bet they wont be able to recall how many browns or brookies they hooked or even the sizes of the fish but they will remember how the sun lit the water just so you could see the trout take the fly or how the light rain and misty clouds hung in the mountains and it was one of the best days they ever had.
They might be able to tell you general info on the types of fish but the real memory is of the fight a fish gave in the swirling pool of a good bit of water.  After the haze of time clouds the memory they are only left with the emotion of that day.  For us anglers, its not so much about the fish we catch but the way we go about doing it and the memories we create.
Thanks to modern technology we now can preserve the actual fish in photographs but its that feeling of that day that one truly remembers.

I am glad that through my painting the fly fisherman that hooked his first brown will now be able to remember that feeling every time he sees this watercolor hanging in his man cave.  In the end, that is the purpose of art.  Its not about just another nice looking picture hanging on the wall, but its a feeling one gets as they look at the painting.  For a commissioned piece such as this Elk River Brown, this feeling of connection with the art is heightened beyond the casual observers.  For this fly fisherman, that day on the Elk will live forever.

"Elk River Brown"
Watercolor on Paper
13" x 10"
Original ---  SOLD


Anonymous said...

Great are those your drawings! I can not stop wondering at them. You have enormous talent. Something amazing. You can just look, look, look ............

Sanders said...

Beautiful painting. Someone is going to really appreciate the memory.

I couldn't tell you much about the first trout I caught on the fly, other than it was a brown and not too big. But like you said, I could describe the mood in great detail. Funny how that happens.


BrookfieldAngler said...

This is a great painting! I love the background, the net, and fish. Just a perfect setting for a great looking fish and moment

Brk Trt said...

That angler will say that's just the fish.
Well done.

TexWisGirl said...

it is beautiful. nice memory preserved for that fisherman. :)

Johnny Utah said...

Wow. Great work for sure. Dont ever stop painting!

David McKenzie said...

Yeah, what Johnny said! Have a great Christmas.

Matt said...

I am the angler who asked Joel to do this painting. I am amazed at the talent Joel has and the painting looks better than I expected. I can't wait to see it in the flesh!

Scott said...

"...truth be told.." a feeling in your words and painting