Many years ago, my Dad took me fishing in Alaska. It was a fabulous father-son bonding experience, and beyond that, an opportunity to fish for larger prey than I had ever tackled before - Steelhead Salmon. At one of the fishing spots our small group stumbled upon, we each took turns on a small boulder jutting up in the middle of the bay - kind of a scary perch, but right in the path of the salmon. The thing wasn't flat, and on 3 sides, it went straight down - God only knows how deep. I rehearsed in my mind how to get my waders off if I fell in, so they wouldn't drag me down into the abyss! The fourth side slanted into the water for some distance before dropping off.
Shortly after the boat dropped me off for my turn on the Rock, I hooked a big one. It was such a thrill playing that big boy around & around the rock with light spinning gear. This thing was huge, and right at the limit of what my equipment could handle. Finally, I worked him around to the sloped side of the rock, intending to drag him as close to the surface as possible before I made a grab for him. In a last-ditch effort to break free from his line, he thrashed in the shallow water, and ZIP! My line broke as it scraped across a sharp barnacle on the rock. And then I realized - he didn't know he was free! For a split-second, he and I looked at each other ... me on the rock, him in the water .... and I knew if I wanted him, I'd have to go in after him. I dived for him, waders and all, and landed belly-first on his long thick body. He began thrashing underneath me, and I had to hold on for dear life - I had no idea how strong he was until then. After our wrestling match, I managed to bring him ashore.
I had always felt elated when I actually caught something in my past fishing trips - but this was different. That victorious feeling was part of what I wanted to convey with this piece. The fish is not a salmon, but a combination of salmon, trout, bass and...whatever! I called it an "Everyfish". It is carved in basswood (yes, really) and painted with acrylic artist's colors. The rest of the piece is carved wood, decorated with brass accents, turquoise eyes, and composite gold leaf.
This piece is still available at $3,800, shipping included to the US. Call me at the studio - (505) 296-1400 - to discuss how I can get him to you!
DESIGN, PHOTO AND TEXT © DAVID LLOYD STEWART - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED