Most fly fishermen have an appreciation for art whether they realize it or not. They wear hats, shirts and other “merch” with their favorite brand’s artistic logos; drive around sticker-covered vehicles; piece together well-designed fly rods with matching reels; and tie on flies they meticulously crafted themselves. I am one of these people who loves the sport of fly fishing and enjoys its artistic side.
Abigail and I bought a house a few years ago, and have enjoyed decorating and making it our own. One item that I’ve wanted to include is a piece of original fly fishing artwork, knowing it would be a cool way to incorporate our hobby into the atmosphere of our house and an interesting talking piece.
When it came time to pull the trigger on a piece of artwork, I decided to go with local artist, Ted Hansen. Ted is a Montana native who now lives in Minneapolis and works in the Minneapolis school’s art program. I’ve followed Ted’s work for years and love his detailed and realistic style. His best-known work is his profiles of various fish species done on canvas (which he also has made into decals, see above), but he also has amazing landscape pieces, amongst others.
The idea for my piece came from some of Ted’s previous work, specifically one of his brook trout paintings on canvas. Brook trout are the only native trout to the Driftless area, and, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful fish. I asked Ted to paint a similar brook trout, but one whose patterns were inspired by a specific brookie I caught a few years ago—one that has remained my favorite brook trout to date.
Throughout the process, Ted would send picture updates which gave me an even better appreciation for his talent. But when I visited Ted’s studio in Northeast Minneapolis earlier this month to pick up the finished product, it was even better than I had imagined. Ted nailed what I had envisioned when I described to him what I was looking for. The trout pops from the dark background and really emphasizes the awesome rich coloring of the fish. The detail that was put into the painting was incredible—I knew that creating something like this was not easy, but I had no idea all that went into a painting like this.
To anyone out there debating on getting their own piece of original art, I would highly recommend it. It is an investment, but one worth saving up for and leaves you with a piece that is uniquely yours. For those that appreciate art, but are more budget-conscious, most artists offer prints of their work that are much less expensive and still look fantastic, as well as stickers that you can use to cover every fishing container you own. These are great ways to decorate your space with pieces that are unique and having meaning to you, all the while supporting creative-minded people who share your passion.