Helena, MT High 91 Low 58
This fish came to us all the way from Hawaii. There is no paint used on this fish; it is made entirely of naturally colored wood that is found in the islands. Todd and Michaela brought it to us from their honeymoon.
We mounted it on the cabinet door.
Meet Scott. He’s the son of a very good friend of ours and he lives in East Helena. We headed out to see him Saturday afternoon to check out his fish taxidermy business. Gee – do you think this might be of interest to my hubby?
This is a brook trout mount that he is currently working on. He uses a form for the head because real fish heads shrink and dry up.
These are real fish gills.
These are the fins – notice how they are held with clips until they are dry.
Among professionals, it is generally agreed that the most difficult branch of taxidermy is fish mounting. Creating a technically accurate fish mount can be a real challenge. Fish taxidermists must be outstanding flat artists as well. They must have the ability to draw, paint, mix colors, and sculpt.
Mounting fish not only requires the ability to accurately recreate the anatomy of the subject, but to restore all of the colorations as well. When a fish skin dries, most of the color goes away, leaving only brownish patterns on the skin and scales. Fish taxidermy is the one area of wildlife art where the artist must totally recreate the colors of the skin all over the animal. In bird taxidermy, the taxidermist must paint the legs, feet, and bill, but the feathers retain their natural colors. In mammal taxidermy, the taxidermist must paint the nose and eyes, but the fur requires no color correction. In fish taxidermy, however, the taxidermist has to paint every square inch of the specimen, and make it appear natural.
He is amazingly talented and we really had a great time. He and Jim are making plans for fishing when we come back to Helena.
Tomorrow we head up to Kalispell for a week or so.