Sunday, July 22, 2012


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.


IMG_5442 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.


  1. Your fish is awesome. What a thoughtful gift!
    We have never met a taxidermist. What an interesting job. I could never handle dead animals though.

  2. Well, that's something I never thought about! I can appreciate the art but I guess I am a bit squeamish. I suppose for museums and conservation displays they would have mounted critters though. I don't like to see something killed just to hang it on the living room wall. I do like your wooden fish though!!

  3. Safe travels tomorrow. Have fun. Wish we were there!!!!

  4. Have fun in Kalispell. I love the fish and absolutely the best little gift for your 5th wheel too.

  5. As a fake animal taxidermist i can appreciate his art! It is not easy.

  6. My vote is for the wooden fish! Have fun in Kalispell!

  7. Is your cupboard door really sea-colored or did the fish make it look that way?

  8. Interesting, we just met a guy who does the same kind of wood work. It is very impressive stuff:)

  9. What a wonderful gift! That fish is beautiful?

  10. Love the wooden fish, talented artist/woodworker. As a person that has done various woodworking projects I can appreciate this kind of talent.

  11. I didn't know all that about a fish taxidermist. Very interesting.

  12. Have a great time as you start your day. The work that your friend does is amazing.

  13. What a beautiful fish your son brought back, can't believe the true wood colors used. Enjoyed the info on the taxidermy process. Sure requires some artistic skills. Hope you and Jim have a Great Week!

  14. The wooden fish looks like the Humuhumunukunukuapuaa.

  15. Incredible! Never realized there was so much to mount a fish. I guess that is why there are so many catch and release fishermen. There are not enough fish mounting artists out there.

  16. Your new Hawaiian fish is beautiful! And very interesting info about the fish taxidermy. I didn't know they had to totally recreate all the colors. He did a beautiful job on those fish. :)

  17. Love the wooden fish. I find myself fascinated by wood, it's like shiny things ;-)
    Thanks for the education on fish taxidermy. Interesting.

  18. That was really interesting explanation of fish taxidermy. My problem is that I have NO LUCK in catching fish. HA!


Thanks for visiting today. I look forward to reading your comments. Have a beautiful day.