So you know how when you are out, and you see a statue or painting of a fish, and you think “oh!”
It doesn’t have to be some specifically fly fishing related artwork, but when you (a fly fisher) see some graphic depiction of fish your attention probably gets grabbed. You could be at an art museum viewing some beautiful oil landscape on canvas, and you’d notice the little figure of a fisherman painted on the bank. You might even look around, smiling, seeing if there is another guy who got suckered into going to the art museum who is seeing this tiny diamond in the rough.
Fish art is en vogue. Some of the most expensive stuff you can get at fly shops and fishing expos are paintings and carvings. Sometimes they will even cost more than the premier rods! But this isn’t what I’m necessarily talking about.
Be honest: you derive a silly modicum of joy from seeing a fountain with a concrete-cast fish on top of it. You might wonder what species it is (probably koi). You might wonder the hows and whys of its inclusion (probably “just because”). And guess what has happened? You are now pondering art, culture, and stuff that is a whole lot more highfalutin’ then casting a fly to a trout.
But that is why this whole angling thing is about a culture and a quarry. Fish, be they trout, bass, or tarpon, are our thing. Not that they don’t belong to others, but our relationship with them is a particular one. Maybe even special. So when we see them depicted in art, we are left to consider if the artist is one of us or if he or she is riffing on our vibe. Either way, it makes us smile.