There is nothing that I enjoy more in life than fly fishing for Sea Run Brook Trout in North West River in Labrador near my home. It is just so exciting to be catching a big fish with a fly. Brook Trout can be 5-6 lbs. I have tried to capture the moment when the fisherman is stumbling back in excitement as he has hooked a big fish. The whole movement looks like a dance.
This sculpture was exciting for me to make as I wanted to capture my passion for fly fishing. The piece took so long as it was technically difficult to make because of all the detailing. The thin caribou antler is always a challenge to carve as I try to make it as three-dimensional as possible by trying to show the separation of the clothes, the sleeves, the jacket over the pants, and the inside of the hood. The textures on the clothes and the base took so long to do …. each time I texture a stone base I say “this is the last time I will do this!” I found it really tricky to peg the fisherman to stand on the base and marry the surfaces to fit because I had to curve the foot to stand on a curved base.
The tiny fly in the mouth of the trout is a miniature Caddis fly similar to the Caddis flies that I make myself for fly fishing here. I used a blow torch to soften and bend the baleen rod and the small guides for the line were difficult to carve. The making of the fly line took ages in the tying and the twisting of such thin pieces of sinew. Carving such a small hook was not easy. To make the reel more interesting, I dressed it up with spirit faces as decoration, perhaps they are fishing spirits! For those interested I fish with Redington 8’ 4wt fly rod and reel.
Fisherman / Trout: Caribou antler
Caddis Fly: Caribou fur
Rod Tippet / Stripping Guide: Walrus ivory
Snake guides: Baleen bristle
Windings / Fishing line: Caribou sinew
Reel: Moose antler
Reel inlaid faces: Woolly Mammoth ivory
Reel handle / Fish hook: Sperm whale ivory
Rod handle: Whale bone, Walrus ivory
Billy was born on July 7, 1978, in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador. In his early years he travelled eastern Canada residing and schooling in Ottawa, Yarmouth and Halifax in Nova Scotia, then at the age of thirteen returned to live in Goose Bay. He now lives in North West River in Labrador and enjoys fishing and hunting on the land with his family.
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