Friday, February 25, 2011

Catfishing & Carving

When we headed out to Shadow Cliffs, my granddaughter, then three years old, said "I want to catch a catfish, Grampy." Now I'd never caught a catfish out of Shadow Cliffs trolling for trout, but what the hey, I didn't want to discourage her. Who am I to dash her hopes with the cold hard facts? Lo and behold the first fish we caught was a 3 lb. channel cat! Took plenty of pix. The fish was almost bigger than she was!

The biggest challenge in carving was the eyes--no commercial eyes were available so I had to make and paint them, cutting out stencils for pupils. This is an in-progress photo. Finished product pix to come soon.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Working on a Black Crappie

Been havin' trouble sleeping. Got fish carving on my mind. I've been trying to get ready for a show in March up in Sacramento and this Black Crappie has been giving me fits. I prefer to carve from what I catch, but I like having the challenge of carving a fish I haven't carved before--just for something different. It's been awhile since I've caught a Black Crappie so I'm working from photos. I prefer to work from my own. The photos are not the best. If anyone out there has some good links for Black Crappie, let me know.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Why Carve?

I was only four weeks old when I first went to Yosemite--and in those days, traveling with a baby wasn't as convenient as it is today.  My father called it going to his backyard.  Back then you could fish in the Merced and all the local streams around.  I grew up loving the outdoors and fishing and hiking with my dad, cousins, brother and friends.

I've developed somewhat of a reputation as a good fisherman, though I've been skunked many times as not.  Here in California, I mainly fish for trout, sometimes bass, catfish and stripers.  I get seasick, so I'm not big on saltwater fishing, though I have entertained a few trips.

Though I am a hunter and fisherman, I will admit to lately watching the wildlife and thinking about them as much as catching them for the larder.  And, for the past few years, I've taken to following my grandfather's footsteps (he turned to carving in his retirement and is quite collectible on the east coast.)

Of course I still love to catch 'em and so I do, take photos, cook up the fish, eat 'em and then spend the next two months working on my carvings of the fish I've caught.  This one of the striper had a seal bite in it when it was young, so its markings were screwy.  I kept them that way in the carving.

So here's a couple pieces of my early work.  I'm just beginning and have won a few ribbons.  I'm hoping to win even more.  Let me know what you think.