“Lucky Charm” hangs in the FlyCasters World Headquarters
I finally made it back east for Christmas after going west, then a bit wester, though that actually put me so far west that I was actually east. Anyway, I flew from Jackson to Atlanta, and after a few days in Georgia, made it up to Nashville where my sister lives. Good to be with family for the Holidays.
When I was in Island Park, Idaho running the WorldCast Anglers fly shop up there for a few weeks last fall, I was able to meet Duncan Oswald, one of the co-owners of Montana Fly Company. The 2011 season was slowing down and he was out promoting the new flies and other products, including a pretty sweet boat box that will be available in 2012. Though he had only a few samples with him, what really caught my eye was a recently produced line of items labeled River Camo, a trout-image themed series of goods from nippers to iPhone covers, fly boxes to flasks. Really cool stuff.
So, back to Nashville… With trusty dog nearby and while enjoying a fire and basking in the post-Christmas-present-opening glow of my two young nieces, I was flipping through the Montana Fly Co.’s catalogs in preparation for a large order of fly tying materials. In so doing, I came across a section of the catalog that highlighted the small handful of exceptional artists whose work is featured on many River Camo items. One such artist, AD Maddox, happens to be from Nashville and so, on a lark, I sent an email to see if she was in town, and if so, would she be willing to tell me a bit about her incredible work.
AD in her studio working on “Tail Bones”
As good fortune would have it, she was in town and graciously allowed me a visit to the studio and the opportunity to check out some of the pieces on which she’s currently working. Let me tell you, awesome doesn’t begin to describe what I saw. For someone who has always had an appreciation of the arts, not an aptitude, mind you, an appreciation (you’d be surprised with what you’d find on my college transcript, aside from the crappy grades), I’ve long searched and found nothing like her depictions of fly fishing. The array of intense colors, the effects of water, and her ability to capture the nature of a trout are truly remarkable.
I’ve taken scores of pictures myself and found plenty of great photographs out there in magazines, both print and online. (Catch Magazine is worth a look, btw.) It’s easy to point and shoot a camera at a landed trout, but to paint it? And so vividly real? Truly amazing. As Norman Maclean wrote “…all good things – trout as well as eternal salvation – came by grace; and grace comes by art; and art does not come easy.”
But, AD gets it and as thoughtful and talented as she is at her craft, from hearing about her fishing adventures, she’s done some impressive work with a fly rod, too. She has a gallery at Fly South, the fly shop in Nashville, which has recently moved to a pretty cool location in a former recording studio. Her work is also available in Sundance, UT, and Jackson, WY as well as online. But, you can’t have Lucky Charm, because she’s mine! I picked up a few prints while I was at it, and highly recommend a thorough perusal if you’re in search of the best (read: only) kind of trout to put on a wall.
AD’s kindly shared a number of pictures of various pieces she’s done. I know you’ll enjoy, and be sure to visit her site for more information.
Slough Creek Cutty