HOT off the press!
I’ve been fortunate to have witnessed some truly incredible moments while guiding and fishing for walleye throughout my life. Some of the most memorable events are when the wind is blowing, creating wind-induced currents. Fish were stacked up along windswept shorelines and points, capitalizing on baitfish getting tossed around in the waves, making for easy pickings. They also aren’t shy from airborne predators because of the surface agitation, giving them cover from aerial attacks, and will be feeding in very shallow water. This is the inspiration behind this piece, to try to encapsulate the action onto canvas.
Planning out this piece was a fun process, creating balance with the wave action and the sand bottom, complimented by a pair of hunting walleye and a school of baitfish getting tossed about. I wanted to make the piece vibrant with contrasting blue water elements, sand bottom and the gold of the walleye.
Fall marks the annual Kokanee run and also, some of the most epic Bull Trout action all season! As the spawning Bulls drop back down river, they are met by hordes of spawning Kokanee Salmon, the perfect bite-sized snack to regain their strength after the rigours of passing on the torch to the next generation. Bullies gorge themselves and fish can double their weight in just a few short weeks, preparing them for the long winter.
Because Bull Trout don’t spawn every year, the non-spawning fish will get in on the action sooner than the ones that are spawning that year. These fish pile on the weight very quickly as they gorge on Kokanee salmon. They are typically bright silver with shades of green, blue, and violet. These fish will be the spawners the next year, having stockpiled extra weight and stored fat to last them through the rigours of migrating to the spawning grounds and the spawning act.
The spawners in contrast will still be sporting some of their colour, although it starts to fade once spawning has finished. These fish will typically not spawn the following year and will take the year to regain their weight and heal any injuries they endured during spawning.
I wanted to do a special piece of art that illustrated this annual event and thus, the River Wolf shirt was born. Bull Trout are truly incredible apex predators and their ferocity is very shark-like when they turn on the feed!
Sport your colours with the River Wolf shirt!
EP!C River Wolf Bully T-shirt