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Travis Sylvester is an artist out of the Salt Lake City area. His love and appreciation for the amazing colors and markings of trout can be seen in his artwork.
Colored pencils are his medium of choice, and have been since he was in high school. “I really enjoy the results that I get out of colored pencils, they allow me to create very vibrant images with hard sharp edges, while at the same time I can smoothly transition through all of the brilliant colors on a gill plate.”
Travis’s artwork and style has become widely recognizable in the fly fishing industry. It is often mistaken for oil or acrylic paintings. Although Travis has not attempted using paint of any kind, he does state that he can see himself “giving it a whirl” in the future.
“My favorite part about drawing trout is trying to capture that awesome shimmery wet look. I also like to exaggerate the tones and glossy reflections that can often be seen around their eye or down their backs. If my completed drawing looks wet, or if it appears that you could reach out and touch the fish, I am happy with it.”
Travis gets inspired to continue his artwork from either catching beautiful trout, viewing fantastic trout photography, as well as viewing great artwork from other fish and trout artists. He continuously strives to make each new piece even better than the previous while continuing to establish his own unique style. Travis also likes to create wild digitally manipulated images from his own original drawings in between projects.
“For the most part, I am as self-taught with my artwork as I am with fly fishing. I still have a ton to learn about fly fishing, I feel that trying to figure things out on the water is half the fun. Although I do enjoy wading a mountain creek or river, I tend to find myself in my float tube out on a small lake or pond when I get a chance to go out.”
Some of Travis’s work can be seen on Montana Fly Company’s “River Camo” product line, Patagonia Tech shirts, and Fincognito Apparel. His work has been published in several popular magazines such as; Fly Rod & Reel, American Angler, Fly Fusion and H20. Giclee fine art prints on treated loose canvas, gallery wrapped canvas or fine art paper can be purchased from his website.
Let's roll into the new year with a fresh Instagram #keepemwetchallenge from our latest Keepemwet Fishing partner Ninja Suit by Airblaster. For this challenge "Gotta be crazy" show us the most brutal winter weather you brave out on the water fishing. Tag your Instagram photos #keepemwetchallenge and #ninjasuit this month and we will pick men's and women's winners at the end of January.
For many of us, this whole #keepemwet thing is just a no-brainer. We've long had an awareness that the fish we plan to release need to be handled carefully and wet. We get it. We're familiar with the science about different species in different conditions and how the scale moves relative to those factors. Awesome.
Here's another take on why keepemwet matters, my take, and the largest root of the movement: It's all about how we represent fishing via the examples we set on social media. We all know that todays youngsters are born & raised by what they see on screens. They still latch on to certain activities- such as fishing, and consume the respective content we feed them. They follow social media of companies, groups or individuals they think are cool and want to emulate. You've seen the trendiness of certain poses with fish right? Those all start with one picture then multiply. Everyone copies everyone else, it's just the nature of things.
Since its inception, my sincere hope for #keepemwet is to set examples that others want to copy. It's great to share the science, encourage a moral obligation, promote stewardship of resources yada yada. But in the end, if we can just make better and wetter fish handling the standard practice, simply "the way to do it if you're anybody" and not try to force it- I think it will have the best chance of taking root and moving the needle of what C&R fishing looks like on social media.
Activities all have their own culture that has developed over time by crusty old veterans leading up & comers. Processes and general etiquette's are formed then passed down. Think of popular boat ramps or surfers in the swell lining up for their turn. It feels to me like fly fishing is experiencing a merging of two generations- those who've been at it for decades and those who've picked it up in the last few years because of the juicy images they've seen on a screen. So in a way there has not been as much in-person mentoring taking place. I believe we have an opportunity to influence the "standard practice" of catch & release by keeping fish in the water or visibly dripping in practice and in photos. All I've intended with the keepemwet hashtag and subsequent movement is to promote that. It's not my nature to cruise social media commenting on posts of wild steelhead laying in the dry dirt and tagged #catchandrelease, so this has been my way to take action passively, to chill out a bit and just say "Hey it's all good, but this is how I like to take photos of fish".
The support from conservation organizations, companies and individuals have enabled this phrase to evolve into something of a movement, and an opportunity to go one step further in explaining and defining the keepemwet concept via Keepemwet Fishing and Keepemwet.org. In the big picture, this concept affects every person around the globe that tosses a line in the water. And in practice has the opportunity to benefit everyone without a single drawback. I think that's something worth promoting, and I hope you agree!
Founder of Keepemwet Fishing Bryan Huskey demonstrates a few considerations for catch & release fishing and photography. Footage by Will Bales. More tips and catch & release info at keepemwet.org
Keepemwet® is a registered trademark of Keepemwet Fishing™
It seems a bit early for topwater action at the lake, but I’m not complaining. There seems to be quite a few bass in the two and a half to three pound range, slightly smaller than years past, but there are still a few lunkers. On Monday, under blue skies and on glass calm water, the day fishing was tough. The bass are all over the Lava Flow, back in the coves and on the points.
But, they are spooky. Even sneaking on the rocks and using small leeches, they would bolt. Same with the fish in the reeds. They would spook on the cast, before the fly hit the water. The good thing about spooking a lot of bass in the daytime, you can go back after the sun goes
down and slam them on big weedless poppers.
Plan on fishing right up to dark. Quite a few mosquitos, even 200 yards off the beach. I put my waders on, in my boat, they were so bad. Quite a few flying ants in camp, but I did not see any on the water. Sandhill cranes, eagles and osprey are working the shoreline, also. Here are a few point and shoot photos.
Lets give away some gear!
We're excited to share some #keepemwet love with anglers like you who post incredible Instagram photos of wet fish.
1. Tag your in-the-water/dripping wet fish #keepemwetchallenge on Instagram
2. Nominate your friends
3. Weekly prizes for weekly criteria