Artist Derek DeYoung burst onto the scene at the 2007 fly-fishing industry trade show, where his booth was always packed with astonished anglers. Here’s what I wrote about him at the time in the pages of American Angler:
Few things are as naturally beautiful as a wild trout, which is why artists ranging from mailbox painters to budding Monets return again and again to the subject. But very few ever capture the bright, streaking reality of a living trout the way Michigan painter Derek DeYoung does. In his recent worksome of which he debuted at last September’s Fly Fishing Retailer World Trade ExpoDeYoung has taken the trophy-trout painting to new heights. Rather than depicting traditional “grip-and-grins,” DeYoung’s paintings zoom down into the swirling, vibrant tones of the trout’s flesh. His abstract approach and brilliant sense of color do more to convey the reality of a trout than any cold-blooded textbook drawing ever could, and as a result, he’s become one of fly fishing’s hottest new artists. You’ll be seeing a lot more of his work in books and magazines from here on out, or you can get a preview at Canvasfish.com.
My prediction in that last sentence turned out to be very accurate. DeYoung’s work is now part of the American fly-fishing landscape. The video above profiles the man, his work, and how his humble beginnings as an elementary-school wannabe formed the man and the artist he is today.