Angling Art: The “Elusive Trout” of Deanna Camp

All artwork by Deanna Camp

King Tout (Salvelinus vegas)
Habitat: Populous, brightly lit environs; native to southern Nevada and western Tennessee.
Behavior: Flamboyant, showy; prone to sudden pelvic gyrations.
Preferred fly: Hunkahunka Burnin’ Love.

About 25 years ago, Spokane, Washington-based wildlife artist Deanna Camp was thinking about the “jackalope” genre of art that had flourished in the 1970s, and being a self-described smart aleck, she thought the concept could be applied to the super-serious field of trout identification. So whereas scientific illustrators such as Joe Tomelleri seek to render the exact number of scales on the side of a rainbow, Camp heads in the opposite direction, creating “fantasy fish” sporting everything from Elvis’s pompadour to a scorpion’s tail. She calls her creations—drawn with colored pencil on archival paper, with touches of paint here and there—“elusive trout.” Her husband, David, helps her write the faux-scientific descriptions that go with the artworks. To date, Camp has identified 24 “new” trout species. Elusive trout are available as fine-art prints, cards, or calendars. For more information, check out her website.

Biker Trout (Oncorynchus chopper)
Habitat: Garages, Pantera concerts, inner-city industrial areas.
Behavior: Disregards any kind of social hierarchy; aggressive to self and others; attracted by beer cans and scrap metal.
Preferred Fly: Sissy Bar Spinner.

Troutalope (Salvelinus pronghornii)
Habitat: Wide open spaces, especially in the American West.
Behavior: Runs extremely fast when hooked. Prone to sudden changes of direction.
Preferred fly: Sageland Hopper.

3 thoughts on “Angling Art: The “Elusive Trout” of Deanna Camp”

  1. Much obliged for the post Phil! Great to see my work associated with Orvis. Would you be interested in creating a little more press for me when my new book “The Search For Elusive Trout-Tall Tales & Cocktails” gets delivered at the end of October? It’s written by Paul Quinnett of Pavlov’s Trout and Darwin’s Bass fame. Please contact me if so and thanks again!

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