The image you see here is a sockeye salmon “fish rubbing” done by my friend Scott Wells. The process is called Gyotaku, pronounced ghe … yo … tah … koo.

“Gyotaku is the ancient art of fish rubbings. Fish rubbings are a very accurate way of recording the species and size of a catch, much better than hero shots along with their inevitable ‘hidden elbows,'” Wells said.

The technique was invented by the Japanese and is the most ancient form of taxidermy. You can read more about the intricacies of Gyotaku on his new website Reel Fish Ink.

I actually own two of his prints. The first is a large carp from the South Platte here in Denver and the other is an oversized “pink” salmon from Alaska that I put on ice and flew home to get printed. One is hanging in my office and the other is in my bedroom. They are incredible pieces of art and I feel very lucky to own them. These are the closest thing I have to a fish “mount” and I gotta say they speak to me so much more than some fabricated piece of plastic.

If you’re in the market for a very cool piece of fish art, check out his limited edition list of fish for sale. It’s a mixed bag consisting of everything from amberjack and tuna to trout and goldfish. Wells is also in the business of printing your fish of a lifetime and is available for commissioned pieces of your trophy fish. Of course, you’ll need to communicate with him in advance for that one — as the care, handling and shipping of the fish is very important. Head on over to Reel Fish Ink for more info on how this can be done.