Say Hello To My Little Fish: Pop Culture Inspired Fish Art

Texas native Paul Puckett remembers drawing the Miami Dolphins logo over and over as a child. This was the first fish–or marine mammal technically–Puckett ever drew. These movies-meet-flyfishing caricatures started out as a fun side project to his other fish paintings and illustrations, upon which he has built a name for himself in the world of fish art. “I’m a guitar player, and my original idea was to draw different guitars into the hands of characters holding guns that sort of fit their personalities,” says Puckett, an avid flyfisherman. “Then I realized that fish would work, too.” Now Puckett is starting to put select movie and music character images on T-shirts and sunshirts, which you can buy on his website, Tony Montana:
“The first one I drew was Al Pacino in Scarface, and titled it ‘Say Hello To My Little Friend,'” says Puckett, who also spent some years after college working in a fly shop and guiding in Wyoming. “I just thought it would be funny.” As Puckett’s sketches leaked piecemeal onto flyfishing blogs, readers thought they were funny, too, and couldn’t wait to see more. We’ve got them all here in one place, including two Puckett drew just for_ Field & Stream_. —Joe Cermele
Ron Burgundy:
Perhaps one of Will Ferrell’s finest roles, somehow anchorman Ron Burgundy just makes sense as a carp fisherman, largely because he seems like the kind of guy that would only be interested in chasing one of the hardest species to catch on the fly. And he’d be a master at it. Puckett’s clever caption for this piece reads: “I get an eat 60% of the time every time.” It’s a reference to the hard-to-forget cologne scene from Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004). See below.
The Predator:
This illustration is totally self-indulgent. The first Predator (1987) is one of my all-time favorite movies (I got it in my Christmas stocking at age 7, thanks Dad!), so I asked Puckett if he’d be so kind as to draw an original with the most bad-a%* sci-fi alien ever. I would imagine the Predator, arguably the most fierce Hollywood hunter ever created, wouldn’t waste time with small fish. So the monster tarpon was a fitting choice. Now please enjoy the best scene in the whole movie (which happens to be in Spanish).
Pulp Fiction:
An image from director Quentin Tarantino’s classic Pulp Fiction (1994), Puckett titled this one “Double.” Here, Vincent Vega (John Travolta) and Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson) have traded in their guns from salmonids. The actual scene kicks off with Samuel L.’s most memorable “Path of the righteous” speech. Then things get ugly.
Bill Lumbergh:
Who can forget Gary Cole playing the grating, obnoxious vice president of Initech, Bill Lumbergh, in the 1999 cult-classic comedy Office Space? In the real scene, Lumbergh is holding a cup of coffee as he tells Peter Gibbons (Ron Livingston) that, “Yeah, I’m gonna need you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too.” Puckett put a car key in Lumbergh’s hand and changed the caption to: “Yeah, I’m gonna need you to go ahead and run my shuttle for me.”
Lloyd Dobler:
We’re suckers for 80s movies here at F&S, and this sketch of John Cusack playing Lloyd Dobler in the 1989 romantic comedy Say Anything was drawn by Puckett upon our request. In the original scene that’s become part of pop culture, Dobler is holding a boom box over his head that’s blasting Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” toward the bedroom of Diane Court, the high school valedictorian Dobler is trying to win over. We told Puckett give us Lloyd Dobler and you pick the fish. And the roosterfish was a very fine choice.
Johnny Cash:
Puckett’s title for this drawing is “The Man in Red.” One of the most famous images from rock n’ roll and country music history, the original photo of Johnny Cash flipping the bird was taken by photographer Jim Marshall during a 1970 performance at San Quentin Prison. While shooting, Marshall asked Cash to strike a pose for the warden, and up went the finger. Here’s Cash at San Quentin in 1969 performing one of my favorites.
Ernie McCracken:
This one is a bit obscure, but if you’re a Bill Murray fan, you should recognize him here in his role as the rude, crude, narcissistic pro bowler Ernie “Big Ern” McCracken in the 1996 comedy Kingpin. In the film, Big Ern is lifting his clear bowling ball with a red rose encased inside. Puckett went with a permit, one of the hardest fish to catch on the flats.
Walter Sobchak:
We’d love to show you the epic scene from The Big Lebowski (1998) where Walter Sobchack (John Goodman) busts out a handgun to settle a bowling dispute. It’s both hysterically funny and highly disturbing, but we’d need to add just too many “bleeps” to show it here. If you’d like to see the clip, click here. On, you’ll just have to settle for Puckett’s wicked rendition of the man who can get you a human toe–with nail polish–by 3 o’clock this afternoon. Lebowski fans understand.
Rocky Balboa:
At first glance, you might assume Puckett’s version of Sylvester Stallone as Rocky was yanked from the 1976 original, where the famous training montage ends at the top of the front stairs of the Philadelphia Art Museum. Actually (and I needed a bigger Rocky fan to clue me in), the snow in the scene points to Rocky Balboa (2006), the 6th chapter in the Rocky series, where an older, less-in-shape Stallone conquers the museum steps again. In the movie he’s holding a dog. In Puckett’s take, he’s got a trout…perhaps a stocker from the nearby Wissahickon Creek or Neshaminy Creek.
Dirty Harry:
You feeling lucky enough to catch a brown trout this size? Well? Are you, punk? Replace that most-recognizable .44 magnum Smith & Wesson with a trout, and suddenly you get a glimpse of what Dirty Harry Callahan might have done on his day off. This image, by the way, is currently available on a T-shirt, but not via Puckett’s site. You can order your very own at Though this image of Clint Eastwood is actually taken from a Dirty Harry (1971) movie poster, here’s the scene we all know and love.