Trophy Carved Fish


From the mid 1800’s to the early 1900’s, half body fish carvings were a popular way for upper class anglers to preserve the memory of a trophy catch. Unlike taxidermy, which can start showing signs of deterioration within just a few short years, carvings can last hundreds of years and be passed down through generations as family heirlooms. Carvings have also been well known to increase in value as years go by. Vintage carvings by artists such as P.D. Malloch, Fochabers Studio, Hardy Brothers and Tommy Brayshaw just to name a few, have been known to bring up to $50,000 at auction in recent years.
Today, a few of us fish carvers are trying to bring back the tradition of half body carvings. Unlike other carvers, my style of fish carving is a cross between realism and traditional Adirondack style carving. I like to get all the proportions realistic but prefer to leave the tooling marks in the fish body rather than detailed scales. Although I very much admire work by other artists, I feel my “style” lends itself better to a more “rustic elegance” type of décor.
My carvings are hand painted by artist Derek DeYoung of Derek is a very talented artist whos love of fish is evident in each piece he creates. I have found that Derek’s style of impressionistic painting compliments my carvings best.

Cost: My carvings generally cost around $60 per inch and include a plaque made with your choice of hardwood including but not limited to cherry, mahogany or oak. A painted crackle finished plaque also adds a nice touch to a vintage style carving. Shipping costs are additional. Lettering is also available for an additional fee including 23k gold leaf. Traditional lettering usually includes information such as fish weight, river or lake where caught, date of catch, and anglers name.

How to Order: When ordering. I will need as many details about the fish as you can give me. Most important are length and girth. If you have a photo, that is best (a picture is worth a thousand words). Please note that this is an impressionistic form of art and your carving will not be an exact duplicate of your catch, just as a tied fly is not an exact duplicate of the natural. Two third body carvings are also available and are similar to half body carvings with the exception of a tail or head that is turned away from the plaque.

Time Required: Original carvings generally take 1 to 2 months to complete at this time.

If you’re ready to preserve that memory with an heirloom quality carving please give me a call at 231-206-7660 or email at Even if that fish is a memory from the past, the one that got away or the fish you hope to catch, remember it forever with a vintage style carving.

All images © Copyright Matt Zudweg LLC 1997-2019

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Mailing address: Matt Zudweg LLC
6319 E. 44th St.
Newaygo, MI 49337
Phone. 231.206.7660

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Funhouse mirror, wavy mirror, fat mirror, skinny mirror, thin mirror, wide mirror, circus mirror, bent mirror, bending mirror, carnival mirror, antique sign, vintage sign, old sign, carved fish, fish carver, fly fishing art, fishing decor, log cabin decorating, custom wood sign, personalized sign, lodge furniture, cottage sign, sign painter We are your online source if you are looking for a personalized sign or fishing decor. Matt Zudweg is a professional sign painter and fish carver specializing in log cabin decorating and fly fishing art. You can also find a vintage sign collection along with unique cottage signs among his artwork. Decorate your home with a custom wood sign or a decorative carved fish, or go a little over the top with a unique carnival mirror or antique sign. We take great pride in our work and we hope to continue to offer you superior lodge furniture and decor like our handmade old signs, as well as funhouse mirrors for the kid in all of us.