Talk long enough with seasoned anglers and eventually you’ll hear someone say, “there’s an art to fly fishing.” That’s a curiously poetic phrase. They’re usually talking about technique, presentation or tying, but it’s interesting to see the correlation one makes between angler and artist. The Black Gnats are equally interested in this connection, so we’ve started a recurring section called “The Art of Fly Fishing” to highlight the unique stories and individuals that bring these two worlds together. This week’s featured artist …
Interview by Garrick Dorsett
A.D. Maddox is a well-known fly fisher and artist who’s been able to capture the beauty and prestige of trout for over 14 years. Her work can be seen on fly fishing apparel for outfitters like Patagonia, Cabela’s and Ouray, as well as being published in almost every fly-fishing magazine you can think of. Her bold color choices and use of photo-realism make her work stand out and captive the viewer’s every sense. Her paintings capture a decisive moment in time and allow the viewer to be transported to a surreal underwater world of trout.
The Black Gnats reached out to AD for our second interview in “The Art of Fly Fishing.” Enjoy!
Black Gnats: Who or what inspired you to get into fly fishing?
A.D. Maddox: My dad. He taught me how to fish when I was little. Later, in my 20s, he took me to the Yellowstone River and taught me how to fly fish. I was hooked from there.
BG: Who or what inspired you to get into art?
AD: Me. I’ve always enjoyed it. My parents have supported me throughout my career, though.
BG: When did you realize that your passion for art and fly fishing could be combined?
AD: Well, the paintings of trout came before I fly fished, so naturally I learned to fly fish and the two fed off each other. This was around 1998, so quite a while ago.
BG: What’s the most inspirational body of water that you’ve fished and why?
AD: Good question! The Gros Ventre River in Wyoming when I stayed at the Darwin Ranch. It’s a great place to hike and fish and the scenery is remote and beautiful. Of course, I have fond memories of the company, too.
BG: If money were no object, and you could do only one thing, what would it be?
AD: I’d paint. That’s what I do!
BG: Do you consider yourself a role model in fly fishing?
AD: I don’t know if I’d consider myself a role model, but we certainly don’t have enough of them. We need more! April Vokey is the biggest I know, as well as Char Bloom.