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Rick's Trophy Mounts: The Pursuit of Excellence

February 24, 2012

Back in 2000, I connected with one of the most respected taxidermists, at that time, to act as an agent in procuring fish mounts for them. He was a leader in the industry and produced some incredible mounts. Suffering from a myriad of problems, both personal and business, he was no longer able to support our quoted lead times and I made the move to another company.

That was a move that helped both their company and mine to thrive. In spite of this long and protracted recession, our business is expanding. Thanks, for the most part, to our customers who seem convinced we will give them the best quality mount for the price. We have been doing business all over the United States including Canada and have had inquiries from Europe, Russia, Philippines, India, New Zealand and Australia just to name a few.

For a more detailed history of my early relationship to taxidermy and specifically fish mounts, be sure and check out my Salmon, Trout, and Steelhead magazine article from 2008. Taxidermy, The State of the Art. You can find it on our articles page.

Check out this killer brown mount that is part of Brad Brooks (3) mount order.

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We have been very fortunate the past couple of years to get some really key mounts in our stable. Consider Adam Konradís 43.6 Lb. World Record rainbow back in 2007 and then to follow up with his brother Seanís monster 48 Lb. rainbow that eclipsed the record by almost 5 LB. in 2009. Check out the photo above of both of the mounts together. This is an amazing story about identical twin brothers who caught two successive World Record rainbow trout in a couple of years! We were lucky enough to be a part of that story in filming a fishing DVD with them and then doing the mounts. The DVD is still available in our TTG store if you would like to see the whole story and the process of preparing the actual mount of Adamís record rainbow.

Last year we were in on a run of giant kokanee that came out of Wallowa Lake that culminated in a 9 LB. 10 oz. World Record kokanee caught by Ron Campbell. That mount was preceded by four of the last five State Records we mounted before we did Ronís monster kokanee. You can see three mounts including two of the previous Oregon State Records and of course the World Record on display at the Cabelaís Store in Springfield, Oregon.

Prior to that we did the Oregon State Record brown trout mount for fellow Brownbagger, Ron Lane, back in 2003. That monster hen brown weighed in at over 28 LBS. and besides the one we did for Ron, you can see a reproduction hanging in the store at Paulina Lake. There is also a mount of Allan Coleís 26 LB. brown he caught a few years back that also hangs on a wall in the store.

I think about one of our best customers, Nate Lucabaugh, who has given us seven mounts (check out his trophy wall above) after working with another taxidermist for years. He said we were able to dial his mounts to a degree he could only hope for prior to working with us. Just recently Brian Wildish had us do his 13 LB. bull trout mount caught at LBC last year. Even though he is a contributor for TTH, who endorses another taxidermist, Brian decided to go with us on his special and biggest bull. Bull trout are a subtle paint scheme we have had good success in capturing.

It isnít always about the really big fish either. In fact the majority of our customers are hard working fisherman who have finally caught what they felt was a respectable fish to mount. Remember a trophy is a very subjective thing for many and we welcome everyone who wants to do a mount regardless of the size of their mount. Your grandsonís first 12 in. trout or that monster brown trout you finally landed.....both can be considered a trophy and bring you to that threshold of looking into doing a mount. We do have a 20 in. minimum simply because we have a lot of work in any mount and that is our starting price.

Ron Lanes 28 LB.+ Oregon State Record mount!

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My first mount was a three pound rainbow I had done for $30 back in 1969 and it was such a poor mount that it eventually ended up in the trash. That was my first lesson in getting a quality job. My next mount was done by Bob Skinner in 1973 and the 6 Lb. 5 oz. rainbow was killer by comparison. Bob was one of the best in Southern California at the time. I had the mount for over 30 years before it was damaged in a move.

I would have to say that the majority of our trout mounts ( a high percentage of our mounts are trout because of the website) are in the 4-10 LB. range though we do have a large selection of some of the biggest trout molds in the world. Probably 90 % of our customers order a mount based upon the dimensions and a photo they took after practicing catch and release. Though we do a lot of trophy trout mounts, we can do just about any fish mount. Check out our Misc. Mount file galleries to see a variety of fresh and saltwater mounts. We have such a big selection of molds that we have developed a good wholesale business supplying blanks for other taxidermists.

I often tell potential customers that seeking a quality job should be the priority. The two part process of getting a clean quality molding and then the artistic skills of painting to get a mount that looks like the real thing is the goal. You get what you pay for in a quality fish mount. To put it another way, if you save $150 on a mount and donít like what you get does that savings feel now? Good mounts are a work of art and you should want something you are in love with and want to show off!

Our commitment to our customer is supplying a mount that really resembles their photos. We take great pride in producing some of the most realistic fish mounts that can be bought. From matching the overall body shape including the correct gender to hand painting the eyes and tip scaling, we try and match your fish as closely as possible! We think we work harder at that than anyone!

When you finally catch that fish you want to mount, please consider calling or emailing me for a quote. We will give you the most realistic mount you can get for the price!

Screamin' Drags,

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