Reef Kings - (Copyright Craig Bertram Smith-2009)
"The Reef Kings" is a commissioned piece, painted to record the memories of fishing on the maldives. One of the most sought after species, the Giant Kingfish (G. T.) is featured here as the "King" of the reef.
The proud owner of this painting, Petrus Gous made the following comments
"When commissioning Craig I had the following in mind, and I included it in my brief to Craig:
Having had the privilege of fishing various tropical islands for GT's on the fly, I have often wondered how the encounter between angler and prey is viewed and experienced by the fish, and what would the perspective be from the fish's point of view? On a recent Fly fishing trip in the Maldives, I had a few opportunities to ambush incoming GT's cruising in the faces of the breaking waves on the pushing tide as they waited to enter the flats via the cuts in the reef, while I was standing on the outer atoll coral reef bommies facing the open ocean. I had to synchronize my casting and retrieving into my stripping basket with the rhythm of the relentlessly breaking waves while trying to retain my balance, and I succeeded in hooking and landing a few of these marauders! I wanted to capture that experience forever in a painting destined for my study, to be able relive those moments over and over again, and to freeze that specific underwater moment milliseconds before the Flashy Profile Fly is smashed by a Giant Kingfish, from its perspective, with the angler only visible through the face of the breaking wave in silhouette.
Craig's painting evokes that special instant perfectly, and every time I admire the painting I am momentarily once more transported to that deserted outer reef, and I can smell and taste the salt air, hear the crashing of the waves on the coral buttress and the sound of the 12 weight fly line being retrieved through the rod eyes, feel the relentless pounding of the breaking waves, the sinuous fly line between my fingers and the accelerating rhythms of my heartbeat, and visualise that special moment of anticipation just before the fly is smashed while I am stripping the fly as fast as I can...
Well done Craig!!!" - Dr. Petrus Gous