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Flashes Steelhead Taxidermy

Discussion in 'Ohio Bait, Tackle, Taxidermy, etc. Marketplace' started by KSUFLASH, Mar 16, 2005.


    KSUFLASH respect our rivers please

    I thought it would neat for me to post the progress of the steelhead I am mounting, as it would be good for those whom wish to follow the process from beginning to end on what happens when mounting a fish. So over the next few months I will post updates to this thread as I work on the fish.


    Fish was thawed and measurments of the fish were taken. 3 measurments on the body were taken to gather info on which foam form I am going to use.

    3 measurments were taken on the head of the trout, so that a correctly sized head could be ordered if needed, as I am going cast the original head and will use the measurements taken in case of problems with the casting process.

    I determined the side of the fish that I wanted to be the show side, and that side was the right side, or RT (right turn).

    After planning and measurment taking, it was time to skin the fish. An incision was made on the left side of the fish's lateral line from the tail up to the pectoral girdle. 30 min after starting the meat from the fish was removed. Head of fish was removed after skinning and saved for future casting.

    Excess flesh was removed from skin, Fin joints were cleaned of meat, tendons, and fatty tissue. Skin was then rinsed in water. Then looked over the skin once again for any further tissue that needed to be removed. Tail bones were trimmed as close to the base as possible and cartilidge was removed as needed.

    Rinsed fish skin again.

    Degreaser was used to remove oil deposits from skin. Left degreaser on for 20 min and covered with plastic. Removed plastic after 20 min, and rinsed skin in water.

    Final inspection of skin was done before placing into the tanning solution.

    Fresh tanning solution was made, and fish skin placed in it.

    Thats the steps completed on day 1.
  2. That sounds like some work bro...
    I'll be watching to see how things are going...
    step by step thats cool...


    KSUFLASH respect our rivers please

    On 2/17 I removed the skin of the fish from the fish tanning solution. Rinsed the skin with water, then re-inspected the skin for any further removal of meat and tendons. After final inspection the skin was then test fitted onto the foam form. Areas on the piece of foam that were to fat were thinned down with sand paper, and any areas that needed some bulk were built up with clays and epoxy's. It took 10 test fits of the skin over the foam form until I was happy with the look and smoothness of the skin on the foam.

    A layer of sealer was placed on the foam to prep it for final skin mounting. After 2 hours the sealer had dried and the skin was mounted onto the foam form. An adhesive was used on the skin side of the fish as to ensure it would be a tight fit onto the foam form.

    Staples were used on the back side (non-showside) of this fish to secure it to the foam as well. Staples were used down the seam I cut on the lateral line. Further epoxy work to cover the staples and close the seam will come at a later step in the process.

    The fish scales were then squeege'd of any water that may have been sitting under the scales.

    The fins on the fish were carded into the postion that I wanted to be in for the paticular pose I was going for. T-pins were used to secure the fins in the flared position.

    Final Inspection of the fish was done as when it dries no more adjustments can be made.


    2 weeks go by


    Fish has now completed the drying process and is now ready to move onto the next stage of the process. The fin cards were removed from the fins and I noticed some imperfections in the way the trout fins dried. It could be fixed with epoxy, yet in an attempt to make it look as good as possible I have ordered a set of Trout fins that are the size for the fish I have. In the future I may may a mold of the original fins as I can then make my own duplicate copy for the fish I am working on.

    I decided I was going to use a reproduction trout head on this mount. There are multiple reasons for this, 1 being I haven't ever worked on a trout and this is practice for me, secondly any trout head is very difficult if not impossible to remove all the oils from the skin and bone inside the head. If I was to paint the trout head and not have gotten all the oil out, my paint job would be ruined in no time at all as the oils seep out for a long time.

    I prep the trout head by sanding it and ensuring there are no rough spots.
    So I now attach the head the the mount, ensure it's position, and then epoxy into position.

    Next step is to remove the seam that is around the joint between where I attached the head to the body of the fish. Any little ripple, rough spot, or indentation will be noticed once paint is applied, so care and time is taken to ensure a smooth transition from the replica head to the actual skin of the fish. This took me approx. 2 hours to epoxy the seam. While the epoxy was still tacky, I then sculpted in the scale pattern of the fish over the epoxy, so that when I painted it, it wouldn't be smooth but rather would look as if the epoxy was really skin and scales.

    After epoxy work is done, it must dry as if you touch the fish on the epoxy at this point you ruin your scale pattern you worked on and need to do it again. So I will now wait till this weekend to continue working on it.

  4. Man I was thinking about this just yesterday after seeing you post on something else...
    No pics? sniff sniff ;)

    KSUFLASH respect our rivers please

    will post pics this weekend. Hands were too dirty and I was too tired after work and then would be shocked to see what it looks like now compared to what it will look like when completed.

  6. lureboy98

    lureboy98 Livin' the Lifestyle

    I hope it doesnt look too much like your avatar!
  7. Hey Ben I am sure I could find a step by step online
    somewhere but I'd rather see yours...
    That takes talent man glad to see you have it...
  8. How's it coming along? Any pics yet?