Published Feb 13. 2013

Yves Laurent

Canadian Yves Laurent does beautiful wood carvings of fish and other animals - and flies. His work is meticulous and detailed and even the stones are carved in wood!

Brook trout -
Brook trout from behind -
Brook trout

Canadian wood carving artist Yves Laurent added a comment to our Fish Art page:
- I just found your site and mention about artists with a link to fly fishing or fish related art. Wondered if you would consider adding my work also.
It didn't take many glances on Yves' web site to be convinced that he of course needed to be included in our list, so I fired off a mail asking him our usual round of questions.
Below are his replies and some samples of his art.

How did you start working with art and with fishing related art in particular?

I started working with wood in the 90's when I bought a 100 years old country home on the side of a very quiet lake. It needed lot of restoration and did it myself mostly (and with my wife Loreta...).
I also took some furniture making lessons at that time. Then I wanted to learn how to turn wood, took some lessons from Masters and started to create hunting ducks, goose and wildfowl calls.
After that I wanted to carve wildfowl decoys so I started to carve some hunting decoys, went to see how the Masters were doing them. One day I found a magnificent fish carving and then I was hooked!
I started carving and painting fish about five years ago.

I started carving and painting fish about five years ago.

Cutthroat trout -
Large mouth bass -
Large mouth bass, detail -
Bass -
Bass, detail -
Bass, different angle -
Fish carved in wood

Why fish and/or fishing?

My father was a avid hunter and fisherman and took me wherever he went in Northern Quebec since I was six.
I like fishing for the "Zen" part of this sport. I could stay still for hours contemplating nature around me.
My youngest daughter is coming with me most of the time. I recently discovered fly-fishing and would like to become good at it. I also love the "art" in fly-fishing creations, all those wonderful colors and shapes...

Rocks - carved in wood! -
Underway -
The process

What is your preferred method of painting/drawing/producing your work - if any?

I use my carving knifes for the rough parts and switch to micromotor carving burrs for the more precise works.
I can spend hours on fins, mouth interior, tail carving, scales, and more hours burning them with a pyroburner, scale by scale.
The painting process is also one of my favorite activities. I paint mostly with acrylic, but love to work with raw pigments in order to create the iridescence and the 3D effects on the head, cheeks and side scales on my carvings.
Completing a major carving could take up to 300 to 500 hours in total including the research for references in order to obtain a detailed and realistic carving.
I love when people ask if it is a real fish or when they discover that my rocks are actually carved from basswood or tupelo wood. rocks are actually carved from basswood or tupelo wood

Yves testing a duck call -
Duck call -
Duck calls

Is the art your main source of income - if at all a source of income - and do you do other jobs as a supplement?

I am a specialist for kids with learning disabilities.
Art is not my source of income, but I dream about doing that all the time. I envy those who can...!

Can people buy your art and if so, then in which form and where?

People can buy directly from me by contacting me on my web site at:

Where do you currently live and work?

I live and work in Montreal, Canada during the week (scholar year) and spend as much time as I can in my country home on Lake Rocher, north of Montreal.
I'm fortunate enough to spend all my summer over there. I carve mostly from my country studio, but do my painting in both places.

Beluga whale - Not a fish as such, but still of the watery element
A salmon fly - carved in wood -
Atlantic salmon head -
Wood carved saw-whet owl -
Salmon mount - still a wood carving -
Other subjects and styles

The art of talking to geese

Yves sent me this mail as a fun supplement to his duck and geese calls:
- Here are some picture of myself having a discussion with wild Canadian Geese on the St-Lawrence river...I was tuning one of my turned goose call and this flock just kept approaching me till they were a few feet from me.
Don't ask me what I told them but it seemed that they were pleased with what I was singing to them.
My brother-in-law kept taking pictures with his zoom from the distance...

Yves talking to the geese -
Yves talking to the geese -
Talking to geese
Classic fish mount - still carved in wood -
Salmon mount - still a wood carving -
Classical mounted fish as wood carvings
Sockeye salmon -
Sockeye salmon, top view -
Sockeye salmon


Yves Laurent has a web page on
You can also reach him through e-mail




Thank you all for those great comments!...I take proud in my carvings. Please, have a look at my recent Brown trout bust in my web site. it will please you for sure!


I'm really impressed. This is a real fish art!
The owl seems alive

Beautifull and impressing woodcarvings and painted so realistic.
You need a lot of skills to produce such fine art!

Tom Biesot.

What a wonderful, wonderful art! Very impressing, especially the birds -e.g. the snow goose on Yves homepage is absolutly breath-taking! Thank you Yves, for allowing a closer lokk at your carvings!!

These are beautiful wood carvings!

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