Archive for April, 2010

In 2006 Dix Baines was commissioned to depict the historical scene where the first dry fly was used fly fishing west of the Mississippi River, which he did in his painting “First Fly”. 

The original event took place on July 8, 1847 on a stream near Ft. Bridger, Wyoming. On that date, the future third President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), Wilford Woodruff, was then a 40 year old member of the original Brigham Young wagon train of Mormon pioneers on their way to settle the Great Salt Lake Valley. On that date, the wagon train had arrived at Fort Bridger, Wyoming and took a much needed day off. After breakfast, Wilford Woodruff took the fly rod, reel, line and artificial flies he had obtained in England on his last mission for the church and went fishing on the Black Fork of the Green River just outside the fort. This is the first recorded evidence of a native Rocky Mountain trout being caught on a fly rod, and the first recorded use of a fly rod and artificial fly west of the Mississippi River. Wilford Woodruff recorded the event in his daily journal as follows:

“July 8, 1847 – The Calculation was to spend the day at the fort. As soon as I got my breakfast I riged up my trout rod that I had brought with me from Liverpool, fixed my reel, line & artificial fly & went to one of the brooks close by camp to try my luck ketching trout. The man at the fort said there were but very few trout in the streams, And a good many of the brethren were already at the creeks with their Rods & lines trying their skill baiting with fresh meat & grass hoppers, but no one seemed to ketch any. I went & flung my fly on the (stream) And it being the first time that I ever tried the Artificial fly in America, or ever saw it tried, I watched it as it floated upon the water with as much intens interest as Franklin did his kite when he tried to draw lightning from the skies. And as Franklin received great Joy when he saw electricity or lightning descend on his kite string in like manner was I highly gratifyed when I saw a nimble trout dart my fly hook himself & run away with the line but I soon worried him out & drew him to shore & fished two or three hours including morning & evening & I caught twelve in all And About one half of them would weigh about 3/4 of a pound each while All the rest of the camp did not ketch during the day 3 lbs of trout in all which was proof positive to me that the Artificial fly is far the best thing now known to fish trout with.  —journal of Wilford Woodruff

The original painting “First Fly” is a 24″x36″ image and was featured in the 2009 Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints International Museum Art Show.  Limited edition giclees (edition of 100), 16″x24″ and 20″x30″ are available for purchase. Please contact Dix Baines Studio at 720.353.2670 to place an order.



Just as Claude Monet had Giverny, his own private outdoor studio where his inspiration for the famous “Water Lillies” came from,  Dix Baines now has his own outdoor studio complete with a 3,000 gallon pond, foliage, Koi Fish and yes Water Lillies.  The Koi have made it through there first Colorado winter and is will be only a few short weeks before it will be warm enough to paint the pond.  Join Dix each Wednesday evening at 7:00 PM for Art Nights. For those who would like to participate, bring your supplies.  For those who would like to spectate and see the artist in action, you are more than welcome. Cost is $15 per person.  All mediums are welcome.