Fishing Memories with Grandpa…

Great Lakes King Salmon
Lake Michigan King Salmon 1980

Chad contacted Luke Filmer of Blackwater Fish Replicas to create two fiberglass replica fish mounts of Great Lakes fish he caught in his youth with his grandfather. At 95 Chad’s grandfather’s health started to fail, and Chad wanted a continuous reminder of his grandpa and their fishing adventures featured on his office wall. He contacted Luke Filmer and described the details of each fish, and provided photos taken in the 80’s – hoping that Luke could capture the physical features and essence creating one salmon and one steelhead fiberglass fish replica. (See Chad’s Testimonial Below).

Lake Michigan King Salmon Replica
Lake Michigan King Salmon Replica - Blackwater Fish Replicas - 2011
Chad with Grandpa and Great Lakes Steelhead
Chad with Grandpa and Great Lakes Steelhead
Great Lakes Steelhead Fish Replica by Blackwater Fish Replicas
Great Lakes Steelhead Fish Replica by Luke Filmer

Testimonial – Chad N., Pleasant Prairie, WI

“Luke, I just wanted to send you a note once again thanking you for sharing your artistic talent with me.  I have recently received the chinook replica and steelhead replica you completed and I could not be more pleased with them.  Your meticulous attention to detail on every individually painted scale and conscientious use of color resulted in a creation that is second only to God’s original handiwork.

Carola, I also wanted to thank you for the time spent with me in conversation to learn about the process to create a fiberglass fish replica of my fish, and helping me to understand exactly what I was looking to accomplish with the project.  Provided with only faded photos and roughly remembered dimensions, you and Luke overcame the challenge of trying to capture the precise look of my prized catches that were landed over 20 years ago.

As we discussed, these fish were among the many caught in my youth while fishing nearly every day each summer with my grandfather on Lake Michigan.  Fishing together, we were known by the handles of “Papa Chinook” and “Little Chinook” because he was the oldest and I the youngest of the fisherman that launched from our little small town dock in Wisconsin.  Sadly, grandpa recently passed away this summer at the age of 95.  Even though my family and I were blessed to have him with us for so many years, I still miss him greatly.  Please know that although both the “king and rainbow were real dandies” (as Papa Chinook described them), your work does more than capture their beauty—it provides a visual reminder for me every day of the many hours grandpa and I spent trolling the lake together and the relationship that spawned from that time on the water.   I sincerely hope that you continue to share your artistic talent with others for many years—it’s a gift that truly aids in the preservation of lifelong, meaningful memories.

With great appreciation,

Chad“Little Chinook”

King and Steelhead Salmon Fish Replicas by Blackwater Fish Replicas
King and Steelhead Salmon in Chad's Office


  1. Luke,

    What a wonderful story. I am a grandpa and treasure all time with my one and only grandson. Grandma says he acts just like me. I asked her if that is a good thing and she said “not necessarily!” I love it.

    Someday I will take you to Alaska and you will catch fish till your arms fall off. Yes, you can use a buggy whip. Maybe at least a 9 weight.

  2. Vince,
    The time we share with our family shapes our future and you are so fortunate to be able to spend such quality time with your grandson. I know he will ALWAYS remember those great days on the water with Grandpa…
    Fishing in Alaska with you ….You bet !

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