How to Paint a Brown Trout Drift Boat

The port side after the spots.
The port side after the spots.
Mike Salomone is a fly fishing guide in the summers and art teacher during the school year. With some more time off than usual earlier this summer, he decided to paint his buddy’s 26-year-old Willie Aluminum drift boat to give it a little facelift. Here are the photos and captions of his project.
The 26-year-old Willie’s Drift boat was stripped down to the bare metal.
The 26-year-old Willie drift boat was stripped down to the bare metal.
The floor rivets were removed. And the stripping continued on the inside of the boat.
The floor rivets were removed. And the stripping continued on the inside of the boat.
Two different tones of Primer were applied to the top and bottom.
Two different tones of Primer were applied to the top and bottom.
I made a brush for creating the lines for the scales by inserting eight small brushes into a piece of corrugated cardboard.
I made a brush for creating the lines for the scales by inserting eight small brushes into a piece of corrugated cardboard.
A test spot was painted to illustrate my idea for the Brown trout to the owner.
A test spot was painted to illustrate my idea for the brown trout to the owner.
The light colored halos were stenciled first.
The light-colored halos were stenciled first.
The black spots were then stenciled over the light halos.
The black spots were then stenciled over the light halos.
The port side after the spots.
The port side after the spots.
The starboard side spots.
The starboard side spots.
The owner’s daughter wanted a Rainbow trout on the inside. Starting to lay down color.
The owner’s daughter wanted a Rainbow trout on the inside. Starting to lay down color.
The framework for under the floor.
The framework for under the floor.
Applying the spots for the Rainbow trout pattern.
Applying the spots for the rainbow trout pattern.
The inside of the boat with the rainbow trout pattern before reinstalling the floors.
The inside of the boat with the rainbow trout pattern before reinstalling the floors.
The inside of the boat with the rainbow trout pattern before reinstalling the floors.
The rainbow trout from the bow.
The Rainbow trout from the bow.
The brown boat with the rainbow trout on the inside.
The diamond plate flooring was then riveted back onto the frame.
The diamond plate flooring was then riveted back onto the frame.
Seats were reinstalled.
Seats were reinstalled.
First float for the owner’s family on the Colorado River.
First float for the owner’s family on the Colorado River.
Prepping the brown boat for the christening float out of Rancho del Rio on the Colorado River.
Prepping the brown boat for the christening float out of Rancho del Rio on the Colorado River.
Brown boat reflection in the Colorado River.
Brown boat reflection in the Colorado River.
The brown boat in action on the Colorado River.
The brown boat in action on the Colorado River.
Article and photos from Mike “Sal” Salomone is a veteran fishing guide and writer based in Vail, Colorado. Be sure to check him out on Instagram at @mikesalomone88 or online at www.michaelsalomone.com. He can be reached at adventuresal@yahoo.com or by calling Vail Valley Anglers at 970-926-0900.

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