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Jim Wiley

Featured Anglers Addiction Showcased Artist - Jim Wiley 


520 Pin Hook Rd. Sparta, Tennessee 38583

 Life-long fishing enthusiast, outdoorsman, and now creating and selling hand-carved wooden fish. Please check out my facebook business page at , and my website and online catalog at


 About The Artist - Jim Wiley

Artistically a late bloomer, Jim began painting at the tender age of 65.  His initial efforts were wildlife presented on barnwood.  About six months later while exhibiting at the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition in Charleston, SC, he was visiting his booth neighbors, master bird carvers Euyless and Aurora Holcomb.  Jim mentioned that he’d like to carve but had tried it and it just took too long.  When asked what he’d carved with, Euyless laughed and said “come with me.”  In a little back room that he’d never seen before in the past years he’d done that show was every carving tool known to man, and the books to show you how.  He went carrying an arm load back to the booth singing “happy birthday to me.”  Wanda, his wife, looked dubious but didn’t balk, – – – the sawdust has been flying ever since!

Jim Wiley is a lifelong outdoorsman.  His passion is fly fishing in general and trout fishing in particular, thus his initial artistic efforts were trout!  States Jim; “I guess I just know what they are supposed to look and feel like, besides the trout and its habitat must surely be one of God’s finest works.”  Continuing, Jim says, “my hope is when one is viewing my work, that for a moment they remove the clutter of daily thought from their minds, and go to a place where cool mountain breezes and tumbling waters rule.”

Jim is a member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild, the Cumberland Art Society for Creative Arts, Trout Unlimited, and a lifetime Member of the Carolina Antique Tackle Collectors Club and the Florida Antique Fishing Tackle Collectors Club.

-Note from Jim Wiley

The Sawdust has been blowing around pretty loosey-goosey the studio these past few weeks.  We had an unexpected need to change both hosts of domain and site.  This has involved a considerable amount of behind the scenes negotiation, research and waiting.  The changes affected our site availability, store function-and-access, and my regular email.  All have been partially recreated and will be ready for Prime Time again, soon.

Whew! Glad that is over!!  NOW – we can get back to regular publication about the Wiley Trout carvings and Sawdust commentary by the owner, Jim Wiley.

We will be up and publishing – regularly – in about a week.  A few more detailed  t’s to cross and i’s to dot – then we will be off-to-the-races again.

Thank you to those of you who have emailed and posted on  myFacebook Site and Page, Wiley Trout Home Decor, with questions, support and comments. All very much appreciated.   Keep you eyes and ears to the Facebook links as I will be posting there – daily as always; especially, while we are still in  the throws of final rebuild.

Be talkin’ with y’all soon.

— Wiley Trout


Theme Trout Artist of extreme detail and beauty. Please find contact Mr. Wiley for any of his commission works. 

The Process

My works are hand crafted, one-of-a-kind creations and fall into two categories. The first being realistic, full dimension and presented on driftwood. The other is stylized realistic emerging from driftwood. These pieces show portions of the fish usually the head and sides and sometimes the tail.


My realistic works are carved from Tupelo wood. I order these precut to my needed dimensions. The pectoral and pelvic fins are also carved from this wood. The illustrations here show the process of a realistic work to the primer coat. The most tedious part is creating the illusion of scales. Trout scales are small, thus the process is more of texturing than scaling. This consists of hundreds of diagonal lines, then cross hatching. This creates a realistic look and feel that elevates my works from the ordinary.

The painting process is two fold. I use the airbrush for the foundation colors and then detail with a hand brush. The final step is a clear coating to create the “wet look”.

Now, the fun part: driftwooding! Out of the studio and on to the lake. About 20 minutes from our house is Center Hill Reservoir, an impounded portion of the Caney Fork River. This lake is surrounded by all kinds of Tennessee hardwoods. Because the dam produces electricity, the water level constantly changes from high to low. When up, it gathers roots, deadfall and all kinds of goodies. When the level recedes, these accumulate in coves and gravel bars. When I go driftwooding I’m looking for three things: a piece that wants to be a fish when it grows up, a piece that’s already a fish trying to get out, and pieces with character, unusual shape with a flow that I can picture for one of my realistic pieces.

A beautiful fish carving is still just a fish. When put on a piece of driftwood it’s just a fish on a stick. The artistry is in the presentation. I try to create the illusion of motion by having the fish flow with the character of the wood, that fish is doing something, it’s headed for a nymph on a rock, or emerging to a mayfly; it has a purpose. The only fish I present in a level attitude is a big Brown Trout, lurking under a log, looking over the menu swimming by. I love creating stylized works that are truly one-of-a-kind hand sculptured pieces of art; they move me. There’ll never be a piece just like the one I just completed! I like that, and others do also — I sell a lot of them.

You may purchase works from my home gallery on Facebook Wiley Trout . I can send you  a Paypal invoice . You can also purchase at my Wiley Trout store on this website.

My works are also available in these Galleries.

  • Twigs and Leaves Gallery – Waynesville, N C
  • Fragrant Mushroom Gallery – Sparta, TN
  • Anglers Addiction Online Shopify Store


Hello, Jim! My name is Dick Ballard and I live in Tupelo, Mississippi. I just came upon your website and had to tell you how beautiful your trout are! My best friend of nearly 50 years died last month of a heart attack. It was very sudden. His name was Kirk Caldwell. He and a group of friends have taken an annual fly fishing trip every year for the past 30 years. I recently retired back to my hometown of Tupelo from working overseas with the US military as a teacher for 30 years. Kirk and his wife retired back to Tupelo, too! I have shared your website with Kirk’s friends, too! Kirk was the type of guy who loved everything about fly fishing. I loved to simply watch him fish! He was one with God and nature, when he was on the river. Our last trip was to Estes Park, CO last September. Kirk never really cared if he caught fish. It was everything about fishing that he loved. Being one with the fish was the most important thing to Kirk. I miss him more each day. Thank you for allowing me to walk down memory lane with your artwork! I am going to try and save my money and acquire one of your pieces in the next few years! All the best, Jim!


# 1516. This 8 inch Brook Trout is created in the stylized form emerging from a piece of Tennessee Red Cedar root. I especially like the artistic lines of this one, it’s one of my favorites this year. It can be purchased in my wiley Trout store.