Born in 1946 in New York City’s Greenwich Village, watercolorist Michael Simon has painted trout, trout flies and trout waters since he was a 10 year-old casting his first lines into New Jersey streams. In 1980 he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Colorado and while residing in Boulder, Simon was commissioned to paint the endangered Greenback cutthroat for Rocky Mountain National Park. His fascination with the trout species led to work at a fish hatchery in California, tying flies professionally for Hank Roberts, Inc. in Colorado, and as a ranger-naturalist at Yellowstone National Park.
Simon’s marvelously detailed renderings of game fish have appeared in many national magazines, among them: Trout, Fly Rod and Reel, Flyfishing the West, Colorado Outdoors, Fly Fisherman and Virginia Wildlife.
In 1984 Simon was chosen to create the limited edition poster commemorating the 25th anniversary of Trout Unlimited. His work has also graced the publications of American Wildlands and The Federation of Flyfishers.
Simon’s paintings have shown at New York’s Crossroads of Sport Gallery, Cudahy’s Gallery and Gallery Mayo in Richmond, Virginia, and at the prestigious Parks Reece Gallery in Livingston, Montana.
Among Simon’s book illustrations are Trout Bum by John Gierach and the Yellowstone Association’s definitive book on Park fishes, Freshwater Wilderness by John D. Varley and Paul Shullery. The original watercolors and drawings from Freshwater Wilderness were acquired by the Federation of Flyfishers and are in their permanent collection at the FFF Education Center in Livingston.