Even if you have no interest in art, you probably are aware of the Hudson River School of painters.

You’ve likely seen somewhere, someplace at least one example of the style — majestic mountains, most often the Catskills, glowing in diffused, golden light. Rivers, creeks, forests, narrow hollows and wide valleys are depicted in muted but eye-catching color, with occasionally an Indian or farmer here and a deer or a small group of cattle there.

One of the most famous examples resides right in our backyard, or rather front yard, at the Munson-Proctor-Williams Arts Institute: Thomas Cole’s "Voyage of Life."

The four-painting allegory, completed in 1842, is the pride and joy of the museum, as well it should be, considering Cole’s status as one of the premier artists in American history and the acknowledged founder of the Hudson River School, which flourished through 50 or more years in the middle of the 19th century.

I’m sure I will regret writing this, but I have never been in love with "The Voyage." I am kind of a dreamy, sentimental and corny guy who has a healthy respect for the natural world, but those paintings are a little too dreamy, sentimental and corny for me, although I appreciate the intent.

Still, Cole at least nurtured a very attractive style. Among those regarded as his disciples or members of the movement are Albert Bierstadt, Frederic Church, George Inness, Jasper Cropsey, Asher B. Durand and John Frederick Kensett.

Many of these people would spend weeks and months at a time in the mountains — some came up to Trenton Falls, a very popular tourist spot and artists’ subject in the mid-19th century — soaking up the atmosphere and sketching potential subjects.

It never occurred to me until recently that many of them also spent a lot of time hunting and fishing, but they did.

One of them was Henry Inman, who is interesting for several reasons — he was a native Utican, a noted angler, and one of his paintings is owned by the Munson-Proctor-Williams museum.

Inman was born in Utica in 1801, when the village reportedly had just three streets and was still on the edge of the frontier. He moved to New York City with his family about 1812, and became a portrait painter, perhaps the most distinguished in the nation.

Much of his work hangs in the National Portrait Gallery, including likenesses of John James Audubon, John Marshall and famed Cherokee linguist Sequoyah, among many other prominent Indians. He was the founder of the National Academy of Art in New York City, and a friend of author James Fenimore Cooper, who seems to have made more friends in his relatively short life than any 10 men who ever lived.

When he wasn’t painting portraits, or something else, Inman liked to fish. By the early 1830s, trout fishing had become a popular pastime in the Eastern United States, and the rivers of the Catskills — the Delaware branches, the Beaverkill, the Willowemoc, the Neversink, the Esopus and others — were particular hotspots. It was natural enough that someday Inman would paint an angling picture.

"Trout Fishing in Sullivan County" was painted in 1840 or 1841. I’ve seen it at the museum many times, but I didn’t think too much about it until I recently reread Ed Van Put’s "Trout Fishing in the Catskills."

Van Put includes a few very informative pages on Inman, who was one of the pioneering Catskill anglers of the early 19th century. He and his friends would make the rugged trip from New York City to what became Roscoe, usually boarding at the Darbee House, run by the forebears of Harry Darbee, the legendary 20th century fly tyer. They fished the local waters, and Van Put says "Trout Fishing in Sullivan County," depicting a wading angler and another preparing to fish in the company of a young boy, probably represents the Junction Pool, where the Beaverkill and Willowemoc meet. That’s likely, since Darbee’s was close by, although if so Inman takes some liberties with the scene. The way it is painted, the too-steep mountain comes down nearly to the water’s edge, when in reality the background area was and is a big flat that today is the site of the Roscoe High School ballfields.

Close enough.

I like the fact that the scene was painted by someone who actually fished. According to Van Put, Inman and his friends fished a lot, and caught a lot.

In those days, brook trout were the only trout available in the East, and most of them weighed a half pound or less. Usually much less. The populations were enormous, however, and anglers fished for numbers rather than inches or weight.

On one 1841 excursion, Inman and three friends caught 547 trout over six days — the largest was a 3-pound, 3-ounce specimen caught by Inman, so exceptional that he etched the outline of it on a shutter of the Darbee House — and you can bet they killed every one of them, from fingerlings on up, as was the custom.

If you would like to see "Trout Fishing in Sullivan County" in person, perhaps to inspire your own fishing when the season arrives, well, you can’t right now. It is not on display, but Michael Somple, the museum’s registrar and museum manager, said it is in the rotation and eventually will return. You can, however, find it on line on the museum web site: collections. mwpai.org/objects/9061/trout-fishing-in-sullivancounty- new-york.

In the meantime, you can see "The Trout Pool," by the less well-known Jonathan B. Morse, a painting that reminds me of several tiny but productive brooks in our area. It hangs in the second floor gallery. You also can see it on line: collections.mwpai.org/objects/5419/the-trout-pool.

It’s better in person.

Write to John Pitarresi at 60 Pearl Street, New Hartford, N.Y. 13413 or jcpitarresi41@gmail.com or call him at 315-724-5266.