Trophy Fish did not count as artifacts and could not be broken down.
Critter tears CAN be broken down. In fact, since I don't stockpile artifacts on Live (yet), I borrowed about 100 critter tears from the guild bank to copy for leveling on PTS. All my dreams were crafted from a river of 1600 squirrel tears. I can't say that I would recommend farming critters for it, the patron bonus is probably far more effective.