Proud Papa & the New Fisherman

Non-Texas Fishing, Trout

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So this news is a little belated since the new issue of SCOTF came out in in the middle of July, right around the time i was knee deep in a trout fishing adventure in New Mexico. It’s a wonderful feeling though to return and have some great reads from the Southern Culture crew to catch up on. Check out the always awesome online rag now HERE.

Blog_WEK_TWO_GRID_1024x1024all images from www.howlerbros.com

One of the best parts of immersing yourself in something you’re passionate about is that you run into so many other people who have centered their life and energy around the same thing, which in turn adds fuel to your fire. Whether its Orvis, Costa, Patagonia, or many others, we’ve had the good fortune to meet a great many folks over the years that are just as passionate about fly-fishing and the outdoors as we are.

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Of the many we’ve had the pleasure to know, Howler Bros. holds a firm seat at the top of that list. Not only do they fish, create amazing art, collaborate with smaller artists and indie companies, play in a band AND live in Austin, but they also know how to throw good parties and have fun. They’ve always shared that fun factor via their blog, but lately it seems as though the blog is buzzing with “next level” activity. Not only is there a great interview with cinematographer R.C. Cone of Tributaries Digital Cinema, creator of many astounding fly fishing films, but there are also the weekly updates from the Howler Privateers. In case you missed our recent post, it’s pretty much the ongoing road journals from two stellar dudes traveling the country in a murdered out van replete with horns, traveling from trade show to campground, and on to waters, in the manner we all probably dream of.

Click here to follow their adventure, and be sure to by them a beer if you run into them on the road or water. I hear they like that.

P.S. Don’t forget to support those companies that are as passionate about the things you love as you are. You vote with your dollars with every purchase, and every company mentioned above is going above and beyond to keep fly-fishing a viable and ongoing sport for future generations to enjoy.

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Davis Finn James over at Below the Canopy is one of the new breed of fly fishing cinematographers that are cranking out incredible videos on shoe-string budgets (or none at all). His most recent video is a feature for Cordova Custom Rods (featured on Fiberglass Manifesto) creating custom fiberglass rods out of the San Antonio area. It’s wonderful to see creative people like Davis and Cordova come together and we’re super honored to feature them here.

Bonus: In reviewing the video just now, at the 11 second point i recognized the t-shirt collaboration we did with Gruene Outfitters. Crazy.

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Much to my chagrin, the vacation is over. After an impromptu two weeks tucked away in northeastern New Mexico along the Cimmaron River, i’m back and ready to regale you all with stories and information that will doubtlessly last for a week or two.

Of all the stories of personal adventure, new waters discovered, fished tricked, and treasures brought to net though, what follows was the absolute most amazing part of the trip, bar none.

Four days into our trip, my son (age 11) asked if he could tag along with me while i fished the Cimmaron (which is some pretty technical small water if i do say so myself.) As someone who’s never pushed fishing on him, and who also really enjoys their time alone, i’ll admit i was a little skeptical how this would work out since the idea of him finding a spot to read (and be in sight) while i continued to bushwhack upstream through endless shrubbery and plant entanglement seemed dubious at best.

Somehow though, it did work out having him follow me, which turned out to be a blessing. “The Moment” happened at a deep pool that tore at a southern bank, undercutting it with a current that forced it’s way to the left and downriver, a spot where any sort of angling magic could happen. I expected a trophy trout as proof of the potential stored in its depths, instead i heard the soft sound of my son’s voice, barely audible above the hum of moving water.

IMG_0064Casting in extremely tight and technical quarters.

“Papa? I think i’d like to start fly-fishing so i can learn patience, and also to get to spend more time with you.”

After wiping the god dam tears of joy from my eyes, i turned around and in the most nonchalant manner i could muster, said that i’d love to teach him for those very reasons as well.

A short while later, we found a spot devoid of backcast traps and i stepped into the roll of fly fishing guide, trying to dispense manageable amounts of tips and tricks without overwhelming my protégé. Within thirty minutes, much to my surprise, he hooked into a ten inch rainbow that finalized his resolve and set him on the fly fishing path.

Later that day i took him to a small pool of clear, flowing water tucked against a cliff face some 50 feet high. It had been stocked recently with farm raised rainbow, and every cast caused numerous trout to wrestle for the fly as though it were the most divine meal they would ever taste. Not a bad way to get into the sport, catching double digit fish on your first day on the water. As fish after fish came to hand we quickly moved through all the tips on setting hooks, landing fish, and the ethics of quick photos and even quicker release.

IMG_0067First trout ever. Took a while to figure out how to hold them, not a bad problem.

With the sun setting behind the cliffs i stood watch as he released a nice 13″ rainbow, head upstream, waiting for the moment the fish bolted on its own accord. Watching him rinse his hands in the crystal like waters i felt the obligatory need to remark.

“I’m sure you know this isn’t what fishing normally is like?”

“I know papa, this isn’t real fishing, it’s too easy. Real fishing is about patience and waiting for that right moment when everything comes together,” he responded.

True that (on so many levels).

Later as i dozed off in my down bag i remember my last thought for the night being that guiding and parenting are essentially the same. You arm your client/child with just enough knowledge that they can use that as a basis for them to make their own decisions and succeed or fail. If they fail, you offer alternative solutions and advice, and if they succeed, you encourage more of the same peppered with bits on how to do it better and take them to the next level. Above all else though, whether client or child, it’s not about you. It’s all about them.

Luckily for me it worked out and i now have the best client i could ever hope for.

I just hope he starts tipping soon.

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Living it up in northwest New Mexico for a week and a half. Plenty to report once I can charge my myriad of digital toys. In the mean time, no trip to the area has really begun until you stop in to see the Straits in Taos!