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Archive for 2017


 

One of our long time favorites, the folks at Blood Knots consistently put out some of the best fly fishing videos out there. Their new one “Peak Season” is no exception. Be sure to check it and all of their body of work at www.bloodknots.com.

Freshwater. That’s been my bag since the beginning. There’s something about the diverse, yet limited amount of options that somehow matches not only my personality but my fishing style as well. Put me in a 20 foot wide, 60 foot high canyon in the Rockies and I’ll barely blink. Drop me anywhere on the coast though and you’ll instantly see the panic set in, there is just SO MUCH!

Still, after working the last few months in the fly shop at Gruene Outfitters I’d heard so many seductive stories of salt water adventure that I eventually loaded the Honda Element down with rods, reels, and the paddle board in hopes of heading south and tapping into this lifestyle that has ignited passion in so many of the people I’ve met over the last few months.

Though I’d visited the coast twice with a rod, both times were 12 years or so ago when I was about as new to fly fishing as you could possibly be. I still was confounded by how finding a fish in this seemingly endless expanse could happen, but felt much more confident this time, armed as I was with the choicest of saltwater flies and tips and tricks picked up through hours of conversation with salty folks at the shop.

It was a quick 30 hour trip that in every way a micro adventure. Although I was only there and awake for 22 hours (8 hours of driving) I managed to take part in the following:

  • hooked a sea turtle by accident and landed it (released safely)
  • landed a crab on a clouser
  • paddled along the cuts with pods of dolphins
  • car camped on the beach
  • studied the stars until I fell asleep with the after image of them shining behind my eyelids
  • learned two new constellations
  • witnessed a menagerie of different crabs
  • waded carefully through softball sized jellyfish
  • caught my first redfish

It was an incredible experience, a relatively short drive yet still an otherworldly adventure. I may not have caught any one of the sizable fish that my ears have been peppered with over the last few months, but there was a definite allure that I can only imagine will magnify and grow in my head, heart, and tales until I return again.

P.S. I also endured constant 30MPH winds that at the time seriously shook me and my patience to my core, blowing me every which way on the paddle board despite the anchor that simply surrendered to the gusts and dragged limply along the waters bed. In light of the weather of the last two days and those still to come for the Texas coast I’ve turned my disdain for those gusts into a bitter sweet memory of calmer days. On behalf of the blog i’d like to wish everyone on the gulf coast and along Texas waterways a safe next few days, minimal loss and a quick recovery. -eric

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If you’d like to pick up a wealth of information from a local fly fishing legend you’ll want to head over to Living Waters this Saturday for a special presentation from the legendary Kevin Hutchison.

Saturday, August 26th
Special Guest: Kevin Hutchison of Hill Country Fly Fishers

FREE OF CHARGE AND NO REGISTRATION REQUIRED – Bring a notebook/pen!

Event Schedule:

9:00 A.M. – Doors Open/Round Rock Donuts/Coffee

10:00 A.M. —Fly Fishing the Texas Hill Country

Kevin has guided the Texas Hill Country longer than most!  If you have ever been to one of Kevin’s presentations, then you know that it will be extremely informative and you will laugh until your sides hurt!  Join us as Kevin takes us on a tour around central Texas’ fisheries!  You will learn tips and tricks to make your next trip the river even more productive! http://hillcountryflyfishers.com/

2:00 P.M. – Fly Tying for the Texas Hill Country

Learn how to tie some of the staples in Kevin’s guide boxes!  He will showing you how to tie an array of tried, tested, and proven patterns that get the job done on our Hill Country Rivers!  http://hillcountryflyfishers.com/

6:00 P.M. – Doors Close

Get more information and contact information at www.livingwatersflyfishing.com.

Well, I finally made it. After almost three decades of working in the outdoor industry (REI, EMS, Backwoods, Whole Earth Provisions) my new job has finally helped me land at the end all, be all of the outdoor industry, the Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Oddly enough I managed to make it just in the nick of time since the 22 year run of the show in Salt Lake City has officially ended and will be relocated to Denver, Colorado next year. While I’m a little sad about losing the ability to fish alien waters I absolutely agree with the idea of moving to a more environmentally friendly state. Bonus: I happen to be intimate with most of the waters within a few hours of Denver.

I be no means disliked Salt Lake City, in fact I enjoyed it immensely, but as the name implies it is a city and by definition it’s always going to feel strange for me to be in a city that size. Firstly there’s the obligatory Mormon presence that I personally am a little uncomfortable with, but on top of that there’s also an immense homeless / mentally ill population that seems to be camped out on every street corner and public park. Not that Austin, Texas isn’t expolnetially laden with similar problems, it just seems extra odd in a town as whitewashed as SLC is.

The size and breadth of the expo itself was humbling and overwhelming to say the least. Essentially it felt like being a kid in a giant candy store where the only difference was that even a simple piece of bubble gum cost $100.

Eventually, after spending three days of the expo sprinting back and forth from one end of the monstrosity to the other, with my calves actually seizing up on me at the end, it was clear that it was time to break free from the indoor convention center monolith and head to the mountains.

In what has now become a common pattern for work trips, I woke up before sunrise and drove the rental car due east into the foothills of the Wasatch range, eager to make something wonderful happen before my 5PM flight out of SLC.

I spent a few hours on the Provo River, casting for a couple of hours until I finally landed a 10″ brown trout that flipped out of the net and threw the hook as the cameras lens was let loose to do it’s job. As angler upon angler showed up around 11AM to claim their spots it quickly felt claustrophobic and I immediately headed back to the car and set off for the slightly less popular Weber River.

By happenstance I ended up running into a long time local at the Weber that was more than kind enough to lead me to some of the darker, deeper holes that held some of the bigger fish on this compact body of water. Much like myself and this blog, he seemed to be happy to share his special spots with some unknown stranger as though he was an employed ambassador of the sport!

Escorted along the grassy banks to one of the deeper holes on the river, I was directed to cast a foot off of the seam and wait for the tug. Well he stood on the bank watching with interest in what his advice might bring in I cast again and again without so much as a nibble. Eventually he bid farewell and as if he flicked a switch upon his departure the bites came quick and fast, with two Mountain Whitefish landed and a good sized brown making it on to the lip of the net before changing plans, throwing the hook and heading back into the depths for shelter.

I may never come back to Utah because of the aforementioned movement to Denver, but I’m glad to say I got to spend time on waters I never foresaw exploring. That’s the wonderful thing about curiosity, it always make you wonder and pulls you into circumstances you never had imagined. Now more than ever, just trying something you’ve never tried, or checking out waters you’ve never considered exploring has the possibility to open you up to limitless possibilities and a life full of giddiness and perspective that can keep you from losing all hope. You know, the exact opposite of what almost any large city can do!