As eagerly as anticipated in certain circles as spring itself, the Howler Bros. spring line is live as of today!

In case you’ve been cold so long you forgot what warm weather feels like, please follow these 5 steps:

  1. Run to the store and grab a lime and any six pack that has the word “cerveza” on the label.
  2. Return home, crank the heater, put on some shorts and a short sleeve.
  3. If you have a bucket handy, fill it with cold water and place on the floor, insert feet.
  4. Squeeze lime in to your cerveza, kick back, and watch the video above a few times to get in the right frame of mind.
  5. Visit www.howlerbros.com and dream of warm sunny days, believe it or not they’re right around the corner.

Howler Spring 15

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Texas Parks and Wildlife is looking to get your input on the re-designed Texas bass license plate to be released sometime this year. By ordering a special bass plate you help channel $22 or more to help support Texas Park and Wildlife’s bass fishing program, not to mention that you’ll look like you own the place when you pull into your local warm water fishing spot.

Go HERE to place your vote.

Now if we could just get them to print some gar tags!

P.S. Feel free to share your vote if you want, i went for option 2 partly because i like the classic look of it, but also because the movement on the water is ultra dramatic, the way any good black bass take should be.

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One of the true highlights of the recent Troutfest was hooking up with Gabe, the other half of Gar Brothers Collective and feeding off each others manic addiction to gar while also instilling that energy in anyone around that was willing to receive (more on that in an upcoming post). If i’ve said it once, i’ve said it a thousand times, gar are the new carp (at least here in the south). Need proof? Check out the respect that gar are starting to get form Texas Parks and Wildlife, including a full write up in the recent issue of their print magazine.

Welcome to Gar Country mis amigos, watch out for the teeth!

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I’ve been trying to catch a white bass fly fishing presentation for years in hopes of getting a clue as to what i’ve been doing wrong/right when fishing for these incredibly fun game fish. Luckily i’ll be able to find out tomorrow at Living Waters. I have to work in the evening but i’m looking forward to catching Keith Barnes presentation (and downing some donuts).

February 28, Saturday – WHITE BASS DAY 

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

10:00 A.M. – Fly Fishing for White Bass (Hill Country Region) – Presenter: Keith Barnes
Plan on fly fishing the Texas Hill Country for white bass? Keith Barnes will show you how! He has been guiding the Highland Lakes for years and knows what’s up for springtime sandies!
1:00 P.M. –Fly Fishing for White Bass (North Central Texas/Waco Region)– Presenter: Pat Vanek
Waco may not be on every white bass angler’s to-fish list, but it should be! Pat LOVES chasing white bass on the fly, and he will show you a few lesser known locations that just might turn out to be your new favorite destination!
3:00 P.M. – Tying for White Bass– Presenters: Matt Bennett and Pat Vanek
The beauty of fly tying for white bass: The flies are simple and effective! Matt and Pat will show you how to fill your box with more than enough go-to patterns to get the job done! www.livingwatersflyfishing.com

P.S. I’ll be bringing some stickers, so hit me up it you want some. Hope to see you all there!

 

 

Recently at Troutfest here in Texas i found myself constantly being introduced by one gifted individual to another. Case in point, Jacob introduced me to a fellow named Davis and recommended that i check out the video that Davis had on his cell phone. To be honest i kind of rolled my eyes in my head thinking “here we go again”, but of all the things i saw at Troutfest, this piece from Davis, a.k.a Below the Canopy was one of my favorite. Apparently he’s been doing BMX videos for a while and this is his first foray into fly fishing videos, which only makes me wonder, what is this dude going to be doing a year from now? Blowing our minds no doubt.

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The weekend had been looming in the distance for months. I’d always planned on taking part o the event and writing about it as an observer, something i’d done numerous times before, but with one conversation all of that would change. After talking with Jacob at Gruene Outfitters about a loose plan of action, i found myself designing posters, t-shirts, doing social promotions and ultimately standing behind a table selling my wares and explaining to person after person just exactly what “die Fische” meant.

Troutfest, an annual event put on by the local chapter of Trout Unlimited (GRTU), has always been a special time to catch up on old acquaintances and make new ones, but in the past there has always been an odd lull from 5PM (when the structured events end) to 7PM (when the Fly Fishing Film Tour starts). In an effort to bring out some of the younger fly fishers that might be new to the sport, and unfamiliar with Sattler, Troutfest, the GRTU and even the Fly Fishing Film Tour, Gruene Outfitters decided to host a “Happy Hour” to fill the void and was kind enough to ask me to co-host, and help with the graphics.

Stuffing all my custom hats, mugs, stickers, etc. into a few carefully packed boxes, i drove the hour south, half in a daze, worried (un-realisticly) that nobody would show for the happy hour, or worse, they might glance at my lame attempts at coolness before grabbing the boxes and dumping all my wares into the Guadalupe, in hopes of chumming the waters for trophy trout. (Yes, confidence is an issue for me.)

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Stopping by Gruene Outfitters to check in with Jacob, i made my way to the back of the shop where all the fly fishing gear is. Within moments i was in conversation with two gentleman from Lubbock that were new to fishing the area, and quickly i slipped into my retail self and helped them with information and product knowledge before turning over the helm to Captain Jacob. It was an immensely fun detour, getting to use my customer service knowledge, but applying it to something i seldom get to talk about at great length.

An hour later, stuffed on kolaches, i was on the water and wading down to a new favorite spot on the Guadalupe before 11AM. In the span of the next few hours, three or four handsome trout were landed while nymphing with the 10′ Grey’s Streamflex rod that i’m just now getting used to after owning it for two or three years (As i learned from Egan Jones, the secret is to use a heavier reel lined with the same weight line as the rod to help balance the whole outfit.)

Later, after the fourth trout, i glanced around to spot the sun, an activity that usually found me catching it right before it disappeared behind a rock cliff or a thick set of trees, such is my habit of getting on the water far to late in the day. This day however i was shocked to see that not only was there actually time left, there were HOURS of it remaining before any sort of artificial light would have to be implemented. It was shortly after this realization that i hooked into the 19″ trout (below) that not only put up a good fight, it also had some of the most amazing colors i’ve come across yet on a Guadalupe trout this season.

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After releasing the trout i noticed a few nicks in the tippet and reconfigured the dropper situation before wading a few feet and noticing that (again) my hemostats were not where they should be on my waders. With mud swirling around my feet and endless limestone crooks and crannies lying between me and the bank three feet away, i thrust my hand into the murkiness at my feet and pulled up what looked like nothing but twigs, decaying detritus and other random debris. Immediately on shaking what felt like a thick stack of sticks i saw the glistening gold of my hemostats and could surprisingly muster nothing more poetic than “Are you f-ing kidding me?”

I’m guessing that the same rules that apply to cat’s lives also apply to hemostats, which means i can lose/find them only three more times before i have to throw down a sawbuck and change for a new pair with the unwritten “9 Lives” insurance plan.

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As good as the day was, it only got better when i happened to cross the path of Greg and Casey from Sportsmans Finest who invited me to hang out on their temporary patio at the Hideout that overlooked all the waters i’d fished that day, while regaling each other with fishing stories and also talking shop. Before settling in though, they informed me they had to go pick up beer but invited me to hang out on the patio, assuring me they’d be back momentarily.

After a few selfies (you have to understand, there was a kick ass wooden chair involved) i heard a skirmish around the corner and headed over, hoping to help Greg and Casey with their treasure. Instead what i found was a slightly older, handsome, long blond hair gentleman that looked a suspicious amount like Stacy Peralta, digging around beneath a welcome mat. Along with him was a local guide that quickly asked me if i knew the gentleman in question, Kelly Gallup.

To my credit, i managed to make small talk quickly while they hurried back to the car and on to the next floor mat that hopefully held his keys.

Me: “I was in Bass Pro Shop and saw that they changed the name of the “Sex Dungeon” to just “Dungeon”?

KG: “Well Cabela’s has changed the name of all my flies, so…”

Me: “Man, that sucks!”

KG: “Yeah, until the royalties come in!” At which point he slammed the car door and took off into the sunset as i stood spellbound, feeling as though a fly tying Jedi had had just burst the synapses of my brain with some nuevo-zen logic.

After that, all i could think was that there was no way this day could get any more awesome, so i kicked back and sipped some wine from the flask. Minutes later Greg and Casey returned, beers in tow, whereupon i quickly related the story of the quick brush with fame. Immediately upon hearing it Casey asked if Kelly or i had noticed that i was currently sporting a brown Sex Dungeon fly on my fedora. I don’t know if Kelly did, (i surely didn’t) but i can only assume you’re going to notice when YOUR fly is staring you back in the face from a straw fedora a few feet away.

Shortly after that cosmic happenstance i made my way back to my campsite, slipped into the sleeping bag and shut my lids well before 9PM. It’s not that i was tired per se, it’s just that sometimes you don’t want to push lady luck and ruin a good thing.

Plus, there was so much more to come…

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