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There are so many benefits of bringing together your personal passion with your professional life that it’s hard not to make the analogy of heaven or nirvana. In a perfect symbiosis such as this, one fuels the other and vice versa.

As a decade long fly-fisherman i’ve always hoped to merge that aspect of me with the outdoor store manager that has been my role for decades. Since taking my new job as buyer (etc.) for Gruene Outfitters i’ve had the wonderful fortune of falling into a wide array of wonderful adventures that would likely never had occurred had i stuck to the safe and familiar.

One such adventure arose recently after sitting through a line showing for Simms with the excellent rep. Eric Kraimer. The showing (where product for next year is shown by him and pondered over by me) was held on the shores of Lake Bastrop that coincidentally happened to have his bass boat (circa the 80’s?) sitting close at hand.

Ending the meeting he asked if I was interested in some late afternoon fishing? Graciously accepting the invitation we loaded the boat with the sparse but important tools to suck the marrow out of the next few hours before sundown.

As someone who has spent a LOT of time paddling my kayaks around this lake, working hard to make it from shore to shore, it was pure joy to zip from spot to spot in minutes though there was definitely the catholic / white guilt of having it a little to easy.

The first two cast really were the short story in and of themselves. Cast one was a strike without a hook up, but the second cast landed with the Mr. Minnow popper landing within a hair’s breadth of the grass 20 feet out from the bank. There was an awkward silence after the popper hit the water that was immediately punctuated by what seemed like a toilet being flushed in the reeds as a decent size largemouth sucked everything in front if it through its gills and in the process inhaling my popper.

While it was a great fight, the real excitement of the day was hooking up with someone who was not only passionate about fly fishing but full of stories and thoughts that tend to only come out while fishing for bass, at sunset, while motoring in and out of endless possibilities.

There is no doubt that I’d love to run into you at Gruene Outfitters where i work and am currently working to add to the awesomeness and help build an awesome fly selection. Still, i understand not having money to toss around and want to keep you all informed as to how to get the biggest bang for your buck. Suffice to say, that can currently be done at Cabelas where they have six packs of freshwater and saltwater flies currently selling for $9.99! So get what you can there and come spend the money you saved at Gruene Outfitters where the selection is growing daily!

A main staple for summer fishing in and around Austin, the low water crossing below Mansfield dam has been a mainstay for years for cold water seekers as well as fisherman. Many months ago it was shut down for repairs that seemed to drag on forever but I’m here to tell you, it’s back and better than ever. The “parking lot” is now exactly that, the poison ivy has been replaced with turf grass, there is a bathroom. and there is actually a ranger that lives on site to keep the peace and remove unwanted debris and chaos.

Early morning and late days at sunset will put you on a myriad of fish including tailing grass carp that light up the still water like swaying neon lights. Highly recommended for fishing or a simple break from the heat. See you there!

 

Have you ever found yourself, two drinks in, lying in a hammock staring at the constellations and wondering how cool it would be if you could somehow cross fly fishing films from somebody like Felt Soul Media with the carefully artistic vision of Wes Anderson? Well now you have your answer.

I just finished watching this video and can honestly say that it has set a new bar for any sort of artsy /documentary / fly fishing that can be made. While their original video “Journey On” was already a drastic change of pace from the “Fish Porn” (I hate that name) videos, with it’s Bruce Brown narrative and incredible editing and sound effects (hummingbirds flapping), this video cranks all of that up to eleven with a little bit of Bergman and European art house thrown in, all to wonderful effect.

You owe it to yourself to watch it and check out more of their work at their Vimeo site.