Category Archive: Events
It’s that time again, the Fly Fishing Film Tour is making it’s annual appearance here in Austin! If you’ve been before you already know that it’s a hell of a lot of fun. If for some reason you’ve never been, all you need to know is that it’s the second best thing to actually fishing. The night is basically comprised of vendors and free food, with drinks for purchase as well as raffle tickets for some amazing prizes followed by a diverse and stellar line up of fly fishing films that will most assuredly make you want to call in sick on Friday.
- When: Thursday, April 30th. Doors and Pre Party @5PM, Film @7PM
- Where: The Paramount Theater
- Tickets at: Purchase Tickets Online Or (512) 474-1221 to purchase tickets by phone.
If you need more to get stoked or hold you over until the FFFT click here to check out the previews for the night.
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!
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.)
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.
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.
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…
It’s that time again, the annual Troutfest event is around the corner and soon fly fisherman from around Texas will flock to Rio Raft like moths to a flame. Guadalupe River Trout unlimited (GRTU) runs an amazing trout stocking program (in addition to many other wonderful events and classes throughout the year) and Troutfest is their chance to pack all of that into one event filled weekend. Numerous vendors will be in attendance and the speaker line up will include many top anglers disseminating information on their particular specialties. Speakers this year include Wanda Taylor, Kelly Gallup, Pat Dorsey (my dads hero) and Frank Smethurst (one of mine).
In the past there has been a slight lull from 5PM when the expo wraps up, until 7PM when the Fly Fishing Film Tour (yes, that one) starts playing in front of the massive limestone cliffs. This year will be different though with Gruene Outfitters throwing a happy hour at their booth featuring FREE BEER from Upslope Brewery, FREE pizza, FREE schwag (including a t-shirt by die Fische based on the above poster) and more! In addition, die Fiche will be there answering questions about local fishing and making up some incredible bullshit stories about his fishing heroics, before settling in for the FFFT and checking out RC Cone’s new movie “Yow: Icelandic for Yes” on the big(ish) screen.
My suggestion? Call in sick, make sure to reserve a camp site nearby (no drunk driving please) hang out, enjoy some free beer, food and conversation, watch the film fest and then crash hard and be ready to slay the trout on Sunday!
- The main event Saturday and Sunday is free.
- Tickets for the FFFT are $15 and available at the door
- Camping recommendations: Rio Raft if still available, otherwise Lazy L&L (my fave)
- Highly recommend the talks as they are incredible nuggets of information
- Bring a low sitting chair for the FFFT (Crazy Creek style)
Please drag along any interested kids, significant others, or people new to the sport (even if they haven’t wet a line yet). The sense of community is amazing and the knowledge bombs will be going off left and right. See you there!