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Category Archive:   Randomness


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Fly fishing in general is almost indescribable to those that don’t partake. As you and i know, the whole idea of catching a fish, only to let it go, makes no sense to those in our lives that have never been bit by this incurable malady. For those folks trying to figure us out there is a base need to relate to the angler in any way, shape or form when it comes to gifts. Unfortunately this is usually a last minute purchase from Bass Pro Shop that results in a bemused and confused angler wondering where and how to mount a singing rubber bass somewhere it can rarely be heard or seen.

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Fortunately, in this day and age it’s easy to steer people in the right direction via their phone, the internet, or something as retro as simple physical directions to an establishment that knows what it’s doing and does it well.

Gruene Outfitters in Gruene, Texas is just such a place. A long time fly shop located in the heart of Gruene, this shop has evolved over the years in an effort to cater to local anglers as well as the many tourists that filter through this small idyllic town on a daily basis.

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Any friend or family member could easily show up here, enter the back section of the store, grab an item blindly and make any fly-fishers day as they carry only the best of the best when it comes to reels, rods, waders, etc. Add to that, the fact that some of the most knowledgable and friendly fly fishing staff work here, and your certain to get top notch help and top notch service.

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If you are lucky enough to actually have all the fly fishing hard goods you need, you still can’t go wrong sending your holiday benefactors here. Gruene Outfitters crams an immense array of product into its exposed, wood framed space with Patagonia, Howler Bros., ENO Hammocks, Simms, Smith Sunglasses, Yeti, and Wetterlings axes being just a few of the many gifts that any adventurous soul would love to receive during the holidays.

Not only can you NOT get a bad gift from this incredible shop, your benefactors economic gift will also help support a local business and an amazing staff of knowledgable folks that are as excited about fishing as you and i.

So if your tired of socks with trout stitched around the collar, send them to Guene Outfitters and rest assured no matter what you get, you’re going to love it.

Besides, how many plastic bass singing “Take Me to the River” do you really need mounted in your den.

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IMG_0992Barton Springs Pool looking more like a river than a pool.

Do not worry, this blog is not slowly disappearing from neglect and disinterest as you might assume from the lack of activity lately. It’s simply that outside of marriage and helping bring a child into this world i’m not sure that i’ve had two more chaotic and life altering weeks in my life.

It starts with a job…

As many of you might know, i’ve been managing the Whole Earth Provision in downtown Austin, TX for what is now going on twelve years. Back in January i for some reason felt the need to advise my boss that it was time for me to move on to distant pastures as i was ready for a significant change. However, months later, after many conversations with my family and thoughtful nights spent staring at the stars from my hammock, i started to wonder if maybe i was giving up one of the best things i have going for me.

Two weeks ago today i sat down with my boss for one of the most difficult conversations i’ve ever had. I’m about as stubborn as they come, and if there’s anything i can’t stand it’s going back on my word. Yet, here i was in the position of asking if i could in fact continue working at this amazing place that i was once so eager to leave, desperate as i was for a change and the desire to be challenged with something fresh and new that would make me draw on untapped skills long since dormant.

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One week later sections of Texas turned into a disaster area by anyones standards. On Memorial day i was unadvisedly in Kyle, eager to get out of the house after weeks of rain and hoping to find some fish when i was turned around by police and notified the roads in and around the lake i seeked were closed due to flooding. No fish today.

One hour later i pulled back into my driveway as the sky suddenly split apart and unleashed a hellish rain like none that  i’ve ever seen. The back yard quickly went from green gardens to a foot deep pool encroaching the house while the road out front went from to asphalt to a flowing river in minutes. Sitting on the couch, alone in the house, i have to admit that i was scared shitless that Williamson Creek (our neighborhood creek) was going to wash me away along with all the fish i’d bothered for years.

An hour later though i headed to my work where i found that a massive part of me had in fact been washed away in the rains. My store had been under almost four feet of water, a record since 1981 and a first for the Whole Earth Provision Company version of this store. As i wandered around the withdrawing waters and took in the fact that pretty much everything from this part of my life was gone, it stirred up conflicting emotions in me that i’m honestly still trying to sort out.

One part of me wanted to cry as i realized that things i’d worked so hard on for over a decade suddenly were gone or lost to the rapidly receding moisture. It’s difficult to explain, but things that once seemed highly cherished were suddenly worthless, covered as they were in layers of sewage matter and soaked like drown rats.

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As the reports came in throughout the evening via the phone, the overwhelming thought i had was “Thank god, it’s only merchandise.” So many houses were destroyed and families torn apart in nearby San Marcos and Wimberley during the flood  that it immediately felt inconsequential to worry about a decade plus of management lost to the waters.

So now we’ll be closed for a month or more, and i have the biggest challenge in front of me that i’ve ever been given. Luckily i have amazing support from those around me, so i’m sure we’ll pull through with a certain sort of grace,

As for this blog? With every single creek and river within a days drive flooding at unheard of flow numbers, it might be a while before any real fishing happens. In the meantime all i can advise is to enjoy what you have now, whether it’s awesome fishing, a loving family, a warm dry house or a job that enables you the breathing room to follow passions.

I for one am thankful for all of these things.

IMG_0022My son kayaking in Zilker Park where normally people are sun bathing.

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I am so incredibly thankful for my job at Whole Earth Provision Co. downtown and the amazing people that i work with.  How many other jobs get to turn fun new product they receive like the Yeti Hoppers we just got in stock into fun photos like this?  I’ve worked a lot of jobs and i can tell you, “Not many.”

P.S.  If you’re thinking of picking one up you might want to smear some hurry on it, there’re only ten in stock until next month (and Yeti.com doesn’t even have them yet!)

P.P.S. Who do you think is going to win?  My vote is Yetibot, you can see the fear in Hopper’s grin!

I own one of these shirts and both it and my Steersman shirt from Patagonia are tied as my favorite long sleeved shirts which puts the Pescador in good company.

Head on over to Howler Bros. Facebook page for a chance to win your own in the Pescador X5 giveaway. Hurry though, the drawing is tomorrow!