One of the biggest advantages to pouring our heart and soul into this blog is that over the years we’ve met many people who are just as passionate as we are about fishing and adventure. Chase and Andy surely fall into that camp as they’re both living the dream as two of the founders of Howler Bros. As any long time reader will know, i’ve been a longtime fan of not just their style, but also their quality and vision since the beginning. They’re equal parts surfing / fly-fishing / and art, which more than sets them apart from your usual “fly-fishing wear” companies (which are normally boxy, unstylish, and usually only available in khaki, white or some awful color that a conch shell spewed forth after one to many mai-tais at the luau.)

Recently Howler was generous enough to send me a package containing two of this seasons styles, the Gaucho Snapshirt and the Workman’s Shirt, to test out both on the water and living out my mini urban adventures around Austin (and a whole lot at work).

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The first piece is the Workman Shirt, a new offering for this season. The 100% cotton fabric is a bit thicker than most other Howler pieces (think light flannel), making it ideal for cooler weather “work” like splitting wood or gathering wild berries. The shirt is prewashed which gives it an incredibly soft hand that provides that “worn in” feel straight out of the package. If you like playing the “Mad English Professor” as i do, you’ll surely appreciate the elbow patches that are especially pronounced on a few of the color options. While this shirt could undoubtedly be used for cool weather fishing, it’s much more likely to become your “go to” shirt when it’s time to keep it classy but casual.

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The second shirt needs no introduction as the Gaucho has become the de facto staple piece for Howler Bros. and with good reason. Over the years it has played host to custom embroidery from pelicans, bass, and hula dancers to roosters, hibiscus and dancing prawn. These shirts have always had style and flair, but the polyester / nylon blend tended to be a bit warm when the heat and humidity climbed during our Texas summers. Fortunately, starting this season all the Gauchos are a much more comfortable blend of 65% Polyester / 35% Cotton which makes them significantly cooler while stalking the flats in the oppressive mid-day sun.

This year the Gaucho came in a plaid pattern in addition to the embroidered styles and all i can say is that it quickly became my favorite shirt to wear both on the water and at work. The pearl snaps, and western style pocket flaps, give it some style points while the pleated chest pockets (for fly boxes) and vented back yoke add to the overall function. As with all Howler shirts, the arms are cut longer to add mobility without binding for those Hail Mary casts you might have to make at a moments notice.

I might add that both of these shirts go well with a straw fedora. Trust me, i’ve tested.