Written by ACK’s Fleet Sales Manager, Juan Carlos Andreu
The beginning of winter marks the kickoff of a very special fishery hidden in the Texas hill country; Guadalupe river rainbow trout. Every year Texas Parks and Wildlife and other private organizations like Trout Unlimited, stock the Guadalupe river with thousands of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and hundreds of fisherman take their shot at hooking this amazing fish. The breathtaking background of the Texas Hill Country, with its cliffs and dramatic colors add character to this challenging but rewarding type of fishery.
On December 12th I made the scenic and anticipated drive thought the Texas Hill Country in search for my first Rainbow trout “on the fly” (Fly fishing gear) with friend and Austin’s Store Assistant Manager Ryan Schaper. It was a beautiful day with ideal conditions, and the trout could be seen swinging up and down the river. Everything seemed to be in place for an amazing day. Continue reading The Secret to Fishing the Guadalupe River
Around the last week in April I received a phone call from Thomas, the owner of Diablo Paddlesports, about helping out for a local children’s event. He told me they would be working with Generation Outdoors to teach fatherless kids how to kayak and fly fish. The amount of kids that had rsvp’d for the event was growing in numbers by the minute and both Thomas and Generation Outdoors were worried that they wouldn’t have enough kayaks and adults to help staff the event. Of course I couldn’t leave them hanging and gladly gave him the thumbs up. The second we hung up I penciled it into my calendar and set about getting my hands on some rental kayaks and games.
Meet Big Names of Kayak Fishing at ACK Austin this Weekend
I was scrolling through the list of representatives that we have coming to our ACK Austin store this weekend for Demo Days when I realized how many awesome people we have coming together for this event. If you’re a local Austin paddlers who is looking to further your kayak fishing knowledge and skills, you won’t want to miss this event. Here are some of the people you can expect to see:
Captain Fil Spencer will be here representing Ocean Kayak, Necky and Old Town Canoes and Kayaks to discuss how he utilizes their line-up of different models on the coast. Fil has been a big presence in the IFA Kayak Fishing Tours over the past couple years, placing 3rd in the recent Aransas Pass event and grabbing up the biggest redfish. He’ll be showing off his personal rig, talking about the new Predator kayak and answering any questions you might have about kayak fishing.
Husband and wife team, Thomas and Megan Flemons, run the show at local Austin kayak manufacturer, Diablo Paddlesports, and kayak fly fish in their free time. They will both be out showing off their lineup of ultra stable kayaks, including their new roto-molded Amigo kayak which has been generating some buzz since it was announced a few months back. Thomas will even be holding a “Fly Fishing from a Kayak” clinic Saturday at 10:45 and Sunday at 1:30 PM.
Native Watercraft’sTom Jester along with angler prostaff Ryan McDermid and Jose Jimenez will be on site and talking about how models like the Manta Ray, Ultimate, Versa Board Angler, Mariner and Slayer serve the different needs of kayak anglers. Don’t expect to see their new Slayer propel or Ultimate FX yet since those aren’t released until later in the year, but they’ll be able to answer any questions you might have about the new models.
Wilderness Systems angler prostaff Joe Poole will once again be on the scene. Joe has been a favorite resource for Demo Day event goers regarding kayak fishing for many years now and operates his GoinCoastal kayak fishing charter service in Corpus Christi. He’ll have his personal rig to show off and will hold Kayak Fishing clinics both Saturday at 1:00 PM and Sunday at 12:45 PM. His clinics have been known to draw a crowd and are not to be missed for those getting started!
Cully & Ester from Hobie Kayaks will be on hand to discuss the Pro Angler, changes coming to Hobie models for 2014 and how the Hobie Mirage Drive makes kayak fishing easy. Cully and Ester are long time Hobie veterans and have participated in a wide range of trade shows and events, including the Hobie Fishing World Championships (as staff). See the video below from the beginning of this year where Cully discusses the Pro Angler:
You can also expect to see representatives from companies like Feel Free, Scotty and Optic Nerve who will be sure to have some products on hand that will interest anglers. Hope to see you there!
We’re getting excited about the Fly Fishing Film Tour and are sponsoring the film’s stop here in Austin on April 18th at the Paramount Theater. With so much excitement building about kayak fishing and especially fly fishing from kayaks, we are hoping to see even more ‘yak anglers at this year’s event than the last. See more details about the tour here and check out the trailer below! Hope to see you there.
On February 15th and 16th, I had the opportunity to attend Trout Fest which was held at the Rio Raft Resort and put on by the Guadalupe River Chapter of Trout Unlimited. I am fairly new to ACK so this was a great opportunity to interact with a lot of our fantastic customers and meet several people that are very influential to our sport.
Lefty Kreh, who is considered a legend in the fly fishing world and has over 60 years of instruction under his belt, drew a huge crowd for both days of the festival (he had some really good jokes too!). Wanda Taylor, the 1st woman to become a master certified casting instructor by the International Federation of Fly Fishers, was also there to offer both group and 1-on-1 casting demos for any ladies interested in getting into the sport.
It was a great event for people of all ages with a BB-Gun shooting range and small fishing pond to keep the kiddos occupied. There was plenty of tasty grub to go around and I know that Grant from ACK San Marcos walked out with some killer deals on lots of flys and other new gear. Thomas and Megan from Diablo Paddlesports were there with me to show off the Chupacabra and Adios and how great of a fly-fishing platform these can be. I am fairly confident that we turned several kayak fishing skeptics into believers that just about anyone can easily stand up and fish or paddle from one of these. All in all, it was a great weekend and we could not have asked for more beautiful weather or a better venue for the event, and I most defiantly look forward to next year! If you were one of the unlucky ones who didn’t make it this year, you really should make it a point to stop by next time!
Last week I got to step into the Paramount Theatre here in Austin, Texas for the first time and catch the 2012 Fly Fishing Film Tour and to represent ACK as a sponsor of the event. It was a neat evening with many familiar faces. I have seen many of these folks in our stores or at CCA (Coastal Conservation Association) events, but a lot of people I had never seen, and mostly because fly fisherman can be a pretty subdued bunch. They aren’t looking for a high catch count as much as the perfect cast, presentation and of course the land. I consider myself to be an amateur fly fisherman and really do enjoy the sport but in some circles I am deemed “the worst fisherman on the planet” — I at least find peace in the cast and man, these movies make me want to get better!
My top 3 movies of the night were:
The Kodiak Project – I have longed to visit Alaska for many years. I think its beautiful country and this wild bunch of fellas seem like the kind of group I would fit right in with. I laughed so hard when I saw the guy in the bear costume and the fella I thought looked like an accountant turned out to be a Deadhead…Rock on! He could still be an accountant for all I know but he was slaying the steel head. An all around great video that got me excited to plan a trip.
Reverb – I liked this movie for the sheer weirdness of 3 guys entrenched in the Chicago punk rock scene finding common ground in, of all things, fly fishing. How does that happen? Punk rock is angry, loud and in your face…and fishing is, well, the exact opposite unless you like the lunacy of Mike Iaconelli. I’m not much of a fan of Iaconelli; act like you’ve been there before bro. Now if I caught a fish I would do a back flip out of my kayak…errr fall out of my kayak and tell people I was attempting a back flip.
Doc Of The Drakes – Just a touching piece about a guide and a retired doctor with Parkinson’s Disease chasing big fish after the hatch. The story was just the right pace to reflect on where you’ll be when fishing may not be the easiest thing to do anymore. The spirit of the outdoors still lived in Doc and I’m sure his guide learned a lot about life.
All in all an outstanding night! Got me fired up for the CCA banquet and I’m crossing my fingers that this is the year I finally win some prizes.
Life is about adventure and the anglers and filmmakers of the 2012 Fly Fishing Film Tour definitely have a few to share. The tour brings a collection of 5 to 20 minute film clips, featuring anglers bordering on insanity. On April 12, ACK will be sponsoring the tour’s stop at Austin’s Paramount Theatre. Event goers, don’t be alarmed if the atmosphere gets a bit rowdy and keep in mind that the tour has had a streak of sellouts. So on that note, don’t wait to buy your tickets because the event is next week!