Texas River Bum Staffer Anthony Perez Recaps the Texas Double Haul Fly Fishing Tournament

Texas River Bum Greyson  at the Texas Double Haul
Mike Schlimgen, 2012 champion and 2013 3rd place finisher.

It took me several seconds to stop laughing.  It was cold.  It was real cold- but the chill of the South Llano River only lasted for a few seconds as I slowly chuckled my way in.  The area I was putting in the river is where the Master’s Tournament contestants for the Texas Double Haul had put in the day before. The difference is however I was throwing in day and a half later with the sun full up.  When the tourney competitors put in before sunrise on the previous day it was in the low 40’s.  As I stood there it was 54° with little promise of getting much higher.

As far as we know, the Texas Double Haul is the only multi-species fly fishing tournament in Texas. The first “haul” of the tournament began on August 30th with participants fishing the entire month of September.  Throughout the month participants entered their fly fishing submissions online thru the tournament website.  In the end, the top six competitors received invitations to attend the second “haul”, a Masters Tournament at the Oktoberfisch Fly Fishing Festival.

The night before the competition most of the anglers met at Lum’s Barbecue for an optional pre-brief and to discuss on request strategy for the day ahead.  Additionally, all angers received a TRB Hill Country Sampler of flies and a copy of Texas River Bum’s latest guidebook, the South Llano River Pocket Guide.  Some of the talk might have been a little dry but the barbecue certainly wasn’t.  When you’re in the area it’s worth the stop before or after the river.

Plenty of Diablo Kayaks were on site!
Plenty of Diablo Kayaks were on site!

Reportedly, nearly no one slept later that night.  Nor did we allow anyone to sleep that morning either with a 6am check-in time for the competitors.  While we did our best to remain quiet in the Shady Morgan Campgrounds, the site and venue for Oktoberfisch, we may or may not have awaken the Living Waters Fly Fish (tournament sponsors) staff.  Actually, the staff was probably sound asleep snoring away, but we may have kept a spouse or two of said staff from some shut eye.  Sorry!

With all anglers officially briefed in the brisk October morning, they set out on their way in hopes of big fish and tight lines.  Assisting in their pursuit was none other than two time sponsor Diablo Paddlesports.  During last year’s tourney, Diablo provided the lead angler and overall tourney winner a Diablo Chupacabra kayak to take home and call their own.  This year Diablo stepped up with a fleet of decked out Amigo and Adios kayaks for our competitors to use.

Winners and Prizes of the Texas Double Haul

In a quick down and dirty run down here is how the final sorting shook out. Here’s who won and what they took home with them:

  • 4th-6th place: Derik Donald, Trey McNeil, Grayson Jones received swag shirts, hats, and gear provided by Howler Brothers, Diablo Paddlesports, Austin Canoe & Kayak and Texas River Bum.
  • 3rd place: Mike Schlimgen received a Fish Pond boat bag from Gruene Outfitters, with assorted swag from sponsors.
  • 2nd place: Chris Kowaleski went home with a GoPro3 Black series camera from their latest-greatest new product line up, ACK yak accessories, and sponsor swag.
  • 1st place: Pat Vanek received from the Texas Double Haul main tournament sponsor Echo, manufacturer of Fly Rods, Lines, and Reels the main prize package of a 6wt Echo fly rod, fly line, and an Ion reel.  Wait, there’s a lot more.  Additionally he received a Howler Brothers Pescador long sleeve shirt and Howler Electric trucker hat, a Nanuk dry box and $25 gift certificate from ACK, and an assortment of custom tied flies from the fine folks at Living Waters Fly Fishing.

Lots of good fishing and good fun!
Lots of good fishing and good fun!

In total over $1,500.00 in prizes were handed out and a good time had by all.  We would like to thank all our sponsors, Oktoberfisch coordinator head-man Gene Smith, and the folks at Shady Morgan Park for making this event happen.  Most importantly we want to thank the anglers who participated in both the qualifying and master’s portion of the Texas Double Haul.  Thank you for your participation and love of the fly fishing sport to put time in on Texas waters.  Please play again next year as we are growing, looking for more sponsors, and seek to lead the way in online fly fishing tournaments!

Overall our Texas River Bum objective is simple- to inspire people to care, love, and protect our beloved Texas Rivers.  We believe events such as this are a start.  With a passion for activities on the water we hope that patrons will make a stand to be good stewards of such a precious gift we call our Texas Rivers.

Thank you and hope to see you on a Texas river soon.  If not, be sure to swing by the TRB booth next year and say hi.