Howler Blog

Wrinkle Neck Mules

Posted on April 2, 2014

Although we have made a mild attempt to keep our endeavors separate, we feel it’s time to officially fess up. Yes. It’s true. Howler Brothers' founders Chase Heard, Andy Stepanian, and Mason Brent are 3/5ths of the band Wrinkle Neck Mules.

For those of you familiar with Wrinkle Neck Mules, you know this has been a long-term affair. In fact, the band formed circa Halloween 1999 on a porch at our alma mater, The University of Virginia. Over the next 14+ years, we released 5 albums, played hundreds of shows all over the US, UK, and beyond, and established enough of a cult following to keep the dream alive and grinding. Some of you may have even heard us without even knowing—one of our songs called “Central Daylight Time” is featured in an ad for Geico that is currently in heavy rotation. Yes, the one with the lizard dancing in a Texas dancehall. See it for yourself.

It’s safe to say there would be no Howler Brothers without Wrinkle Neck Mules. The band is the baseline of our bond as friends and the cornerstone of our creative relationship. If you can drive around for weeks at a time together in a van and sleep five dudes in one hotel room without killing each other, then nothing seems impossible. Plus, after you’ve been a full-time touring musician for many years, no one thinks you’re insane when you tell them you’re starting a clothing company completely from scratch. It seems like a flight to stability by comparison.

To give those of you that aren’t familiar with the band a little taste, we’re giving away a 15 song free sampler of tunes from our first 5 albums. The song list was put together, for the most part, by our fans so you can blame them if your favorite jam isn’t on here. Click here and go download.

All our full length records are available on Lower 40 Records in the US and Blue Rose Records in Europe. You can find them at iTunes, Amazon, or WrinkleNeckMules.com. And of course, you can friend us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

We’ll be back in studio this April and May working on our 6th album. Stay tuned. Viva Los Mules.

Howler Spotting: Jimmy Kimmel

Posted on March 19, 2014

Last week, a mass of hundreds of thousands descended upon downtown Austin, TX for SXSW 2014. Amidst the chaotic oasis of technology, film, music, and parties, Jimmy Kimmel Live set up shop for a week and shined the spotlight on our Capital City. We’d heard rumors that Jimmy is a fly fishing enthusiast, and sure enough, we saw the evidence as he wore his Howler Brothers Quepos Quilted Jacket while hitting up all the best BBQ around town. Check out the video below as Jimmy proves he's got great taste in BBQ and style. #HowlerSpotting

 

 

Photo and video from Jimmy Kimmel Live.

This Is Fly Interview With HB Founders

Posted on March 1, 2014

 

The February/March 2014 issue of This Is Fly Magazine features an interview with Howler founders Chase Heard and Andy Stepanian. Check it out to read a few fish stories and learn about their creative history together and the inspiration behind Howler Brothers.

 

Meet Colby D Crossland: Howler Ambassador

Posted on February 15, 2014

Howler Ambassador Colby D Crossland spends most of his time tromping the Green River system keeping his clients amused and the trout scared. When he’s not behind the oars in Utah for Spinner Fall Guide Service, he’s bumping around to any location that has water, birds, fish, dogs, and amigos. We caught up with Colby to get the low down…

So, a quick google image search of “Colby Crossland” revealed at least 19 photos of different people’s mug shots. Is the name “Colby Crossland” a particularly lawless name or is this just coincidence?  
I am not sure what that kid in Oklahoma is up to but he sure gets arrested often.  Colby is his middle name, I am not sure if that matters. I wish he would stay out of lock up though. He makes me look bad. I thankfully have always been let out of the cop car before he drives to the station.

You recently tied the knot down in Belize. How do you negotiate a honeymoon location that also allows you to permit fish? 
My wife is amazing, I am a very lucky man. I spent the morning of my wedding out wandering the lagoons around Placencia. I nearly stepped on a croc that morning. Most women worry about their husbands forgetting the rings or being late, she just wanted me to find some fish. She even had our reception at a pheasant club. Someone got shot that morning, thankfully it was not part of our party.

Who is the most interesting person who’s ever come on board your drift boat?
I guided a very influential evangelical leader for a few days. He is of the “God sent that crazy man to shoot up the school because of gay marriage” mind set.  That is very outside my personal beliefs, and I honestly did not want fish with him. Spending a week with him was very interesting. We had some really good discussions. We did not change each others views, but I ended up really liking the guy. For having so much hate and fear in his heart he had a lot of love too. He really is a good guy who just has some mixed up beliefs.

Music seems to be a part of your life (and skin). Who is on the dial right now that’s inspiring you? 
I have always had music in my life.  When I was young my parents were both rockers–Bohemian  Rhapsody was my first CD, I can still remember pulling the plastic off the case. Way back when CDs came in those long boxes. As of late I have been listening to Country and Hip-Hop. Whitey Morgan and the 78s have been getting some play, Scott H Biram is always my go to on the river. While driving, Subtitle keeps my wife and me both happy. Get Busy Commitee, Uzi Does It is the best party album ever. Old school country is just the best though. My middle name is Darlin, it came from a David Allen Coe song.  

Rum or tequila?  
Whiskey is my drink of choice when I am pouring, but I love boat drinks. So give me rum or tequila either as long as it is mixed with fruit, in a silly glass, has an umbrella in it, and lots of ice, you can keep the cherry. Waitress, I need two more boat drinks. Then I'm heading south before my dream shrinks. I gotta go where it's warm.

 

Tae Kwan Do or Tenkara?  
I have never figured out the tenkara craze. I own one–its fun to catch some fish on it–Tenkara isnt fly fishing though. Fly fishing is all about casting for me. Tenkara removes the soul. Wow that sounded super elitist. I would never tell someone not to do it or that they are doing something wrong–it just is not for me. I also love fishing from a boat, and Tenkara just does not work properly from a driftboat. Tae kwan Do is in the olympics though, that is pretty cool.

Dwight Yoakam or Motorhead?  
Oh come on, Dwight with no questions asked.

You seem to have two clothing options either 1) shirtless or 2) Howler Brothers. What do you dig about #2? Yes, this is the shameless plug section.  Most gear for fly fishing is either designed for retired doctors or just ugly. Howler is rad, it can be worn anywhere. My dad got married in the Haystack Guyabara. There is just no reason to not look good. 

 

Special thanks to Jay Morr for sharing his killer photography. Check out more of his work, friend him on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter.

Bid On A Buckle, Give To The Gulf

Posted on February 13, 2014

We fashioned a rare, vintage 1973 Texas bait shrimp plate into a set of handsome License Tag Buckles. We are auctioning each of these limited edition buckles to benefit Coastal Conservation Association Texas and support all the good they do for our beloved Gulf of Mexico. Please visit our Ebay auction to bid on these buckles. #BuckleIt4CCA

 THE BACKSTORY | We knew this was a solid license plate when we first set eyes on it, but we didn’t realize quite how special until a friend filled us in on its history. These plates were sold as bait shrimping licenses to commercial fishermen by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department up until 1995, after which no new commercial bait shrimping licenses were available under a limited entry program authorized by the Texas Legislature. Since then, the TPWD and the CCA have enacted a buyback program to purchase bait shrimping licenses from willing fishermen in an effort to decrease over fishing, reduce bycatch mortality, and rebuild and protect the Gulf ecosystem.

ABOUT CCA TEXAS | "Coastal Conservation Association Texas (CCA Texas) is a non-profit marine conservation organization comprised of tens of thousands of recreational anglers and coastal outdoor enthusiasts. Founded in 1977, CCA started in the great state of Texas and has grown incredibly to a national organization. An unmatched breadth and depth of volunteer involvement has made CCA Texas the largest marine conservation group of its kind. CCA Texas has enacted positive change on all levels of coastal marine conservation and management, including a state net ban, gamefish status for speckled trout and redfish, by catch reduction for Gulf and bay shrimp trawls, flounder conservation measures, limited entry into commercial fisheries and Gulf fisheries management initiatives.

CCA Texas has been engaged in hundreds of local, state and national programs and projects related to marine conservation, such as initiating scientific studies, supporting local marine law enforcement, working to pass pro-resource legislation, funding marine science scholarships, initiating habitat-restoration projects, funding state-of-the-art hatcheries, fighting for quality and quantity of freshwater inflows for coastal bays & estuaries.”—From http://www.ccatexas.org

SHARE YOUR BID | Help us spread the word about this auction with a link or photo and #BuckleIt4CCA so we can raise as much cash as possible to help CCA Texas keep on doing good things for our cherished Gulf coast.

This auction ends Sunday, February 16th—place your bid now and don't miss out on winning your favorite buckle.

Howler Spotting: Will Ferrell - Part 3

Posted on January 20, 2014

It’s been a while since we last spotted Will Ferrell sporting Howler gear, but we’re stoked to see he’s added the Quepos Quilted Jacket to his collection. 

Photo and video from WMagazine.com.

Howler Dispatch: Introducing Tributaries Fly Fishing Film

Posted on January 15, 2014

 

Back in July we introduced you to RC Cone and his work-in-progress, Tributaries, a project examining international fly fishing culture through the lens of guides in the Bahamas, Iceland, and Argentina. We’re excited to announce that the Tributaries Fly Fishing Film has been completed and officially released into the world.

Fly fishing is a powerful current that unifies an even stronger worldwide community. Tributaries is a journey to uncover the commonality among different cultures, people, and water. It explores the contrasting experiences of three diverse guides—a Bahamian flats-drifter, a Patagonian trout bum, and a Viking-blooded Icelander. Watch three characters’ stories merge into one: a tribute to the world’s water.

Watch the trailer and download the full length feature now at Tributaries Film, and find behind the scenes photos and a more in depth account of RC’s adventures on the Tributaries Blog.

RC Cone is a photographer and filmmaker currently living in Portland, Oregon (that’s where his bike is at least). When he was 18, RC moved from the flatlands to Big Sky Country and graduated from the University of Montana with a camera and a degree in Environmental Studies. He and his camera have travelled around 4 continents and dream everyday of new adventures. Get his latest updates on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

Howler Ambassador Oliver White Featured In Garden & Gun Magazine

Posted on January 15, 2014

We were stoked to spot Howler Ambassador Oliver White in the December/January issue of Garden & Gun Magazine! Gracing the feature article The Sporting South: Wild Escapes, Oliver sports the pelican embroidered Gaucho Snapshirt while stalking bonefish off Abaco alongside David Tate. The magazine features a write up on Abaco Lodge where Oliver has been running one of the finest fishing operations in the islands. Get to know more about this super solid dude in the blog post in which we first introduced him a couple years ago: Meet Oliver White - Howler Tribe Ambassador.

The Call of The Wild: A Haole’s Guide to Getting Along on the North Shore

Posted on January 2, 2014

We have teamed up with our friends at The Inertia to bring you the "Call of the Wild"—a monthly series of editorial features that will cover every aspect of heeding the call. 


It’s pretty simple: don’t be a jerk, and you’ll get along just fine. Photo: Tim Hogan

Hawaii is a beautiful place. It’s all of those things you see on postcards and in old movies: swaying palm trees, warm evening breezes, eye-exploding sunsets, and tanned, beautiful people.

But within the surfing community, there is a general feeling of morbid terror of the North Shore of Oahu. The proving grounds! Go back to the mainland! Bettah you go home! There’s talk of angry locals cutting leashes and busting faces for the slightest infraction. But it’s not true.

Sure, it might be true if you’re a jerk and you haven’t learned the general social-norms of both surfing and life in general, but that rings true just about anywhere you’ll ever go – it probably rings true at home. It’s pretty simple, really: Don’t be a jerk, and you’ll get along just fine.

1: Smile–First things first. Just like anywhere, being friendly goes a long way. Surfing line ups in general are pretty stolid places, save for the occasional hoot from that friendly guy that’s getting all the set waves. I’m always amazed by the lack of chatter when a bunch of people are doing something they love. Be that guy (or girl) that takes the initiative to make friends with someone you don’t know. Then everyone will have more fun.

2: Don’t be a wave hog–Honestly, it’s only really possible to be a wave hog on the North Shore (in December) if you’re a) a professional, or b) riding a WaveJet. You’re probably not either, unless you’re Corey Lopez. Then you’re both. But if, by some strange fluke, you find yourself at firing V-Land and you’re able to pick off all the good ones, give a few back. Let one go by for the person that’s scratching for every wave but just can’t get deep enough. It’s like Duke said: “Just take your time—wave comes. Let the other guys go, catch another one.

3: Throw your shit away–Seriously. It’s really easy. Pick it up and throw it away. For the amount of tourists here, it’s actually amazingly clean, but there’s still garbage blowing around and stuck in bushes. Chickens peck at it, and when it rains, it all turns into a garbage mash of muddy awfulness that infects your already-infected reef slashed feet. It’s gross.

4: Learn to love roosters–You can’t kill them, so you might as well learn to love them. Roosters are known for waking you up at the crack of dawn with their yelling. Here’s the thing, though: it’s not just at dawn. It’s all day and all night. It’s just a constant background noise, like your refrigerator humming in the kitchen.

5: Be ready to take a couple on the head–It’s a sure thing. You will take large waves on the head, and it sucks. You kick out of these pristine, electric blue waves, exploding with happiness, then look back towards the lineup and see a towering, dark mountain approaching. Everyone that didn’t catch your wave is paddling desperately towards it, and most of them will make it under. You will not. And it will suck. Keep paddling.

Tell us your best North Shore experience (for better or for worse)! Share it in the comments section on this post at theintertia.com. Best one wins $200 worth of gear from Howler Bros, perfect for your next Hawaiian surf trip. Congratulations to Dominic Stone for winning the last prize pack! While you’re at it, take a peek at previous installments of The Call of the Wild Adventure Series powered by Howler Bros.

Howler Dispatch: Rivers and Waves in Oregon

Posted on December 10, 2013

Similarities

"Soon after I embraced the sport of angling I became convinced that I should never be able to enjoy it if I had to rely on the cooperation of the fish." This is actually an old fishing quote, but if you substitute the words "angling" for "surfing" and "fish" for "waves", the quote rings just as true.

If you can't learn to enjoy a day of fishing with no fish caught, or a day of surfing less than ideal conditions, you will be disappointed much too often.

Here in Oregon, with fickle waves and even more fickle steelhead, this is one of the most important things a waterman can learn. But on the right days, the rewards are so much sweeter because of the waiting. The heart pumping feeling from hooking a fish or catching a nice, clean wave is similar, and it's why people become interested in the first place.

The similarities between these two pursuits run much deeper than that, though. They are both activities that, although considered "sports", are done for reasons that often aren't competitive at all.

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