Posted on December 9, 2014
photo credit: Hunter Cole
Our newest brand ambassador, Kameron Brown, is cut from the same cloth as us. He loves surfing above all but fills his days heeding the call of everything from elk hunting to fly fishing. On a given day, you can find Kameron in his native California working hard and playing harder. We caught up with him recently to see what makes him tick.
So, Kameron, before we get started, what do you see immediately to your right?
An alaia I made with Tom Wegener in Australia and my fly tying station.
And to your left?
A cup of yerba mate...... and some laundry I wish would magically fold itself.
Ok, Good. We just caught a video of you enjoying some of our tanker surf here in Texas. Tell us about that experience and how that came about.
What a trip that was! That particular time was my first visit to Texas..... and most definitely wasn't going to be my last! I had my first experiences with some of the best BBQ I've ever had, a honey chicken biscuit from What-a-burger, a wide variety of landscapes from barren ranches to sky high executive buildings, and most importantly..... tanker shipping canals. When we pulled up to this spot, I couldn't imagine anything of what my Texas buddies were explaining. A 10 minute long wave that pops up out in the middle of no where. I've heard and seen some serious waves in Galveston formed by tankers but unfortunately didn't make it there this trip. I was staying near Corpus Christi at the time so we decided to try out a place near Port A. I'd say about 5 tankers passed by during the time we were getting our boards off the car and waxed up but unfortunately.... didn't see this magical 'wave' they were speaking of. Thankfully a buddy of mine has the hook ups and personally knows a tanker captain that navigates these canals. My buddy gets a call and moments after he hangs up the phone, he starts frantically telling us to get in the water.... "Here it comes!" The weight of the tanker ship is most important along with tides and travel speed. You'll see in the video that Morgan knows exactly what the wave is going to do..... Im sitting there absolutely lost thinking to myself, "How is a wave just going to pop up out of nowhere.....". Sure enough, a little A-frame nugget comes rolling down the edges of the canal. Fortunately, all my buddies and myself caught the wave. Yes it was a small wave but yes, I've never done anything like that before. After 5 minutes our legs started to burn! Who would have thought you'd get tired of riding a wave! We must have surfed at least a mile down the canal... and the best part about it all.... was the paddle back! [watch video here]
As a brand with a presence in both surfing and fly fishing, we find a lot of fly fisherman who like to surf but not necessarily the other way around. How did you come to start fly fishing?
Long story longer, I was raised by my adventurous father who got me into fishing when I was just a little grom. Overnight tuna trips out of San Diego, 3/4 day trips for calicos out of Dana Point, giant squid night fishing in our zodiac, 100+ dorado days on our Luhrs just in sight of Catalina. All fish were caught on a standard conventional rod and reel. I absolutely loved it and was hooked from the first day. I owe a lot of my talents and interest in different hobbies to my father. As a kid, I never gave much thought into the concept of fly fishing. I didn't know anyone who fly fished, my father never used a fly rod, and so that motto comes to mind "out of sight, out of mind". I just never came about it. It wasn't until I met my great friend Bobby that my eyes were opened to fly fishing. He taught me to cast in the park, once I got that down he took me to a tiny pond in San Juan Capistrano where I caught my first fish on the fly (4" long green bass), and right after I landed that fish..... I was addicted. Literally, it was all I thought about. Bought my first fly tying vice along with a few materials and was tying foam beetles and experimenting with chartreuse chenille creating the ugliest 'things' ever. I knew I loved fly fishing and everything about it but it wasn't until I used a fly, that I tied, to catch a fish. Talk about feeling accomplished. Been fly fishing ever sense and pretty much forgot about conventional fishing. But don't get me wrong..... there will always be room in my heart for conventional gear.
Do you find any similarities between the sports?
Yes. Dedication, discipline, research, practice practice practice. Cool thing about most all my hobbies is that they take me to the most beautiful places the world has to offer. From Australia's east coat surfing hurricane swells to 11,000 feet up in the Sierras fishing glacier fed waters.
Fast and steep or long and carving?
I respect both aspects of surfing. Getting absolutely barreled off your head in the Mentawai Islands is something i'll never get enough of but there's just something about a stomach high peeler where you can trim your life away and clock in some serious tip time.
photo credit: Cat Gregory
Motorhead or Grateful Dead ?
IPA or tequila ?
Surfing with your bros or hunting alone?
Couldn't say I enjoy one more than the other. Surfing with your bros is filled with excitement, wave sharing, story telling and is so refreshing after a long day working. Hunting alone is my time to get in touch with nature and reality. Helps me understand where I come from as a human and being in these wild places is a real eye opener for quality of life especially when you drive hours or days back home to a concrete jungle where you reside.
If you could script the perfect day for Kameron Brown, how would it go?
Going to bed at 8:30 and waking up before the sun rises, fresh pot of yerba mate brewing, cruising in the van towing my boat to the launch ramp, fly rods ready, hooked up to a yellowtail before 8 am. Peanut butter and jelly sandwich breakfast washed down with an ice-cold beer, buzzing drag singing louder than my 2 stroke outboard, peter tosh blasting through the speakers, sun warming the brisk morning, another beer! Few fish in the cooler, full throttle, full belly, burnt nose, and back to the harbor just around noon. Back to my abode in SJC for some elk burgers and home grown veggies accompanied with a giant pile of rice, fishing stuff put away, surfboards replacing rods, van smells of wetsuits, bumping down the dusty 'ol road at San Onofre. Shakas thrown, ten toes over, smiles for miles. Fire wood, marshmallows, sandy feet, guitars strumming, story telling, ice-cold man sodas for all. Best part of it all........ bed at 8:30... do it all over again the next day.
Even though there are plenty of surf brands in California, you chose us – an inland Texas brand to rep. What drew you to Howler Brothers? (Shameless promotion section).
Howler Brothers speaks my language. There aren't many brands focusing on fly fishing and surfing. They are exactly what I am about. Everything from the quality of their threads to the people representing and running the company. I feel their love for life, their love for the brand, and most importantly, their addiction to adventure. Their clothes were not only inspired by surfers and fisherman but also tested by them. All of their gear helps me endure everything my hobbies throw at me. Breathable long sleeves for fishing those blazing hot days, insulated jackets for those icy mornings crawling out of my tent, and everything in between. Honored to be a part of the family and am excited to see what the future holds with Howler Brothers and myself.
photo credit: Luki O'Keefe
Posted on October 31, 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 covers every aspect of heeding the call.
Getting barreled is the holy grail of surfing. Of course, any wave is a good wave, but watching that lip sneak over your head and realizing that yes, there is a light at the end of the tunnel is something beyond compare.
This is not an easy thing to do. Getting a proper barrel takes a lot of time in the water. Photo: Brad Masters
A few days ago, I was surfing at my regular spot. One of the most familiar faces out there is an older lady, probably around 70. She wears two wetsuits – a john and a regular one underneath it – and a cap with a long braid falling out the back. She rides a body board with little fins on it, and she is, without a doubt, the most stoked person I’ve ever met. She has zero concern for what anyone thinks about her, and every wave she kicks onto looks like the most fun thing that’s ever happened to her. On this particular day, I was paddling back out, and because she was on a body board, she snuck into a mini-barrel – more of a head dip, but still, it counted. I whistled at her as she hooted her way out. “That was a good one!” I exclaimed. She smiled at me. “MORE!” was all she could say. “MORE!”
Getting a really good barrel is hard. It can take years of surfing, and sometimes, it just never happens. It’s one of those endless searches – even if you manage to find a good one, it just fuels your passion for the next. It’s exhausting, really. It’s a treadmill, only way more fun. With that in mind, I wrote a few emails to some of the best surfers in the world. These guys have been barreled so much, they should be sick of it. They are not sick of it. I asked them a question: where is the easiest place in the world to get barreled?
The first to get back to me was CJ Hobgood, owner of a 2001 World Championship Cup (which he’s not entirely comfortable with… you’ll have to watch the documentary when it comes out). “Definitely Macaroni’s,” he wrote. “That ledge is a friendly drop, and the wave does relatively the same thing.” As with anything, repetition is necessary for learning. There’s something called the 10,000 hour rule, which Malcolm Gladwell says is the time it takes to master something. If you’ve spent 10,000 getting barreled, you’re probably the best barrel rider on earth. “At first, that’s what makes it fun,” CJ continued, “but then you kind of get over the wave because your surfing can become scripted.” While getting over a wave as perfect as Macaronis might be the best problem I’ve ever heard, CJ does have a point – surfing’s fluidity is one of the best parts about it, and no one likes being stuck in a rut, even if it’s a watery, super fun one.
The next person to get back to me was CJ’s brother, Damien. Damien’s not a tour guy anymore, and he’s been using his newfound free time to do exactly what he was doing on tour: surf. But he’s surfing on his own time now, where and when he wants, picking and choosing his trips. He’s been branching into bigger waves lately, too, with a paddle session at Jaws last winter and a handful of some of the most incredible video clips I’ve seen in a long time. “I’d also say a south swell at Chopes and P-Pass,” Damo added in a reply, “but west and small is pretty hard at Chopes.” Speaking from a totally average regular footer’s point of view, Teahupoo was not on my list of possible answers to the question. When I think of Tahiti’s most famous wave, I think of thick, backless beasts, ones that fold over the sharpest and shallowest of reefs – I think of the Millenium Wave, to be perfectly honest, and I want nothing to do with it. But on further reflection, while it’s not common to see images of regular ol’ Teahupoo, I have seen a few. It looks fun, so maybe Damo’s right. I do have one small worry, though: if anyone remembers Keala Kennelly’s horrific facial injury at Teahupoo, you’ll know what I’m talking about. It was on a totally average day. And Keala is one of the best surfers in the world.
Of course, when you’re talking about barrels, one wave comes to mind: Pipeline. And when you’re talking about Pipeline, one name comes to mind: Gerry Lopez. So I wrote Mr. Pipeline himself a quick note to get his thoughts on it. His response was brief, but helpful. “Nothing easy about getting barreled,” he answered. “But if you have the desire and the skill set,” Gerry continued, “Pipeline, Teahupoo, G-Land, Lance’s Right, and Scar Reef.”
Gerry’s answer, I suppose, is indicative of something. I asked the wrong question, and he called me on it. There is no easy place to get barreled, because getting barreled is hard. And that’s what makes it worth chasing.
Have a worst-case scenario story? Leave your story, in all its gory details, in the comments section on this post at theintertia.com. Best one wins $200 worth of gear from Howler Brothers, perfect for those tube hunting trips! While you’re at it, take a peek at previous installments of The Call of the Wild Adventure Series powered by Howler Brothers.
Posted on October 16, 2014
The El Gallo Buckle is our latest collaborative creation with anvil master Wes Groot at Cityboy Forge. After the overwhelming popularity of the rooster on our Gaucho Snapshirt, we were dying to get this gallo hammered into metal. As with all Cityboy buckles, this one is highly customizable on the back with words of wisdom, geographic coordinates, girlfriend's names, battle cries, or whatever else you want (within reason). Claim one of these buckles for yourself here and now.
We are sure that many of you seen our previous buckle collaborations with Wes Groot and Cityboy Forge: the classic Howler Monkey, the Jolly Roger, and the Coordinates Buckle. All of these are evidence of just how much we love what Wes and Co. do at the Forge. Wes is an artisan who manipulates the elements into heirloom quality, wearable art. To do this he uses old school techniques like hammering, weaving, forge-pressing and repoussé, a process where sheet metal is manipulated to create three-dimensional designs. Like us, Wes is driven by creativity, ideas, and the desire to keep making original things that reflect his personality and that of his customers. On top of that, he’s just a good dude. Watch Wes' craft and process in the video below and check out more on the Cityboy Forge website.
Posted on October 1, 2014
Four of us hit the road last week to mix it up with friends new and old in the Treasure State of Montana. It’s hard not to love Montana any time of year but September is a particularly awesome month in the land of oro y plata with warm days, cool nights and a palatable sense of the coming Winter. Every piece of equipment in the state is working to put up hay and, most importantly for this trip, the trout are looking upwards in search of protein.
The main reason we made the voyage was to “compete” in a fly fishing event at the famed Bar Z Riverside Ranch in support of Casting 4 A Cure, a charity dedicated to curing Rett Syndrome. Rett Syndrome is a neurological disorder that impacts young girls. Like many others, we became aware of its impact through C4C founder, Bill Farnum, whose daughter has Rett. Anyone who has spent even 30 seconds with Bill can vouch for the fact that he is one of the coolest and most benevolent dudes around, and it is awesome to see firsthand the impact that he and C4C are having on Rett research. If you want to know more or have some spare change in your pocket, go to Casting4ACure.com.
For 2.5 days, we immersed ourselves in the events at the Bar Z which included heavy doses of streamer fishing, beer drinking and general revelry. We even packed along 3/5ths of our alter-ego, Wrinkle Neck Mules, for the occasion and had a hell of a front porch pick session for Saturday night’s closing ceremonies. One of the Bar Z guides, Austin Reyher, pulled out his fiddle and dropped our jaws with his bow work.
On Sunday, we said our good byes to the C4C crowd, packed up our instruments and rods and headed off to the booming troutropolis of Craig, Montana for a little event we dubbed “Howlin’ on the Mo” with our friends at Headhunters Fly Shop.
We didn’t really need an excuse, but this offered us another opportunity to pick some songs, drink a few cold snacks and spread the Howler word in Craig. It was a beautiful day and it was awesome to spend time with the Headhunters squad and everyone who stopped by. Huge thanks to Mark, John, Sarah and everyone at Headhunters for helping us pull it off. And, an enormous thanks to Austin Reyher for bringing his fiddle up to Craig. You’re now an honorary member of the WNM.
We’re already thinking ahead to next Fall’s Montana Pilgrimage and Howlin’ on the Mo part 2. Stand by.
Posted on September 12, 2014
We sent Howler Ambassador RC Cone and friends to put our newest fall gear to the test in the magnificent wilds of Iceland. RC is the filmmaker behind Tributaries, and the footage above is the first from his newest endeavor, YOW: Icelandic for Yes.
Posted on September 9, 2014
September means back to school, football, hopefully some cooler temperatures. We decided it was also the perfect time to head out West to find some fish and hang out with good friends. So, we called up our buddies at Headhunters and decided to throw a little shindig in Craig, Montana.
Come one, come all and join Howler Brothers and Headhunters Fly Shop for the Howlin' on the Mo' party. There will be free beer and food, live music from the Wrinkle Neck Mules, Howler Brother giveaways, and more! It's gonna be awesome!
For more details, be sure to check out the event page.
Did we mention free beer???
See y'all in Craig!
Posted on August 21, 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 covers every aspect of heeding the call.
A few years ago, I found myself sitting in a Nicaraguan border patrol office, arrested and terrified. I wasn’t wearing any shoes – I had lost them three or four days previous, and it hadn’t been necessary to get any – and my feet were dusty and sweaty. I left damp, dirt filled footprints along the cool hallway on my way to the office, where a large man with a larger mustache and mirrored sunglasses sat behind a wide oak desk. His boots were up on his desk, beside a pistol of some kind, and his anger smoldered across at me from behind his chrome lenses. I smiled nervously at him, pretending like I hadn’t just tried to pass a counterfeit hundred-dollar bill off before crossing the border back into Costa Rica.
The room was actually very pretty in a classic Central American way: white tiles with a ring of bright, decorated ones circling the top of the walls, a wobbly fan spinning lazily on the ceiling. Outside the small slatted window, I could hear old diesel motors and parrots, men yelling and dogs barking. It was a pleasant enough space to be in, away from the stifling, windless heat just outside the window. But I would have given anything to be out there. Anything to get away from my own stupidity.
Best case scenario: empty perfection. Try and keep it that way. Photo: Colin Roth
You probably know that feeling, and if you’re anything like me, you probably want to avoid it. While surf trips can be some of the most rewarding, memorable experiences you’ll ever have, you can also find yourself in some pretty hairy situations if you’re not careful. Of course, not being careful is quite often part of the fun, but just in case you’re past that point in your life where you just don’t give shit (approximately 18-25 for me), here are a few quick tips on how you can preemptively save your own ass.
This is not my happy place.
1. Getting arrested in a foreign land
There are all sorts of horror stories about people getting thrown in prison for arriving somewhere with a butt full of drugs. This is especially true in surfing, where rumors of “entrepreneurs” using drug smuggling money as start up cash for some of the biggest surf companies have been floating around for years. I sort of hope it’s true – some guy sailing the seven seas with a cargo hold full of black tar heroin, stopping in far-flung destinations to alternately surf perfect, empty waves and sling poison to the locals is a much better story than a guy printing t-shirts in his garage until Macy’s picked up his clothing line. Whatever the case, getting arrested anywhere, let alone a place where you don’t speak a lick of the language, is scary as mierda (Mexico)/eek (Indonesia)/merde (France).
Just like the shark attack, the most sure-fire way to stay out of some dingy dungeon where all there is to eat is rat’s tails is to just not do anything illegal. Of course, that can be a bit of a grey area in some countries, where police pay isn’t necessarily in the form of a paycheck. I’ve been pulled over for nothing in a two separate countries, and all I had to do was shake a hand and grease a palm. It’s accepted. Now, I’m not saying it’s common practice everywhere, so that’s one you might want to feel out a bit first, before you find yourself chained to a wall with a sore butt and a mean case of scurvy. Bribery isn’t exactly expected in most places, but if you’re going somewhere where it’s an accepted form of ticket payment, it doesn’t hurt to carry around a bit of extra cash (well-hidden), just in case.
And if you’ve done something so horrible that bribery just don’t cut it, or you’ve done something in a country where bribery is also an arrestable offence, just give the ol’ consulate a call. If you’re really nice, they’ll probably be able to get you home, where you can pay for your offense like a good old, down-home criminal.
Nom nom nom.
2. Shark Attack
Unless you’re Steve Irwin or Mark Healey, you’ve probably had that little twinge of fear at some point in your surfing career. We are, after all, sharing a space with a creature that has evolved into a nearly perfect killing machine, so it would be fair if you’ve leaked a bit of pee or squealed like a 5-year-old girl once or twice.
If you don’t want to soil your shorts every time you see a fin, there are a few things you can do to avoid a (very unlikely) shark attack. Obviously, the best way to avoid a shark attack would be to practice abstinence, but let’s be honest, quitting the ocean all together isn’t really an option. There are a few other options that may or may not work. Everyone’s seen those goofy looking wetsuits you can wear that, according to the manufacturer, make you look like a zebra. They also are supposed to scare potentially aggressive sharks away, because zebras are the sharks’ only natural enemy. Nope, that’s not true. Everyone knows that zebras are an apex predator. Apparently, though, these goofy suits mimic the coloration of sea life that sharks don’t like: Lionfish, or broccoli, for example.
And then there’s the Ocean Recreation Comfort Apparatus, or ORCA, that NoBite Technologies came up with. In a nutshell, it shoots out sounds that sharks don’t enjoy, kind of like that time you left the house because your wife/husband/child/dog was whining about something when you had that hangover. But here’s the crazy part: the folks over at NoBite are offering a $1 million guarantee. The jury is still out on how much a leg is worth, but it’s probably more than a million bucks.
I can’t even afford the spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down.
3. Hospitalized with no travel insurance
If I could count the number of times I’ve fallen out of/off of things in a foreign country, I would probably have a much better memory than the one I’m currently working with. It’s not that I’ve fallen off things so many times; it’s just that the vast majority of those accidents have occurred after consuming vast quantities of some kind of toxic substance in a sweaty, humid place while trying to impress a Swedish/Australian/human female. They were never impressed, although an incredibly beautiful (although mangy) golden lab once consoled me while I was weeping in a dark field after a donkey bit me in Thailand. If you happen to get a bad injury in a foreign country, one that requires immediate hospitalization, you’re pretty much screwed – but hopefully alive, so you’ll have that going for you, which is nice.
Here’s the key: you need to find that ever-so-delicate balance between a few stitches and a massive, hemorrhaging head wound. That way, you can avoid both possible death and a hospital bill larger than your family’s gross earnings for the next three generations, which they will appreciate. But if you can manage, remember RICE: rest, ice, compression, elevate. If you can get home with your busted leg resting on the seat back in front of you (you’ll want an exit row for this one), then you’ll save a lot of money and be able to tell your friends that you took a 22-hour flight through a thunderstorm with a broken femur. They will be impressed, and the Swedish/Australian/human female will also. *
Nope, can’t breathe down here.
This one’s pretty easy to avoid, but it sure does suck if you don’t. Don’t go in the ocean. Actually, to be really sure, you should stop bathing, stop going out in the rain, and stop drinking water. Secondary drowning is real thing, people, and you should be terrified of it. Next time you choke on a sip of water, imagine that it’s worked its way into your lungs, and while you sleep, it’s pooling in one corner, slowly killing all those little pink bronchioles, or broccolis or whatever. Yeah, water is a stone cold killer. I’ve also heard rumors that it had something to do with Jimmy Hoffa.
But if you’re not willing to stay dry for the rest of your life, you should make yourself aware of local currents, rips, and places where you just shouldn’t swim, even if you’re Michael Phelps and have webbed toes. Be honest with yourself about your surfing abilities. Some of the greatest surfers in the world have drowned, and if I’m being honest, you are probably not one of the greatest surfers in the world. Maybe you are. Kelly, are you reading this? If in doubt, don’t go out. Yes, you should push yourself. Yes, putting yourself in uncomfortable situations is important. But if you’re just average-Joe surfer, maybe the Code Red swell at Teahupoo is something you should watch from the channel.
*Don’t actually do this. Get travel insurance.
Have a worst-case scenario story? Leave your story, in all its gory details, in the comments section on this post at theintertia.com. Best one wins $200 worth of gear from Howler Brothers! While you’re at it, take a peek at previous installments of The Call of the Wild Adventure Series powered by Howler Brothers.
Posted on July 10, 2014
We are excited to announce the launch of our latest collaboration with Topo Designs. Not only do they share our passion for fly fishing, travel, and life outdoors, but like us they have built their brand on great design inspired by the classics, rugged functionality, and the pursuit of adventure. Plus, they are just good folks to hang out with.
Coming off the success of our first collaboration, we have developed limited editions of two new pack offerings: the streamlined Klettersack 15L and adventurous Field Pack. Both bags are available in Coyote Brown and Orange. We also created a Topo X Howler Gaucho Snapshirt for the collaboration and a co-branded Corduroy Snapback Hat. From the airport to the stream to dinner back in town, this gear has you covered.
Check out the entire collection and pick one up before they are gone.
Posted on June 25, 2014
Through 3 international destinations, over 20,000 miles traveled, 9 fly rods, and over 100 pounds of camera crap, one shirt made it all possible: The Pescador. Filmmaker and good Howler friend, RC Cone, produced this bit from his fly fishing film, Tributaries.
The Pescador is the perfect all around fishing shirt; one that works on the boat and in your waders but doesn’t make you look like a giant tropical fruit that got into a knife fight when you go get a beer on dry land. We kept it simple and made ours out of quick drying poly-nylon blend that provides all day UPF 15 protection, with hidden pockets under the mesh-lined vented front yokes that are easy to access via pearl snaps. The bottom hem is cut straight and vented on the side and the fit is relaxed for ease of movement.
Show your love for the Pescador and enter to win one for yourself by liking, sharing, and commenting on One Shirt: Pescador on Facebook, Instagram, or Vimeo . On Monday, June 30th we’ll choose and notify 5 lucky winners. Heed The Call.
Posted on June 18, 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 covers every aspect of heeding the call.
There are two truly satisfying things in this world—more if you count silly little things like raising a happy family and being a productive member of society—that only a select few will ever experience: getting barreled and landing a truly big fish.
If you’ve done either, chances are good that you spend a lot of your time chasing that barrel or that fish. Chances are also good that you’ve organized your life, at least to some extent, to allow time to do those things. And here’s the great thing: fish live in the ocean. Surfing is in the ocean. That’s the definition of two birds with one stone. A day on a boat and on a wave is a day well spent, and because we love you, we’ve compiled a list of the easiest places to do both.
The iconic Hale’iwa sign on Oahu’s North Shore. Welcome to paradise. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
1. Hale’iwa, Hawaii
This one’s a no-brainer. On a small string of islands surrounded by nothing but vast ocean, the amount of waves and fish are almost beyond comparison, and Haleiwa on Oahu’s North Shore is the hub of the best of it. Because of the steep drop in ocean depth and strong currents around the Hawaiian Islands, bait and game fish are plentiful and, as everyone knows, so are the best waves in the world.
Head to the North Shore, get pounded by the best waves you’ve ever seen, and then head out into the blue with a rod and a butt full of sand. Oahu is home to pretty much the best open ocean fishing in Hawaii. Mahi Mahi, Ahi (Yellowfin Tuna), Ono (Wahoo), Aku, Skipjack Tuna, and of course, Blue Marlin call this area home. There’s a reason why Hemingway was obsessed with marlin fishing: it’s awesome.
Nicaragua. That ocean is full of things to catch , whether it’s waves or fish. Photo: Joanne O’Shaughnessy
2. San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
Hoo boy, the waves here are good. Three hundred-plus days of offshores. Balmy temperatures, cheap beer, amazing people, and some of the best setups you could possibly hope for. There’s pretty much everything within a stone’s throw of San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, from dumping beach breaks to reef-grinding barrels to giant bombs that’ll scare your pants right off.
And the fishing! Mackerel, Mahi, Roosterfish, Sailfish, and more dart beneath that Central American sea. There are a million charters around that’ll take you to that secret hole, then motor you back in, sunburned and salty, smelling of fish guts and covered in a smile. Of course, there’s a huge range of what you’ll get, but a lot of them pretty much turn you into a baby; you just lie there and get shacked off your head, then reel in a fish bigger than your family dog.
Nicaragua’s one of those places that’s great right now, but probably won’t stay that way for long. The wheels of progress grind on, and in the case of the wandering surfer, that’s usually bad. But get it while the getting is good – the roads are still dusty, the chickens still scratch in them, and there are an abundance of reasonably empty waves.
Serenity now. Haida Gwaii, British Columbia. Photo: Shutterstock.
3. Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia
This one’s for those who like to leave the beaten path a bit. Haida Gwaii, aka the Queen Charlotte Islands, lies off the west coast of British Columbia, and is one of those places that, because of its remoteness, has had an easier time maintaining what makes it so great: the lack of people. The water is cold, the trees are huge, and the fish are hungry, mostly because there are just so damn many of them. Halibut and Salmon call this area home, and if you’ve ever caught either, you know it’s like pulling up a wiggling piece of plywood or a rocket-powered tube steak, respectively.
There isn’t a whole lot on the Charlottes – civilization-wise, anyway. What there is, however, is a more beauty that you can shake a stick at. Winter storms run down from Alaska with nothing to stop them before running into Haida Gwaii. Pristine beaches wrap the coastline, and an amazing amount of creatures fill both the land and the sea. There are hundreds and hundreds of miles of untouched coastline that most people will never see unless they’ve got a boat and a serious appetite for adventure, and somewhere within those miles is a place you’ll never forget.
Looks like a decent way to spend an evening, doesn’t it? Photo: Shutterstock
4. The Outer Banks, North Carolina
OBX is an Atlantic paradise for surfers and fishermen. From New York to Florida, they offer some of the best waves on the right coast. Two hundred miles of barrier islands protecting the coast of North Carolina, the Outer Banks takes the brunt of the storms and turns spots like S-Turns into a funneling gold mine for barrel hunters.
And, of course, their position is almost perfect for some of the best fishing on the east coast of the Americas. The most popular type of fishing, partially because of the convenience of it, is simple, old-fashioned beach fishing. Casting a line off any stretch of shoreline for Mackerel, Bass or Blues, there’s a good chance of hooking something. But charter fishing is really where it’s at in the Outer Banks.
The Gulf Stream flows by the Outer Banks, providing some of the best big-catch fishing in the world. Most of the charters in the area get you up early, leaving between four and six am, so depending on tides, you’ll be back in time for an afternoon or an evening spent under a grinding OBX lip.
Everything you want is in Puerto Escondido. Photo: Matt Degreff.
5. Puerto Escondido, Mexico
You knew this one would be on here. Puerto Escondido is basically a dream destination for surfing and fishing, as the Pacific Coast of Mexico plays host to some of the best waves in the world. The water is warm and there are waves everywhere you look. Between Sayulita, Troncones, Pascuales, Todos Santos, and of course, Puerto, you will find what you’re looking for, wave-wise, party-wise, and anything-you-want-wise. Mexico’s about hitting a literal dusty trail, getting sunburned to all hell, getting more waves than you should be allowed to, then kicking back with a big hat and a bigger beer.
It’s also about fishing. Most of the coastal towns began as (or still are) fishing towns. Sailfish, Blue Marlin, Dorado, Roosterfish, Yellowfin tuna, Snapper… all of them call Mexico home, and all of them are both exciting to catch and delicious to eat. Because of the tourism trade and their experience fishing off the coast of Mexico, charters are everywhere, so your only problem will be choosing one. And if you don’t feel like dropping a pocketful of dollars, just go stand in the sand and cast off shore. Catch a Roosterfish in the evening, and you’ll be doing wind sprints in the sand while dreaming about how hard you scored in the morning.
Have another addition to the list? Leave your best surfing/fishing story in the comments section on this post at theintertia.com. Best one wins $200 worth of gear from Howler Brothers, perfect for your barrel-fest or fish fry! While you’re at it, take a peek at previous installments of The Call of the Wild Adventure Series powered by Howler Brothers.