Posted on August 10, 2017
When the summer heat hits, there are only two places we want to be, on the water or in the mountains. With that in mind, we chose to spend some more time around the Florida waters before making our way out West. From Orlando we headed down to the beautiful beaches of Naples, Fl where we met up with some friends. It was a great escape to a beautiful area on the gulf coast with beach lounging, dolphin watching and racing thunderstorms on the water.
Making our way back up through Florida, we stopped in Oakhill to have a morning session looking for some reds with Avery and Gary Gillette from Fly Fishing After Dark. Eager to get more fish on the fly, we made our way to Cartersville, Georgia to link up with Andy Bowen of Cohutta Fishing Co. Andy was an incredible host. A night full of playing guitar, drinking a few cold beverages in the treehouse, and sharing fishing stories was the perfect way to end a night before putting the cherry on top and catching some fish. And catch fish we did! Andy, Connor, and Garner took us to a spot in the Cohutta Wilderness Area filled with Spotted and Redeye bass. Incredibly grateful to the guys at Cohutta for putting us up and putting us on some fish.
To us, the next stop was an adventure that really sums up our way of life on the road these past months. We headed west to meet up with one of our good friends from back home. We all then hiked to Columbine Lake located in the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area near Denver, CO. As soon as we got to our lake side home for the night and set down our bags we were blindsided by a hail storm. You would think that with three guys, 200 yards of rope, and an 8x10’ tarp we would have made shelter quickly.. but that was not the case. We struggled to find a good spot to hunker down and properly secure the lines. Finally, after the weather had subsided we had one of the greatest camping experiences any of us have ever had. Catching cutthroats on the fly, eating dinner with a lake view, and eventually watching an amazing light show conducted by the sun and surrounding clouds. You can only be so prepared, which is why having good vibes when things go south is so crucial to traveling and adventuring in nature.
We move on to the last month of our trip, ready for more camping, fishing, and anything else throughout the West.
Posted on July 18, 2017
The road east was full of fishing, hiking, and bear sightings. Our first stop was Palo Duro Canyon State Park where we saw one of the most astonishing displays of the Milky Way we had ever seen. Fully visible with the naked eye, it was truly incredible.
We breezed through Texas and into Arkansas to meet up with the guys at Dally Ozark Fly Fisher. In the morning, we fished with local legend and head guide, Chad Johnson, who put us on countless beautiful rainbow trout. After hours of throwing hoppers and big streamers, we finally connected with a big brown! A huge thank you to Steve Dally and Chad Johnson!!
Continuing on the journey, we stopped in Smoky Mountains National Park for a few nights of backcountry camping. The Smokys gave us everything we could have asked for and then some: beautiful riverside hiking, scenic overlooks, cliff jumping, and black bears... lots of black bears. Over our two-night stay in the park we managed to see 6 total.
After a week driving east, we finally made it to a little piece of paradise in Virginia called Staunton - the home town of Howler Privateer Sam Roberts. Here we enjoyed some incredible home cooked meals by Mr. and Mrs. Roberts, visited some local breweries and distilleries, fished the Rivanna River, and hiked to one of the most scenic swimming holes the east coast has to offer.
Despite all the fun we were having with friends and family, it was time to start heading south. We spent the 4th of July weekend in Charleston, SC searching for reds, paddle boarding the lowcountry, and putting on our own firework display. We managed to catch our first redfish on the fly with help from Scotty Davis of Lowcountry Fly Shop – thanks Scotty!!
Thirsty for some waves, we decided to make a pit stop in Jacksonville, FL before setting up for trade show number 2, ICAST/IFTD. The Poles at Hanna Park were where we found decent surf. In addition to waves, Jacksonville provided us with a huge check off the bucket list, meeting photographer Chris Burkard. He was in town for a showing of his newest film, “Under an Arctic Sky.” He talked to us about diving into uncertainty and how we need to be storytellers instead of simply photographers. This summer has been full of unknowns and is already one hell of a story. It’s the perfect opportunity to make the most of Chris’s advice.
HEED THE CALL!
Posted on June 29, 2017
Given our never-ending appetite for surf, tacos, and all things Mexico, we are always looking for an excuse to get down South of the Border. When our man Kameron Brown was invited to surf in the MexiLogFest longboard event (thrown by another Howler Ambassador, Izzy Preciado), we said "a huevo!" to following him on a jaunt off the beaten sendero. Discovering some empty waves and salty dives, Kam heeded his own call before joining back up with amigos at the event. HEED THE CALL
Posted on June 27, 2017
The colors of the sky change from blue to a blend of orange, purple and pink hues, almost in the blink of an eye. We are standing on top of the South Rim of the Chisos Mountains in Big Bend National Park. This scene, in all its glory, is where it sinks in and our summer Privateer journey really begins.
Rewind two days earlier at Howler HQ loading the van and making sure we have all the gear we need for a 10 week, twenty-thousand-mile road trip. After a long day in Austin and a late start we were finally on the road for the first leg of our trip. We were determined to take on West Texas and find some of the best places to share with the Howler Community.
Our first stop was Big Bend National Park, and after a 7 hour drive we were relieved to finally be in one of the greatest outdoor destinations in the Lone Star State. We took our time exploring the park before setting up camp in the Chisos Basin. We had heard from multiple sources that there had been several recent black bear sightings in the area and we were determined to see one for ourselves.
As we drove over the ridge to enter the Chisos Basin, our eyes darted to a black mass in the middle of the road. Sure enough it was a black bear. The first one we have ever seen in the state of Texas. It began to walk down the road towards our van, and then in a split second it disappeared into the dense brush surround the road.
After our excitement settled, we continued to the campground where we got our first taste of Howler stardom. Before we had even finished dinner we were approached by almost everyone in the campground due to the head turning van we were driving.
The night was filled with stories of outdoor enthusiasts’ travels, tips on places we should visit, and several ice-cold beverages. The next morning we geared up and headed into the backcountry. A moderately difficult hike in the Texas summer was well worth the views from atop the Chisos mountains and the vast emptiness the backcountry provides. It was at the top of those mountains that we truly realized how great this summer was going to be.
Leaving Big Bend wasn’t easy, but it was only the beginning of our travels and we had so much more to explore. From there we traveled North to the Davis Mountains where we were greeted by yet another beautiful West Texas sunset. The next morning we woke up and paid a visit to a Texan oasis called Balmorhea. It was truly refreshing jumping into the cool, crisp water of the natural spring after several nights of camping.
Once we cooled off at the springs we headed onward to continue our journey into New Mexico. Good to get out and have a little fun in the giant sand box known as the White Sands National Monument. Can't beat the sunset/sunrise, and sliding down the dunes with whatever you can make work.
We were thankful for the great conversations, beautiful views, refreshing start, and excited to see what new experiences lay ahead of us.
Posted on June 18, 2017
Chaco and Howler share a DNA bonded with water - from river rapids to ocean swells, to the still waters in between, both brands heed the call towards the wild. Designed with a focus on excellence over trend, these Chaco x Howler products are made to be worn in those important places. Whether that’s an epic first descent, a backyard trail, or a paddle around the bend, we’ll let you choose. Check out the whole collection HERE.
Posted on June 5, 2017
Howler Ambassador Willy Le is the proprietor of Native Fly Charters and spends his hours working the waters of Florida’s famed Mosquito Lagoon. Willy is also a former competitive skateboarder, a slashing surfer and a fun dude to be around. Although all of his daylight hours are spent working, we ran Willy down for a few minutes so you could get to know this member of the family.
So, it’s May. Is this your busiest season?
Actually for me, I start to slow down a bit starting May and into the Summer after grinding hard January through April from snow birds and Spring Breakers. Everyone wants to go down to the Keys during that time for the Tarpon migration, then when that’s over, I’ll start to pick back up again.
Word is that fellow Howler Ambassador Flip Pallot helped you find your way to fly fishing. Tell us about that....
Yes, Flip is the coolest dude. I met Flip Pallot and Chico Fernandez back in 2007 when I was asked to be a camera boat by a buddy of mine who was filming and editing some projects with Flip at the time. I was flipping out because I grew up watching and was fascinated by Flip’s show “Walker’s Cay Chronicles” and then I get asked to work with the legend himself? Of course I was like “Hell Yeah!”
The project we were going to work on was a fly casting instructional video. I wasn’t into fly fishing back then all, I thought it looked like too much work when I seen it on TV, but when I actually seen it happen with my own eyes, I was amazed. Flip and Chico made fly casting look like an art, effortless and smooth. At the end of the day, I asked Flip if he had a spare fly rod setup that he can sell, I wanted to learn. That’s how it all started for me.
Flip and I kept in touch after the few days of filming, just sharing fishing photos with each other over emails. A couple years pass, I get laid off from my full time job as a CAD Tech for a civil engineering firm because of the economy crash in 2008. Not being able to find another job in the same field, the thought of being a fishing guide popped in my head a few times but I wasn’t sure about it. I knew I had the skill but just wasn’t too sure I could do it, so I asked Flip for his opinion. He said “You should do it, I think you would be very good at it”. The very next day, I signed up for Sea School to get my Captain's license, took out my 401k to pay for all the licenses, permits, and requirements and started Native Fly Charters LLC. in 2010.
Now I am honored to be working with the same companies as Flip.
You still get out there and skate?
Not as much as I want to. All my buddies I used to skate with back in the day are still ripping, and I wish I had the time to go skate with them now...that’s if my joints can handle it. haha
How would you rather spend your afternoon? Riding head high and barreling Sebastian or getting constant shots at tarpon?
Head High first peak Sebastian Inlet for sure!
Pick one :
Tom Curren or John John Florence?
Curren rips for sure, but I’d have to say I enjoy watching John John’s stylish airs, late drops and deep barrels
Street or vert?
Street all the way
Fried or grilled?
Bob Marley or Bob Dylan?
Follow Willy on Instagram for plenty of drool-inducing photos from life on the salt. And if you are headed to Florida, be sure to hit him up if you want to chase some fish and have a great time. HEED THE CALL
Posted on June 1, 2017
The Howler Mutations team joined forces with some fellow residents of Austin, Ft. Lonesome, on our latest – and possibly greatest – mutation. These ladies of Ft. Lonesome whip up some of the coolest and most unique garments around using the traditional chain stitch method. Every piece is unique and made by hand. We had them stitch one of our native saltwater redfish across the back yoke of a very limited number of our famed cotton/linen blend Sheridan shirts. As good Texans, we are donating a portion of the proceeds of the Ft. Lonesome x Howler Brothers collection to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation to help protect these fish and other wild things of the Lone Star State.
Posted on May 26, 2017
The Privateers crews of summers past delivered trophy-worth efforts while criss-crossing the country. Building upon that legacy made our selection process just that much more difficult. This year's application provided hours of entertainment--both intentional and unintentional--but we had to whittle through the hilarity, creativity, stunts, and editing prowess to find our newest road warriors. Now happy to say we have found our Howler Privateers for Summer 2017.
Meet the Crew
Sam Roberts and Dylan Rose came to us from our own hometown or Austin, Texas. They are no strangers to last-minute road trips and spending time afield. Rest assured they have big aspirations to make this summer their masterpiece.
Posted on May 15, 2017
The Howler Mutations laboratory is at it again. This time we pollinated a little celebration of the most misunderstood creature since the shark: the glorious little bee. We stir up the buzz with a Beehive Snapback and Gaucho Snapshirt embroidered with fine looking bees. Both are limited edition and sweet as honey.
Inspired by Howler Ambassador, Kameron Brown, who keeps bees and is a outspoken advocate for bees and their importance in nature, we wanted to pay homage to these honey-makers. We decided that a portion of proceeds from the sale of these products will go to benefit preservation and efforts to support colony collapse disorder, or CCD.
To capture this new shirt in action, we sent our lens-wielding amigo Jonathan Nimerfroh to snap Kam tending his hives in his native SoCal. Hard to get better than that.
Posted on April 28, 2017
This film was produced in collaboration with the good people at The Inertia and Shaper Studios This article originally appeared on The Inertia under the title "From Surfing to Fishing to Beekeeping, Kameron Brown Has Found His Happy Place"
“Do you fish at all?” Kam was paddling back toward me at the top of the point on his knees. He’d just gotten a sick wave and was making small talk.
“I’ve actually been thinking a lot recently about getting into fly fishing. It looks super fun,” I said. Kam looked at me and smiled.
“I know a guy who’s really into fly fishing,” he said.
Kameron Brown is into a lot of things, but calling it that falls short of capturing the passion with which the guy dives into them. Beyond surfing and fishing, Kam tends to a garden of fruits and veggies around his home in San Juan Capistrano, hunts in the hills of Orange County, brews his own kombucha, keeps bees, has built a tiny home on his dad’s property off of Ortega Highway, and works full time as a roofing contractor. Oh, and he’s also shaped a few of his own surfboards.
In the short day we spent with Kam, it became clear that when he finds something new that he enjoys, he goes all in – learning as much as he can about the process, watching Youtube videos, and reading books. He’s also quick to share his love for things with others. Probably because he knows how much enjoyment he gets out of what he does, and just wants others to experience that joy, too.
And what’s amazing about Kam is that surfing, fishing, and hunting have all transformed the way in which he interacts with and sees his landscape. In the water, for example, we got to talking more about fly fishing, how one gets started, etc. “My buddies and I can’t wait to fly fish for carp in the L.A. River,” he said.
“Wait, you can fish in the L.A. River?” I had no idea.
“Yeah! You don’t eat the fish, obviously. But fishing for carp on the fly is super fun.”
That blew my mind. A body of water I drive over nearly every day without thinking twice suddenly had new meaning.
The guy also hunts locally, which was totally surprising even though I grew up in Orange County.
Since meeting Kam, I’ve started to look around at my environment differently – of course, not with any sort of expertise. But I’ll look at a river and wonder “Do people fish there?” or some rolling hills and wonder, “What kind of animals roam here?”
Literally and metaphorically, Kameron Brown sees things people around him don’t see precisely because he does things people around him don’t do. That doesn’t deter him though. The best part is, he’d be psyched to teach you everything he knows. All you have to do is ask.
Editor’s Note: This feature was made possible by our friends at Howler Brothers in anticipation of Shaper Studios’ Self Shape Festival happening this Saturday, April 29 at Seaside Reef in Encinitas, California.