Posted on June 27, 2017
The colors of the sky changes 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.
Posted on April 5, 2017
Think this is for you? Want to know more? Then, consider these points below:
- We are looking for two people. Applicants MUST apply in pairs, know each other and have a history of getting along while spending time together in small spaces like vans and hotel rooms.
- Both applicants must have a valid driver’s license with a strong driving record and background. We are going to run all of these screens so please consider this before jumping in. Both applicants must be at least twenty-one (21) years of age by June 1, 2017.
- You must be available and free to travel from June 5 – August 15. We know everyone has things going on so we will do our best to accommodate your trip back home to go to Cousin Lanny’s third wedding. BUT, generally, you must commit for this entire time period.
- We want self-starters and hard workers. This is FAR from a typical Summer gig at some investment firm, but you will not always have someone from Howler accompanying you, getting you out of bed and giving you instruction. You will often be in charge of moving from place to place, creating your own agenda and generating creative content from your adventures.
- We love people who are handy with cameras and video cameras and that are generally savvy on things like Go-Pro cameras, video editing, social media and the written word. We also like capable people who can do things like tie knots, change tires, sketch, hang banners, "MacGyver stuff", and get barreled.
- We want professional and responsible people. You will represent Howler Brothers at events and trade shows, sell our goods, handle money and drive a van with our logo emblazoned on the side. Most of this will be fun but this is no boondoggle.
- This is a great way to build a creative resume of video, social media and digital content.
Posted on March 20, 2017
It was high time we added a lad from right here in Central TX to the Howler Ambassador roster. Anyone who has fished the waters around Austin, TX knows Alvin Dedeaux and his company All Water Guides. Or maybe you crossed paths with him during his annual summer stint with Vail Valley Anglers in Colorado. In case you don’t know him, we caught up with him recently so you could get to know the man.
Most fly guides end up getting lured away from places like Central Texas for seemingly more exotic locales. What keeps you around Texas?
For starters, Texas is home. No matter where I go I never regret coming home. I can be having a great time and thinking I don't want it to stop, but as soon as I turn the car around or get on that first flight, I start thinking about what I'm gonna do when I get back to Austin. Where I'm gonna drink that first margarita or eat that first plate of enchiladas. Then there's the fishing. Not too many places have year round fishing like we do here in Central Texas. Hundreds of miles of bass rivers, trout in the winter and some of the best redfishing in the world just a few hours away.
You used to be in the band Bad Mutha Goose. We have a little bit of a musical pedigree ourselves. You ever get out there and sing for the people anymore?
I sing real loud in the car. I sing my kids to sleep.
You’ve got the day off, what’s in store?
I might sleep late and go fishing, or I might wake up early and go fishing.
Bad Brains, Bad Company, Bad Religion. Pick 2.
Bad Brains and Bad Company.
TexMex or BBQ?
TexMex for sure, unless I can get some TexMex BBQ
What were some of your favorite things about the recent trip to Costa Rica?
All kinds of stuff. The ocean with the mountains in the background. My first time on a surfboard (definitely not the last time!). Roosterfish smashing the surface. The fish tacos. Mountain snook. Mostly just hanging with a bunch of cool dudes, eating good food and drinking beers.
Your client asks you about Howler Bros. What do you say? (Shameless plug section)
I tell them Howler makes cool technical fishing gear that you can wear to the bar or restaurant after fishing and look cool, not look like a dork. Also, the fact that they are based here in Austin makes it even cooler.
You can see Alvin in action in the film "The Devils" below by our friends at YETI. Be sure to check out Alvin's feed on Instagram for plenty of action from Central Texas and beyond.
Posted on March 2, 2017
We are so pleased to present our Spring 2017 collection. Inspired by trips to faraway, tropical lands and the discovery of unspoiled locations known only to locals, this new line was put to the test down in Costa Rica by a few of our Brothers. Surfing, fishing, pick-up soccer games, getting lost and finding sunsets. The Spring 2017 Collection delivered. Put it to the test.
HEED THE CALL