One day last week I received an invitation to head South on a short scouting mission for Mr. Tarpon and jumped at the chance to test some flies and equipment and perform some checks in order to prepare myself for some very cool clients coming into town soon to fish with me.
In the process I was fortunate enough to meet and spend some quality time with the great & legendary fly fisherman, Bud Rowland. His home is riddled with artifacts of grand proportion. A plethora of fly rods and reels, all with lines strung, flies tied to their leaders and ready to cast. They are strapped to the ceiling and walls like a high-grade weapons arsenal. Fiberglass replicas of colorfully massive fish jump out at you from every corner, some with long pointy harpoon-like bills, others baring fangs protruding from yellow mouths. Feeling like a kid in a candy shop, every miniscule item seemed to catch my attention.
Of course, with me being deprived of sleep, I didn’t prepare any questions for Bud in advance and thought that Bud might even be relieved if I did not bombard him with the same 20 questions he hears most frequently about his world record speckled trout which he bravely released. I also failed to even take a picture with Bud and myself… Lack of sleep can make things skip the mind. Nonetheless, it was an honor to hear some of his other stories and see many of the saltwater fly fishing relics and artifacts in his home, but the coolest part was just sitting quietly and listening to Bud talk about all the knowledge he has gained over the 40 years of fly fishing along the South Texas Coast.
Truly amazed, I did manage to ask him a few squid-like questions, like how he got into fly fishing, and how he ended up calling South Texas his home. A bamboo fly rod was his first fishing rod ever, and when it came for him to pull up his Wyoming/Kansas roots, he told me it was either Texas where he had family, or Australia. I was pleased to learn that he chose Texas and that the fishing and outdoor activities here rival those that can be found in the Outback.
He even called the South Texas Gulf Coast a “fly fisherman’s paradise”, bringing another big smile across my face which I tried to hold back to no avail. Upwards and onwards, I think to myself, that is the same reason why I moved to Port Aransas. It is a legendary fishing port, formerly known for its enormous runs of tarpon and many other species and even today quality fishing experiences can be had most any day of the year.
Then, suddenly, in the blink of an eye, I was back on the Texas Highways pavement heading back to Port Aransas with a few of Bud’s flies in my shirt pocket. I consider myself to be truly lucky for having met Bud, and I hope to see him again soon, either on my turf, or his.
The time is nigh, as tarpon are congregating outside the inlets and passes of the gulf, laying in wait to scarf down the next baker’s dozen of mullet as they run from the bulls. In October I have one set of dates left for prime-time tarpon fishing. This is one experience you should jump on like a PBR Cowboy and it is one that you will never forget as it takes a good amount of fortitude to battle these Silver Kings (and win).
Give me a call directly asap to get on the books and make sure to leave a message if I don’t answer! The phone stays on vibrate most of the day to keep from waking the family!Keeping the hooks sharp,
Captain Ken Jones
Port Aransas, TX
Certified Tourism Ambassador
Certified Wildlife Guide