Captain's Log

Veteran's Day on the Little Red River

I recently had one of the most memorable experiences in my 20+ year fishing career and I thought today would be an appropriate time to share the story. As many of you may know, I'm an armed forces veteran and so is my right hand man, David Hudson. We are passionate about giving back to our brothers and sisters who protect this country. It's something we're very passionate about, which is why we jumped at the chance to host a Project Healing Waters fishing tournament here on the Little Red River last week.

For those who don't know about Project Healing Waters, it's a program dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military service personnel and disabled veterans through fly fishing and associated activities including education and outings. We invited the River City group to join us at here at Lobo Landing Resort for a few days to fish and relax. On this trip, we had combat wounded vets from the Army, Navy and Marines.

On my first day with the crew, I had the pleasure of hosting John and Vincent. We made fast friends and wasted no time before heading out to try and land the big one. We started fishing - with only fly rods, no spin fishing - and we fished all day long to only catch a few. The water was low, we couldn't hit some of my favorite spots and that means very stressful day for a guide. And in this situation, the stress was even higher. I really wanted these guys to catch a ton of fish. The fish counter didn't matter to my group, we got to know each other and exchange some old military stories. I shared a few stories of my own, but my stories didn't compare. These boys were all combat wounded vets and I'm blessed to have never been sent into combat.

The following day was the fishing tournament and the rules were simple:

  1. You only count  the five largest fish
  2. Brown Trout counted as double size

I wanted to take my guys after the Browns. Thankfully we had some water generation the night before and we could hit a couple of my favorite spots. We started a little slow that morning but the nets started warming up pretty quickly. Vincent stuck with me on day two and he started reeling them in. We parked the boat and spent most of our time wading in the river. At one point he said Beau, I like this wade fishing

Vincent showing off one of his trophy Rainbow Trout

Vincent showing off one of his trophy Rainbow Trout

Vincent was the hero that day, in more ways than one. My buddy netted three Browns and two Rainbows, giving him a total of 106 inches of fish!  When we were done fishing, we headed back to Lobo Landing for the awards ceremony and photos. I kept telling Vincent that he had a very good chance of winning this tournament, and when they got to first place, they called out his name! I gave him a huge hug afterwards and congratulated him. The expression on his face was priceless and I will never forget it. 

Vincent's celebration after hearing his name called for first place

Vincent's celebration after hearing his name called for first place

In some ways, I struggle with calling myself a veteran because I never served time in combat. My time in the Army is one of the best memories in my life and I met some great men and women. I know in my heart that my experience in the Army made me the man I am today. It taught me courage, honor and integrity. It's there that I learned to push myself to reach my goals in life. I'm grateful for the time I spent with these gentlemen. They brought back a lot of memories for me and helped remind me why it's so important to give back to our veterans.

Vincent, William, Tim, John, JT; I'm already looking forward to next year!

Special thanks to the other two guides. David Hudson, Beau's Guide Service and Phil Landry, Arkansas Trout Fishing Guide.


Nice Outfitter You Have On

Let's talk about fashion. Ok, maybe not fashion, but we are going to talk about wearable gear when you're out exploring the natural state. Are you in?

Raise your hand if you own an article of clothing made in Arkansas. I bet most of you waved your hand in the air (like you just didn't care). I think every member of my family owns an article of clothing made in Arkansas. We're proud of our home and that means we want to support Arkansas businesses.

When we launched this guide service, I had a few goals in mind. They're intentionally simple and, like any good goal, achievable and realistic. 

  1. Give people a fishing experience unlike anything they could find in Arkansas
  2. Find partners who are as passionate about the outdoors and the natural state as we are
  3. Always use the best gear available
  4. Have fun

According to our customers, we have numbers 1, 3 and 4 mastered. We're awfully proud of that.

We've been working really hard on number 2. For us, that means working with people who make the best products for our business. That also means teaming up with folks who have the same principles and purpose for their business. Today, we're proud to announce our first partnership and you're going to LOVE IT! 

We are proud to announce that we are the official Rock Monkey Outfitters trout guide service. We have spent a lot of time with the #TeamRockMonkey and we love those guys. They have the same vision to share the love of the outdoors with every Arkansan - and beyond.

We're going to kick off the partnership with a Summer Giveaway, so keep an eye on our Facebook and Instagram pages. We'll also be sporting their gear on the boat and sharing that with some of our clients. Keep an eye out for the new summer line, we'll be sporting it starting next week. If you want to snag some for yourself, do it here and tell them we sent you. Comment below and tell us your favorite item in their shop.

 

Something Sounds Fishy

Experience is the core of what we're doing with this guide service. Sure, we catch fish and we catch lots of them. We know that's why you hire us. But for us, it goes deeper than that. We genuinely want you to have a good time. We want you to step back on dry land saying that's one of the best experiences I've ever had. We call that success.

How do we provide the best guided fishing experience on the Little Red? We can't tell you that, it's our secret. You'll have to fish with us to get the whole story. What we will tell you is that music is a big part of our trips. I've been thinking about that lately, so I thought I would hop on and share one of my newest playlists, Trout l Tempo.

Trout I Tempo Playlist

We keep a UE Mini Boom bluetooth speaker on the boat at all times. You can request this playlist, bring your own or even request that we make one just for your trip. We'll make it happen because we understand, life really does need a soundtrack. 

So go ahead, put together a playlist that's so perfect the fish will be chomping your hook just to jam and send it our way. We'll have it ready for you on our trip. Until then, enjoy this playlist and comment below to recommend more tunes for us.