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.
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