The Slayer Of Giants

The Slayer Of Giants

Andy Dear | Thursday, 24 September 2020

Part of the reason I am drawn to the craft of fishing is for the simple fact that it offers the ”do-it-yourselfer” the opportunity to be involved in so many hands-on aspects of the act itself. Most fly anglers at some point will try their hand at tying flies, and for those with the inclination and the patience, may even try their hand at building their own rods. And for the angler who prefers conventional tackle, the arts of lure painting and soft bait pouring have also seen an explosion in popularity in the last 10 years as well.

 During my first few years in the sport, I took this do it yourself mentality to the extreme, and absolutely refused to hire a fly fishing guide to reduce the steep grade of the learning curve. Mind you, I had no problem hiring a guide if I was traveling to a destination where I had no local knowledge, but to hire a guide on my home waters in Texas? Not a chance. I was bound and determined to master the art of the long rod on my local waters with no outside help or influence. Granted I actually did have a fairly significant amount of success tormenting the local Redfish population on my own. However, it wasn’t until a moment of weakness found me in 2007, when I decided to enlist the expertise of a local who could show me some new water and elevate my skill set to a new level…enter Captain Freddy Lynch.

  I first ran across Freddy in an issue of the now defunct magazine Fly Fishing in Saltwaters back around 1996 or so. They used to run a one page profile in every issue on popular charter captains in various parts of the nation, who specialized in saltwater fly fishing. It was an interesting read, but I was still in college at the time and struggling to pay tuition, so to drop several hundred dollars on a fishing trip at that point in my life was just not an option. A few years later, after I started the rod building company, I had the privilege of building a rod for an attorney over in Houston by the name of Corey Haruylek. Corey had grown up in Florida and was a well-seasoned saltwater fly guy, but was looking to expand his sphere of knowledge beyond the Galveston Bay complex. He hired Freddy for a charter, and immediately upon return from the trip called me to say “This is the guy”. But my stubbornness would not relent, as it would be another 10 years before the siren’s call of unknown waters would break me.

  In April of 2007, I finally relented and called Freddy. To be honest our first trip was somewhat uneventful. It was cloudy, windy, and a bit chilly, but despite the marginal weather, we actually did catch a few fish. However, having experienced the unpressured Louisiana marsh just a few years before, the fishery I experienced on that trip to the Laguna Madre was far from impressive….at least that day it was. The slow fishing did however allow us to get to know one another, and as it turned out, Freddy and his Tournament partner Jeff Clarkson were looking for a rod manufacturer to sponsor them in their pursuits as full-time tournament anglers. I just happened to be looking to expand my product development business into a small production environment, so the timing was perfect. We hatched a plan to fish together again in May, and discuss the particulars of a possible business relationship.

  That was over 13 years ago, and not only was our business relationship profitable for both of us, my friendship with Freddy has been one of the most enduring of my adult life. From the day he poled me to 17 fly caught Redfish in less than 5 hours, to the time we almost died in a lightning storm in 9 mile hole (seriously), to watching my eight year old son take his first fly caught grand slam with Captain Lynch on the pole, it’s no understatement to say that many of the best experiences I have had with a fly rod in hand have been forged on the deck of Freddy’s skiff. And, as I look back on the years we've spent fishing together, our friendship is another perfect example how my involvement in the fishing rod business has made my life infinitely more interesting and enjoyable. To read more aboute Capt. Lynch click here:

Hope you're all having a great week,