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"Life is meant to be an adventure, not a routine."
Photo by Stephanie Parsley
Capt. Rouse and I made a quick trip to Supreme Boats to pick up the new Predator drift boat. It will be making the journey to Colorado next week! The drive was beautiful and we had a blast. Rob Williams is the owner of Supreme, Shawnee, and Predator and has just moved into a new warehouse where they manufacture the boats that JRFFA uses exclusively. Jamie had to inspect the riverboats, of course. He is contemplating the 16 foot Shawnee for his next.
As a side note, Capt. Rouse looks quite sporty in the Rouse by fayettechillco, and I really would have loved to take the VW bus with us! The bus was not for sale.
Connor Dykes worked his way through a 12a this weekend at Cave Creek. Photograph by Sam J Matthews.
The Lost Boys Chronicles are a collection of stories, recaps, and journal entries shared by those who work at Fayettechill. Each one offers its own unique perspective into Fayettechill, a world created by those following their hearts and passions into the unknown. We hope that these stories will be windows both into what we are doing and why we are doing it. We hope that they make you want to create stories that inspire you to write them down. And always, we hope that you grow our community and share stories of your own making with us and others.
We might not know where we are going tomorrow, but we are happy from what we have learn today. These are the Lost Boy Chronicles.
My brother Devin has always had a way with gifts. So while I was initially surprised at receiving a fly fishing rod (an item I had only seen and never actually used) for my birthday last May, I trusted he knew me well enough to know I’d enjoy it. Soon he laid out the plan to go to Heber Springs for a day full of yoga and fishing, and before I knew it we were on 540 South with the setting sun in the rear view mirror.
My eager expectations for the weekend were met by a rocky start. Long lines, missed exits, and setbacks galore threatened to stall out our adventure. Trading off driving duty through the night, we eventually arrived at our campsite around 1:30am. Three and a half hours before the sunrise yoga class, barely enough time for a cycle of sleep. We set up our Kammoks, and within seconds I was out.
And in the next moment I was up once more, awakening almost as fast as I had fallen asleep. Emerging from our nylon cocoons, we crept into our cars to begin a dark and quiet drive. Espresso shots were worth their weight in gold at this point, and I savored mine as such. We soon arrived at Sugarloaf Mountain, an area equally sweet in name and sight, and complimentary to my morning drink.
The incline of the trail did not care that it was barely five in the morning. I quickly shed layers to appease the heat the exertion created, and each of my breaths was short and shallow. I said less than ten words the whole way up. Through several narrow crevices with tricky footwork and limited light, we finally reach the flat top of the trail.
Just Breathe Yoga guided a gentle class of over 25 participants. Spanning over three sections divided by fissures, the class makeup ranged wildly in age and experience. Yet all were in awe of the scene spun out of the mist reflecting the waking sun’s warmth. After class there was quite of bit of socializing among participants, which I’ve found to be common after sharing such an extraordinary experience. These events, the ones that push you outside your comfort zone, tend to lead you to interact with others of adventurous mindsets, and the attraction is magnetic. Strangers become friends in mere moments. Obstacles are both physically and mentally overcome. Time stands still just long enough for you to enjoy the simplicity of it all. These events are about much more than yoga, and somehow everyone seems to know it.
The group eventually dispersed to soak in the numerous scenic overlooks. One of the local breakfast shop owners offered free coffee and pastries to all on the mountain, which incited simultaneous smiles across the group. Finally we began our descent, and by nine in the morning I was assured that I would never think of the day as wasted.
Once back to our campsite, we met with our fly fishing guide and FC athlete Jaime Rouse. A bottomless wealth of information and wisdom, he set up our Orvis rods while dropping pro tips like candy. Fully stocked and stoked, we got on to a river I had heard and seen so much about despite never visiting; the Little Red.
With lingering mist abound, we began to practice casting technique. The motion is as elegant as it is difficult, but under Jaime’s guidance we were able to set our lines adequately. Jaime was adamant that Devin and I be the first to catch a fish on our own rods, and thankfully within the first 30 minutes we caught a pair of rainbow trout. The morning was full of analogies for technique (flicking mashed potato for casting being my favorite), learning an entirely new vocabulary, and pleasant exchanges with other river occupants.
I made numerous mistakes. My line tangled on itself, my hook at one point seemed more at home on my shorts than in the water, and I encountered knots of Gordian proportions. In each case Jamie calmly explained what went wrong, and fixed the problem with ease. There was frustration when missing a prime section due to a time consuming mistake, but in each one was a lesson that had to be learned. Soon the lack of food and the rising heat caught up with us, and we pulled into the shade for lunch.
We ate delicious meals prepacked by Fish Food, a super cool start up company who sets up fishermen with a full days worth of boat worthy food. As we relaxed and ate, we discussed the innately intriguing nature of Jaime’s long time occupation as a guide. His clientele includes CEOs, chemists, and doctors from all over the world. Each one was drawn to fly fishing under different circumstances, but all were looking for the unique type of relaxation it offers. I am incredibly grateful my first fly fishing experience was under such excellent guidance, and soon the fruits of his lessons came to bear.
I don’t know if it was beginner’s luck, some super potent bait Jaime used, or if I was actually starting to get the hang of it, but after lunch there was an absolute frenzy of fish to be caught. Jaime put us in perfect positions with his encyclopedic knowledge of the river’s sweet spots. Rarely did my line stay out longer than fifteen minutes without at least a nibble, and by the end of it I had caught roughly a dozen. Towards the end of the day came the crown jewel; a rambunctious rainbow trout that bitterly fought for every inch of line. Breaching the surface several times, I eventually steered it closer and closer towards us until we were finally able to bring it into the boat. Jaime aptly described it as, ”a noble warrior fighting for what it felt was its life,” and I fought and respected it as such. But lucky for him, the Little Red River is strictly a catch and release river, and after a quick photo op, the big guy was back on his way. We returned soon after, and I had an ear to ear grin that felt as if it would never fade.
The exhilaration of fly fishing shocked me. It demanded focus, patience, and subtle movements in a way unlike anything else I’ve done. You feel connected to the fish at the end of the line far beyond just the faint physical line that lies between you. Every twitch and turn of the fish reverberates from the rod through your body, and it almost feels as a dance of sorts. I cannot wait until my next outing.
We arrived back at camp around five, and it felt like I’d been awake for days. Swaying in the shade we relaxed in our hammocks, and reflected on the day. Its always amazing to realize just how much you can put into your day, how deep you can feel each moment. The world quickly melted away once again as my brother and I took a much needed nap in our Kammoks before driving back to Fayetteville. I had done an old favorite activity in yoga, and found a new passion in fly fishing all within one day. Needless to say, Devin’s gift went well beyond a rod and reel.
Written by Brian O’Dea
Photography provided by Matt Paladino
"Replace fear of the unknown with curiosity."
Tapping the Ozarks is a student-produced documentary about the growing craft brew scene in Northwest Arkansas.
Our next outdoor yoga class is June 13th. You won’t want to miss this one. Sign up online: fayettechill.com
Product Review | Verano Hat:
When designing for this current collection, we tried to think of the perfect Summer hat. One that is going to be worn while sweating and always in contact with water. The hat is all mesh and allows for premiere breathability and has a patented Q3 wicking sweatband. The brim and patch are a herringbone patten with a raised embroider. This hat is my favorite that we have ever designed, and goes with our most important design aspect of creating a multifunctional product. - Mo
Check out the hat here:
We spent a full day on the Little Red River with fly fisherman and river captain, Jamie Rouse. Matt Milner, Jamie’s first mate, was on board as well. A day on the river is not just about catching fish. It’s about the experience, the memories that are made, and lessons that the river teaches you.
"The Pasture" was graciously provided by Elephant Revival: elephantrevival.com/
Check out the rest of there tunes here: itunes.apple.com/us/artist/elephant-revival/id291021331
Canon 5d mkii
Canon 35mm f/1.4L
Canon 14mm f/2.8L
Gini Rig Advance 17 Shoulder Rig
Blake Strickland shows us his catch of the day!
Great shot from Trent Sugg of Ben Putman bouldering at Hazel Valley Ranch.
The Rouse button down is named after our FC athlete Jamie Rouse. Some of our employees are out fly fishing with him this weekend and I couldn’t be more pleased with how this pattern and color turned out.
Check out Jamie Rouse & crew here:
Link to the Rouse button up shirt:
"As I travel along the Fjords of Alaska miles from anywhere I find myself in a dream. As the dark green ocean passes beneath me I lose myself in the waves, in the waterfalls and the trees. Into the cool mist I drift:
From thousands of miles away we are a family. A family of like minded people driven to like minded places. To share ourselves with the world and to show the world there is something special in just being a person, in living our lives in the best way we see fit. The pricelessness of being a modern day vagabond, living, and loving on the move. We are the ones who take value In being good and loving one another for what each of us hold dear. We don’t yet focus on how we are different but relish in the fact that for the most part we are the same. Our passions bring us closer together even when our lifestyles inevitably send us further apart. Our love for the rocks, and the sea, of imagery. We live for the anticipation of tomorrow even if we don’t know what it brings. With that and much more we take our lifestyle to all corners of the globe and we tread lightly upon the cultures of the people we have the pleasure of meeting. With a feeling of mutual respect we share our world. We live outdoors in this mutual experience we call life. We fear but alas we love every second of it.
We are friends.
We are family.”