Members of Guadalupe River Trout Unlimited raising money for trout all over America.
By Kirk Deeter
I love Texas. Always have, and always will. It’s hard to explain for someone who was born and raised on the Great Lakes far away from the Lone Star state, and has lived in Colorado for the past 20-plus years, but for many, many reasons, I have always felt at home in Texas. Of course, it ultimately boils down to the kind people and the beautiful places, and I got another healthy dose last weekend when I visited the Guadalupe River chapter of TU for their annual Troutfest in the beautiful Hill Country.
Now, I’ve learned that wherever you go to talk about trout, you’ll inevitably run into kindred spirits, and that’s a very good thing. But in Texas, and among the GRTU folks, it’s a bit more special. For the record, with nearly 6,000 members GRTU is the largest single chapter of TU. This, despite the fact that there admittedly ain’t a helluva lot of wild trout water in Texas. Fishing… Texas has in spades, and as a Field & Stream writer I have been to and enjoyed Texas on many occasions. But talking trout in Texas cuts right to the core.
Sure, that Guadalupe River is interesting, and cool, and it’s the southernmost trout fishery in the continental United States. Totally dig it.
But when these folks get together, and raise money, and all that, they inevitably are NOT thinking about themselves. They’re often thinking about trout, and trout fishing in places that takes them hours, and miles, and money to access. In a day when we live in such a “NIMBY” culture, how cool is it that there are people who are pouring time, and effort, and money into an ideal? Things that they just feel an affinity toward, whether they know they’re going to “tap it” or not?
Truth is, some of the greatest trout-fishing heroes in this world live in Texas. And if you’re a Colorado guy, or a Wyoming gal, and you get a little chapped off at the boat ramp next summer when you see some Texas plates in the lot, you need to chill out and understand how the bread really gets buttered.
I think Texas trout anglers are the most unselfish, magnanimous bunch in the world. And they also offer pretty darn good barbecue and music when you visit them. When they visit you, you should roll out the red carpet too. I know I will.
Kirk Deeter is the vice president of Trout Media and the editor of TROUT Magazine. He lives and works in the mountains west of Denver.