By Marshall Coover
May 22, 2108 - Here at Duck Camp, we, like a lot of you, find ourselves getting a little stir crazy this time of year …Spring Turkey season is winding down, early Teal is still several months out, and it is starting to get HOT outside. Things reached a fever pitch last weekend after one of us got an earful from our wife about dragging out our hunting gear to organize it again (you know how that goes). So, we made the decision as a team to do the most responsible and constructive thing we could think of – take the day off work to head to the coast and get in a little fishing!
Now, you might be asking yourself, “I thought the name of your company was “Duck” Camp…why am I about to read a fishing story?” Well, it’s true that our current selection of products is tailored specifically for wingshooters, and duck/goose hunting is at the core of our soul. It’s also true that we see wingshooters as an underrepresented and underserved segment of the hunting population, and we are well underway to remedying that situation.
Whether its sight-casting for redfish in the Laguna Madre, spot and stalk hunting elk in the Wyoming open country or chasing scaled quail amidst the New Mexico broken mesas, what binds us together as a company and with our customers is deeper than any one activity. It’s about satisfying that primal need to get outside and clear your head. Or bringing your business partners down to fish the same water where you first learned how to fish. It’s about seeing new country, meeting new people and making lifelong memories. The arguments over the best flavor of sunflower seeds – you know, the important questions of the universe.
But I digress; back to the fishing. Any time you’re fly-fishing in salt water, beating the wind is a top priority. So we hit the water early, well before the wind topped out in the middle of the day. We headed north out of the marina at Port Aransas in a shallow-running skiff; we were out of the boat and fishing by 8 AM. The day’s spot was a network of sand and grass flats and saltwater ponds on the back side of St. Joe’s Island known as “Fence Lake.”
As the only one of us that had fished the area before, the pressure was on me to be the top rod, and I was already inside my own head by the time I saw my first redfish. If you’ve ever done it before, you know that fly-fishing is as much a mental game as it is a physical one, so psyching yourself out is a major concern. Even worse, not long after botching my first cast, I saw our Founder, Sim, with his fly rod doubled over getting tugged on by a nice size red.
“No sweat,” I tell myself…still plenty of time left in the day. Well, I don’t know if it was my mental game or if the fishing Gods just weren’t aligned in my favor, but I could not catch a break when it came to landing a red. And, as you can imagine, as a management team, bragging rights are highly valued, and Sim certainly exercised his on the way home. But at the end of the day, a mid-week trip to the coast is always a blast, even if you wind up having to listen to your partner gloat about out-fishing you on your home turf.