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Elite Pro Profile - Brent Hodges

By Sage Fly Fish

Texas native Brent Hodges started fly fishing at nine years old in Colorado with his grandpa, who introduced him to the sport. Ten years later at 19, Brent got his first guide gig across the country in Alaska, guiding for trout and salmon. He guided the King Salmon, Alagnak and Nushagak rivers in jet boats. He later returned to Texas to guide for trout and bass, using a drift boat. After obtaining his USCG Captain’s License and purchasing a polling skiff, he began his journey for tarpon and redfish in the saltwater flats along the Texas coast. By 2006 he started his own fly shop and Texas-based guide service out of Canyon Lake, located near the Guadalupe River, the southernmost trout stream in the country. ReelFly Fishing Adventures, an all-water guide service, caters to hundreds of clients each year from all over the world, from first-time flyfishermen and women to seasoned anglers. In 2013 Brent headed north to guide the Provo river for Rocky Mountain Outfitters. Brent just recently sold his guide service and fly shop to step back from the retail world and get back to his guiding roots. He’ll take trips in Texas in the winter and guide Utah’s Green River in the summer.

hometown

Canyon Lake, TX, in the beautiful Texas Hill Country

home waters

Texas - Guadalupe River, Colorado River, Devils River, and Port O’Connor on the Texas coast

Utah - Green River, Provo River.

local shop

target species

Trout, Bass, Tarpon, Redfish & Carp

perfect setups

5 wt Sage X with SPECTRUM reel (Trout); 7wt SALT HD with SPECTRUM MAX reel (Redfish), BASS II Bluegill with SPECTRUM MAX reel (Bass & Carp)

career highlights

I’m most proud that I created a local brand in ReelFly and am now a teacher of the sport. My wife Ashley and I started a fly fishing clinic several years ago and have introduced hundreds to the sport. I'm also proud of a 30-inch brown landed in Argentina, and a 100-plus pound tarpon in the Yucatan.

conservation work

Every day I’m on the river picking up trash and respecting nature and everything it gives us to enjoy, hoping to keep things as pure as they are for my two year-old son River to enjoy when he’s old enough to guide

philosophy on fly fishing

A culture that goes beyond catching a fish with a rod and reel becomes a lifestyle and passion for most!

one tip to improve one's fishing

Slow down and fish for one at a time. I made up an acronym for our clinics: E.N.J.O.Y. Evaluate the water. Notice the activity. Judge the river bottom and depth. Orient yourself to have the best success to fish a spot. Yield to your surroundings.

perfect day

Light north winds at the coast with rolling tarpon on a Tuesday or crisp Monday evening with only sounds of trout sipping caddis off the surface.

a good fishing story

I set out with a novice fisherman for a first-time attempt at redfish on the fly. The client (we will call Earl) advised me that although he had never caught a redfish on the fly, he had watched several videos and was ‘familiar with the tactics.’

We fired up the motor and headed to the flats. I went over my quick lesson on what to look for and how to be set up and ready once we approach. I told him the bow of the boat is 12 o’clock and 1, 2, and 3 o’clock are to the right and 11, 10, and 9 o’clock are to left, just like a clock. I also told him distance will be called in feet for a reference of where to look.

At the first pod of redfish sighted, I called out ‘1 o’clock, 20 feet moving left.’ I see Earl look down and then throw a mile away from the fish.

I ask, ‘Did you see another fish over there?’

‘No,’ he replied. ‘I thought that’s where you wanted me to cast.’

This went on and on and finally, I realized the problem. Every time I called a time and distance, he was looking at his watch and casting the direction from his wrist.

I almost fell off the platform laughing. I stopped the boat and went back up front to explain the bow/clock system again. He acted as if he understood and we went back to fishing.

‘Ok, 1 o’clock, 40 feet, huge redfish floating near the surface,’ I said. Again, he casted a mile away.

I said, ‘Earl, take your watch off.’

He replied, ‘How will I know where to cast?’

contact info