In 1984, on the Haffjardara River in Iceland, Ralph Duggins cast a line against 30-mile-per-hour gusts, working to catch an Atlantic salmon. “I had to forget the wind and get with it pretty quickly if I was going to be able to get my fly out there,” Duggins said. It was his first time fly-fishing—and a cold introduction—but after a couple of days with no luck, Duggins finally hauled in a beauty, marking the beginning of a beloved hobby. Even now, decades after that trip, Duggins maintains that patience is one of the most challenging aspects of fly-fishing. This doesn’t stop him from pursuing the sport—and the next great catch.
Duggins, a partner in Cantey Hanger in Fort Worth, has a love for nature that dates back to his childhood in Missouri, where he grew up visiting his grandparents’ Ozark lodge on the Gasconade River. Using a cane pole and live bait, he would fish with his grandfather, Dru Pippins, who, for many years, served as chair of the Missouri Conservation Commission. Today, Duggins is vice chair of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission, and his passion for outdoor recreation remains strong—especially when it comes to fly-fishing.
Duggins returned to Iceland several times following his initial excursion, and the prospect of more Atlantic salmon has taken him to the Ponoi River in Russia. In Colorado, Montana, and Alaska, he fishes for trout. And he fondly recalls visits to the Florida Keys, where he has used a fly rod to land tarpon—boney fish that can weigh more than 100 pounds. Closer to home, in Rockport, Duggins pursues redfish. “It’s gotten crowded because so many people enjoy it, but it can be darn good,” Duggins said of the local hotspot.
When it comes to selecting gear and prepping for a fishing trip, Duggins says he considers . . .
To read the entire article by Hannah Kiddoo, go to the Texas Bar Journal.