Travis Martin Artist Collaboration

The Project

Travis is a Texas Hill Country-based artist, designer, and fly fishing bum. After using his CRC System fly rod carrier for some time, Travis noticed that the reel housing bore a striking resemblance to a fish tail. It's no coincidence this was actually the starting point of the original design of the CRC System profile. So when Travis reached out to us with an idea for some scientifically accurate, custom fish skin style graphics for the carriers, we were stoked!

Learn more about Travis and what makes him tick in his bio below.

Meet The Artist

Words and images by Travis Martin

“Got-damned Yankees!”

That’s what I heard the guy on the sparkly blue glitter bass boat shout as he and his buddy screamed past my spot on the bank of the reservoir, throwing a considerable wake which churned the chocolate-colored water into which I was casting my foam popper an even thicker mixture of mud. That encounter encapsulates my experience growing up fly fishing in the South as a kid in the early 90s.
I grew up in the Piney Woods of East Texas where no one had ever heard of fly fishing, and if they had, considered it a “weird Northern thing for trout.” My dad was a fly fisherman, something his father randomly took up in the 60s and taught him. When I was 12 my dad gave me my first fly rod - a brownish fiberglass Shakespeare so thick you could’ve knocked down a charging Cape buffalo with it. He tied a beer tab onto the end of my tippet and said once I could hit a hat at 25 feet, I was ready to fly fish. From that moment on, I spent countless days on muddy banks dodging water moccasins and swatting mosquitos in search of bluegill and largemouth, all the while dreaming of pristine mountain streams and holy trout.
After casually attending and dropping out of a few colleges, I joined the Coast Guard and moved to Seattle where the crystal trout water I’d dreamt of as a kid was now only a short 30-minute drive east to the Cascades. There I went from popper plopping to finessing finicky trout and learning what a hatch was.
Upon my return to Texas, I discovered the thrill of sight casting to tailing redfish with a fly, which to me was more like hunting than fishing.
Over the years I’ve had more jobs than relationships, from rodeo cowboy to writer, to commercial pilot, but making art and fly fishing have always worked their way to the surface of whatever it was I was doing. In 2015, I left the concrete Thunderdome which is Houston for the rolling Texas Hill Country where the ancient karst geology creates one of the largest spring-fed river systems in the U.S., second in size only to the Ozarks. I chose to pursue my passions of art and fly fishing and have been doing one of the two almost every day since.
Things have changed quite a bit since that day at the muddy reservoir with the sparkly bass boat man. Now Central Texas has at least one fly shop in every town with a fishable river (and even some that aren’t fishable). I am fortunate to be a part of the culture of this sport as it continues to grow and evolve here in Texas and abroad. Using art to express another art can be tricky, but what artist (or fly fisher) worth their salt doesn’t like a challenge? Fly fishing - and the experience that it provides is what drives me and I can’t imagine doing anything else. This is good because I don’t possess the patience required to be a decent guide and I’m too old to rodeo.
Travis lives in Wimberley with his fiancee Melissa in the heart of Texas river country.

Huge Thanks To Travis

The team here at Trxstle absolutely loves the talent and work ethic that Travis brings to the table. In addition to the artist series fish skins that Travis produced for this collaboration, he also makes lots of other artsy stuff. Things like logos, ads, signs, magazines, illustrations, t-shirts, brochures, and pretty much anything else involving design and typography.

If you're interested in seeing more of Travis Martin's work, or hiring Travis for your next project, click the button below.

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