CONVERSATIONS THAT CASUALLY GET TO THE HEART OF IT ALL
Listen along as legendary Texan and fly fishing guide JT Van Zandt drifts through the important things in life with iconic guests. Much like the nature of a guide and client passing time on a drift boat, conversations here meander through life, the wild, personal philosophies, hardships and triumphs, and of course some fishing too.
They say Roy is the idea man and Ryan is the outdoor consumer, but both brothers share a “never settle” attitude passed down from their entrepreneur dad and hardworking mom. It’s that relentless mindset that made them lose sleep over what the ultimate cooler might look like, and finally, grab the tiger by the tail and build one the world had never seen.
Where do you go after “national champion”? Kimi talks with JT about her shift away from her successful competitive spearfishing career towards where she is now – in a position to shine a light on being in harmony with the ecosystem as both a conservationist and a hunter.
Shep Gordon is a humble Hollywood agent, producer, and talent agent who describes his life as “knee-jerk reactions”. But as the creator of celebrity chef and manager of household names like Alice Cooper and Blondie, we’d say his judgment calls are one to trust. Tune in as Shep shares his intriguing life journey — from getting punched by Janis Joplin to Elvis’ unexpected inspiration to his incredibly honest take on love.
From Guyana to Jackson Hole, fishing and even finance, Oliver White’s unique story traverses the dilemma of “goin’ all around, or just stayin’ put” – a challenge familiar to fatherhood. Since the recording of this episode, Hurricane Dorian devastated parts of the Bahamas, none worse hit than the island of Abaco and the lodge there built and run by Oliver. The stories in this conversation pertain to Abaco, pre-storm.
Mike Spalding is one of two people on the planet to swim all nine channels of the Hawaiian islands, the only known human to be bitten by the cookiecutter shark, and a big advocate for human compassion. Drift along as he recounts a string of life stories with JT, uncovering advice from the Pope, the real enemy of the water, and the time his friend accidentally swallowed a jellyfish.
Jako Lucas – a renowned fly guide from South Africa – and JT, a long-time Texan, discuss the South African way, and what being a guide affords. In this episode there’s a lot of talk about fish, legacies, and what the flats are for.
Fame is a strange and relative thing. After years of being the underdog and playing songs to no one, Margo shares that there’s still the feeling that, at any moment, it could all disappear. According to JT, there’s not a chance.
According to her, she’s just there to make the boat go fast. And that she does – breaking records in Hawaiian open-ocean paddling, and qualifying for and competing in the Olympics. Lauren Spalding and JT discuss balance and being a top athlete who understands that having a beer after is what it’s all about.
Two long time fishing buddies do what they do best – talk about fishing. Go way back with Alvin and JT as they reminisce about punk rock, share their principles on being a jerk, and talk about the good ol’ days, when real confrontation meant the threat of getting punched in the face.
JT interviews Dan Malloy, the youngest of the Malloy brothers surfing family. Dan tells of how an injury on the waves led him to redefine his passion for the sport and how being in touch with both land and sea helped him find meaning in the throes of depression.
Wyman Meinzer, the official state photographer of Texas, reminisces with JT about making the switch from shooting with a rifle to shooting with a lens, the close encounter that changed the course of his career, and how critical it is, especially now, to pull up a chair and listen to a storied neighbor tell their tale.
Actor and filmmaker Ethan Hawke joins JT for an intimate conversation on art and living, on fathers, stepfathers, and becoming fathers. Ethan tells stories about directing his film Blaze, the Blaze Foley biopic.
Remi is a hunter and conservationist who’s spent “an assload of time in the woods.” With JT, he discusses surviving a Kodiak bear attack and the virtues of self-reliance, which are, incidentally, unrelated topics.
Eat. Sleep. Bull riding. Every day. Host JT digs into the wisdom that JB’s gleaned over the years as a seasoned (and tenderized) bull rider, on raising a tough-as-hell daughter, plus an injury report that should come with a listener warning.
Hilary isn’t apologetic about much – not for high-fives and raucousness on the water, or for remembering the fish her clients catch but not her own. She and JT drift from her early years as a kid at-large, to becoming a better angler, and her plans for the end of the world.
Jimmy is an outrageously accomplished climber and filmmaker who got where he is by trusting his instincts. JT and Jimmy cover the transition from Yosemite ski bum to pro photographer and filmmaker, and the risk calculus that comes with being a dad.
Dan is no stranger to an interview-style conversation. But this time it’s different. He and JT are both Texans, and meet again in the great state – their first time was on a bass fishing trip down the Colorado – to talk career motivation and staying optimistic despite living in concerning times.