Old Republic Outfitters, much like the podcast, was an outgrowth of the Cast Your Faith trips. A website for the business is in the works, but for now, most of their marketing is word of mouth.
“And we have a little bit of success in terms of bringing in people and kind of getting the logistics of getting outfitting down,” Lawrence says.
Old Republic Outfitters provides guided kayak trips and equipment for anyone interested in fly fishing.
“We do offer kayak fishing trips on some of your larger waters. We don’t really do any private water fishing, which in Texas is pretty much people’s farm ponds,” Christian says.
The 1992 film A River Runs Through It may come to mind at the mention of faith and fly fishing. The characters in the film, played by Brad Pitt and Craig Sheffer, cast their fly reels with a special technique and use artificial fly baits to catch fish, like trout, red drum and other fish in rivers.
“Me and a good friend of mine, we had watched the movie; we were obsessed,” Jacobie says. “And my family has been going down to New Braunfels. There’s a really well-known fly shop down there that we’d always kind of ducked our heads into, but now we’d seen A River Runs Through It
, so we were convinced that we needed to learn how to fly fish.”
Together, the trio have hosted fellowship fly fishing trips with men from St. James — and across Dallas — for the past three years.
On these Thursday through Sunday trips, men — typically aged 21 to 71 — are encouraged to try their hand at fly casting, decompress from the noise in life and share stories they wouldn’t share in a church setting.
“We’ve noticed that the focus should be more on mental health: men’s mental health, and how we can help each other and support each other in those daily endeavors,” Christian says.
“We found that the magic combination for all of us guys that go on these trips is as soon as we light the campfire, after two, three beers, someone will ask a question. Once that first question is, not even asked but just brought up, everybody else kind of feels comfortable enough to share something that’s bothering them.”
Those shared experiences and suggestions from fellow fishers sparked a fire of inspiration in the trio, particularly Chris-tian, to start a podcast and share their stories with anyone who’s interested.
“What happened was we went to the Texas Freshwater Fly Fishing Fest, and then I came to you guys as soon as I heard our voice being broadcast nationwide,” Christian says. “And I said, ‘Hey, guys, we should do this (podcast).’”
Lawrence says otherwise.
“I mean, the depth of my recollection on the matter is I got a text message on a Wednesday that said, ‘Hey, just want to let you know we’re recording our podcast on Saturday.’ Did I miss something?”
At the helm of the podcast is Christian, with a southern drawl and a booming laugh. His fellow hosts are quick to point him out as the goofiest.
Lawrence comes in a close second with the voice of a sports broadcaster. His voice was also a contender for Big Tex last year, but someone else landed the part.
The softest voice of the hosts, Jacobie speaks with a calming caliber, a contrast that provides balance to the whole podcast.
DFW isn’t quite known for fishing, so where do they fish?
It may come as a surprise to learn that fly fishing can actually be done anywhere. That includes White Rock Lake and White Rock Creek, which happens to be the guys’ go-to spots for fly fishing on their own time.
“If there’s a fish there, I’m gonna go after it, and Clay’s the one that kind of got me doing that,” Jacobie says. “You don’t have to take a trip to these places, but I like doing that too. But that idea of ‘I’m going to hop in White Rock Creek and catch 6-inch-long bass,’ for me that is a real stress relief type of activity right, and you can do it quickly.”
Christian goes as far as to say he’s fished drainage ditches and caught fish.
“You’ve got to remember your odds exponentially increase on catching a fish when you’re in the water.”
It all started with a phone recording in 2021 for the first couple of episodes. Now they’re using professional mics and equipment.
They’ve come to agree that episode seven, otherwise known as “The Mother-in-Law” episode, is their favorite of the 19 currently released.
Their guests have been just as colorful and unique as their fishing trips, which have reached Bolivia at one point (Frederico Marancenbaum, co-owner of Angling Frontiers) and included a herpetologist and Mitch Kempe, or Fly Fish Mitch.
The language isn’t always family-friendly but no different than listening to a few buddies chatting at the bar or over a barbecue hangout.
“We didn’t lay down very good ground rules about the vocabulary that was and was not appropriate for a podcast. And some of us, myself included, slipped up and took some liberties,” Lawrence says.
“We went back and listened to it and we asked Jeff to edit it and edit that out and he goes, ‘Yeah, if I edited it out, it would just sound like one long bleep.’ We had to rein in ourselves with some level of broadcasting professionalism.”
The podcast was on hiatus starting February since Lawrence and Jacobie were pursuing their master mason licenses. Basically, it’s the highest of the three degrees in masonry that you can get.
The Cast Your Faith podcast can be found on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and YouTube.