1 of 6
2 of 6
3 of 6
4 of 6
5 of 6
6 of 6
The phone rang. Dan Rather, former news anchor of CBS Evening News, was on the other end, calling from a payphone right outside of the Copano Provision Company. Nervousness and excitement flooded Naiser’s body; his first high-profile client was to be arriving at any moment.
After introductions and greetings were exchanged, Naiser confirmed that they were at the same location, and he will never forget the well-spoken Rather’s response to their serendipitous situation: “How fortuitous!” Naiser wasn’t sure how the trip would turn out after their initial greeting – was it a mistake to have left his pocket dictionary at home? The trip was a wild success, and it unexpectedly prepared him for the many high profile clients with whom he would guide thereafter.
It all started with a cane pole and a can of worms. Naiser grew up in East Bernard, a small, Bohemian farming community near Houston, where he would fish the local lakes and ponds, catching mainly bass. But, the bass were always predictable. When Naiser eventually fished saltwater for the first time during a family trip to Matagorda Bay near Chinquapin in his later youth,the game changed forever.
Suddenly, the catch was now unpredictable, where even a redfish could dramatically vary in size. “It had an allure to it, the allure of the Old Man and Sea,” Naiser remembers.
While he attended the Sam Houston State University earning a degree in biology, the bays around Goose Island became a frequent weekend fishing destination for Naiser and his wife-to-be. Fly fishing had not yet picked up much steam in the area through the 70s and 80s. Only a few anglers stuck with the fly, and very few guides, if any, were guiding fly fishing trips around the Coastal Bend. While still fishing with conventional tackle, Naiser was later introduced to sight casting, a new way to fish for him that would eventually lead to his transition into fly fishing.
Succumbing to a friend’s constant peer pressure to try fly fishing, in 1992, he picked up a fly rod and realized that it provided him a quieter approach while sight casting and a better opportunity to land a sighted fish. An issue that Naiser noticed about sight casting with a traditional rod and reel was that if he made a bad cast, he would have to bring it all the way in and start over. “It might be worse on the next cast,” Naiser adds. “With a fly rod, you make a cast, and then you correct it – you pick it up and reset your cast. The fly is so quiet compared to a gold spoon or a soft plastic.”
One year after, fly rod in hand, Naiser made a departure from the property and casualty insurance business and headed out to the flats permanently where he would establish himself as a professional fly fishing guide. Guiding was a natural fit for Naiser, as he already had a vast network and knew the local waters well. This was a time when satellite imagery and a GPS were not commonplace. But Naiser didn’t need the technology - he had already spent many years learning to navigate the bay systems by getting out of the boat and walking the back bays and lakes of Copano, Mesquite, St. Charles, and San Antonio bays.
After more than twenty years in the guiding world, Naiser now maintains a steady clientele who are always eager to get on the water and learn something new. They can trust that their guide keeps an even-keel attitude every trip, no matter how many fish they find or how bad the casting is that day. Naiser’s fly fishing philosophy is simple: “I still get excited. There’s no money in this deal; it’s not about the money. I’m doing what I want to be doing every day. What’s that worth?” He claims, “The day I don’t get excited is the day I’ll quit!”
Chuck also believes that the fly fishing industry plays an important role in the local economy. The accessibility of our bay systems from Corpus Christi International Airport and the similarity of shallow water flats in this area to other premier fly fishing destinations draw anglers from around the world. Local businesses help make these fishing trips possible and enjoyable while clients stay in hotels, eat at local restaurants, and shop the area marketplaces.
While standing on the casting platform with a fish in sight, Naiser chants instruction from the rear poling platform with such precision and passion, it becomes apparent that fly fishing is one of the most unique activities known to man. It shares qualities of both an invigorating sport and an historic art form. Technical knowledge and years of experience create an angler’s perspective that is expressed on the canvas of a cast, tying flies, and their choice approach to stalking a fish across a flat. That art form slowly evolves into a lifestyle, one that further contributes to the uniqueness of culture found in the Coastal Bend.
May we all be grateful for the artists who continue to pole us across the flats, teaching their method, with the hopes that we will experience the contagious excitement that Naiser shares.
To book a fly fishing trip with Chuck, contact him at: