The Flylords team was lucky enough to catch up with outdoor enthusiast, Dylan Efron (@dylanefron). He is the younger and “fishier” brother of actor, Zac Efron (@zacefron). You will find Dylan is quite an interesting character; with his hands in so many different things, he always falls back to fly fishing. Being outside seems to be his chief stress reliever and allows him to gain more respect for the environment. Read on to find out what he’s been up to and what his future plans hold.
Flylords: Who is Dylan Efron?
Dylan: That’s a good question! My life was on a very linear path until about a year and a half ago, and now it seems to change by the day. I quit my studio job at Warner Bros, moved to the beach, wrote a Lifetime Channel Original movie, traveled a shit ton, became a board member for the Mammoth Film Festival, and helped produce a series with my brother.
My life is anything but stable but with each new chapter I’m learning more about myself and who I want to be.
So, the “me” today is a filmmaker. A writer. An athlete. And an outdoor enthusiast.
Flylords: When was the first time you picked up a fly rod? How has it changed you?
Dylan: I was 16. My dad dragged me out of the house at the crack of dawn and drove us 5 hours to Kings canyon, a river just south of Yosemite, California. I vividly remember not wanting to go. In hindsight… happy I did.
Flylords: How has fly fishing changed you?
Dylan: Fishing helped develop my love for nature. When I first began, I remember feeling scared of getting lost out in the river. Soon I fell in love with that feeling of solitude out on the water. Letting the river overwhelm my senses, allowing me to focus only on the one task at hand with no distractions. In climbing, I’ve heard that feeling described as a flow state. It’s an amazing feeling for someone with a constantly racing mind like me.
Flylords: Who was the biggest influence in finding your interest in the sport?
Dylan: 1) My friend Pete Emmel (@renaissancerods). He not only taught me how, but why to fish. Pete’s a successful engineer with a full-time job, but I remember he also worked weekend shifts at our local fly-shop. It confused me at first… why work on the weekends if you don’t need the money? I soon realized it was simply to be around people who share his same passions. It was a small but valuable lesson about community and surrounding yourself with passionate, enthusiastic people.
2) Kyle Schenk (@bendflyguy). He’s a war veteran who found sanctuary out on the river. Straight out of Hemingway’s ‘Big Two Hearted River’. I met Kyle at a fly-shop in Bend Oregon. He went out of his way to show me where and how to fish the area. Countless fishing trips later, I’m happy to call him a good friend.
Flylords: If you could go to any fly-fishing destination in the world where would it be?
Dylan: Patagonia. California seems like the miniature toy-model of Patagonia. Their rivers are wider, mountain peaks higher, ocean cliffs steeper and more jagged. I’ve always wanted to go and fishing would be an amazing excuse.
Flylords: What other interests do you have outside of fly fishing?
Dylan: Anything outdoors. Rock climbing, surfing, skiing, hiking, cycling, motorcycling. Any sport or activity you can base a trip around with friends.
Also, endurance racing. I ran my first race sort of on a whim and fell in love with it immediately. Since my first race in 2013 I’ve won 1st in my age group in a few triathlons, 1st overall in the Hermosa Beach Triathlon, I’ve completed two full Ironman races; winning 2nd in my age group and earning the status of ‘Gold All World Athlete’ – the top 1% of racers in your age range. Most recently I achieved a big goal of running the Boston Marathon. My sights are set on running a sub 2:50 marathon next.
Flylords: What is your go to river snack?
Dylan: Does coffee count? Otherwise, I’ll grab a Bobo bar. They’re really filling and made with real ingredients, based in Boulder, CO.
Flylords: Define fly fishing in one word.
Flylords: What camera gear do you shoot with?
Dylan: Sony A7RII, Sony A6500 and GoPros.
Flylords: Who lands more fish between you and big bro?
Dylan: Depends on the trip! I’d like to say my skill is more refined but he always surprises me. When Zac catches a fish before me, it’s game on.
Flylords: Are you a streamer, nymph or dry fly guy?
Dylan: Mostly a dry fly guy. I love the action of a fish breaking the surface. That said, sight fishing with streamers is incredible, it’s like orchestrating a movie under water.
Flylords: Being a Boston Marathon runner, who runs a faster mile time and who benches more between you and Zac?
Dylan: The day Zac beats me in a mile is the day I retire. He’s definitely got me on bench press though. Most of the stuff I’ve learned in the gym comes from him.
Flylords: Any plans for the future?
Dylan: I’m working with Zac’s production company Ninjas Runnin’ Wild now. We’re beginning to produce a lot of digital content and we just sold a show that we’re co-hosting. That’s a dream come true for me. Similar to fishing, film is all about surrounding yourself with good people. If you’re having fun when filming, it will show on screen in the final product.