Last year, Chaco and Thomas Rhett teamed up to collaborate on a line of Chacos focused on his connection to the outdoors. The collaboration was a huge success with each of the different patterns selling out almost instantly.
This year, Chaco and Thomas Rhett have joined forces again to create two new Fly Fishing focused patterns. Even better, each shoe sold benefits our friends at Trout Unlimited! We had the chance to ask Thomas Rhett some questions about what inspired these designs and how these designs were ultimately inspired by his personal exploration and his family.
Flylords: How did you get into Fly Fishing? What do you love about it?
Thomas Rhett: The first time I ever went fly fishing was with my wife in New Zealand and we only caught one that day. I didn’t leave bummed, I left fulfilled because I got to spend time with my wife doing something that became a new hobby for us. For me, it’s just about the art. It’s about mastering the craft of learning a river, where fish are sitting, why a fish would sit in a bend rather than a straight path, or why a fish would hide out in the shade rather than in the sunshine. You’re learning an animal’s thought process and there’s just something that connects me to nature in that way.
When you’re out there, nothing else really matters except the tempo of your cast, landing your fly in the perfect spot, making that set at the perfect time, bringing it in, admiring this fish, and then, letting it go. When I’m out there, it is downtime when my heart can slow down. It really is just me and my fly rod and the world gets tuned out for a little while. I would encourage anyone that doesn’t have something like that in their life to find something that fills you up in that way. For me, it’s fly fishing.
One of my favorite things in the world is, before you hit the river, going into the local fly shop and talking to the person who has been running it for 50 years. The knowledge these people have and how much joy they’ve been able to pass on to me through their own experiences is what makes the fishing community so cool.
Flylords: Does your time fishing ever inspire your music?
Thomas Rhett: In many ways, being outside has been probably the single most inspiring thing to me when it comes to my music.
Some of my favorite songs I have ever written were when I was not in music mode at all, taking time off, or being with my kids. All of a sudden, these ideas come to you. Just the same as if you peek around a bend in the river and see some incredible water you would have never expected to be there.
Flylords: What has been your favorite fishing trip?
TR: I think my favorite trip I’ve ever taken with Lauren (my wife) is when we were in Glacier National Park. We got to fish with Hillary Hutcheson, who is one of the best guides up there. It was about a six-hour float and Lauren and I normally love to just wade because we get to call our own shots and go where we want to go. When you’re on a boat, you’re tied to the boat and you put your trust in this guide. We caught so many fish and then stopped on the bank of this river and Hilary made us like this huckleberry old fashion, but with tequila. Lauren and I grabbed our little Yeti cups, went around the bend, and just sat there. No one was telling us, “Hey, we gotta go.” We got to sit there until we felt like we wanted to go fish again. Something as simple as that moment, just me and her sitting on that bank, staring at the water, sipping huckleberry old-fashioneds is one of the most vivid memories I have of me and my wife fishing.
Flylords: How you have passed down this passion to your kids?
Thomas Rhett: Fishing with my family has to be a generational thing. My granddaddy did it with me, my dad did it with me and now that I’m older and have kids of my own, that’s all that I want to do with them. For me, it is more of a bonding experience with my children and with my wife. I think it’s cool for my kids to see me and my wife do something that we love doing together because one day when they get married, I hope that they and their spouse find that hobby too, whether it’s fishing or whether it’s skiing – whatever it is they like to do. I want them to watch their parents have a blast and laugh over something that they both enjoy.
Flylords: How did the Collaboration with Chaco Come to Life?
Thomas Rhett: Looking back into last year, this whole partnership between me and Chacos kind of began with an Instagram post that I posted of my whole family wearing Chacos. I remember somebody on the Chaco team reaching out and I in a joking way responded, “man, we should do a collaboration”. Whoever it was on the other end of that DM replied, “Yeah, we definitely should”. Next thing you know, we’re on the phone designing the first line which was released last year. It all happened so quickly, almost like a childhood dream was coming true.
When we launched the Boulder collection and it went haywire I had a lot of friends telling me, “All these are sold out”. Now, we’re back here collaborating with two new designs for men’s and women’s, but this time we’re launching a kid’s line as well, which I’m so pumped about. So you can get your whole family in these brand new Chacos.
Flylords: What was the inspiration behind this year’s designs?
Thomas Rhett: This past summer, we went to visit my wife’s brother out in Montana where he was working as a fly fishing guide. He took us on a few trips, we fished a couple of lakes and rivers. I was kind of consistently catching, small, eight to 10 inch rainbows and maybe one or two browns. Then I look over to the right and my wife is holding up a 26-inch rainbow trout. I still have that picture hanging on my wall from that trip.
The rainbow trout design, looks identical in my opinion, to a beautiful rainbow. Then. our Brook trout design, is a little more pop of color and, a little bit more wild looking. Those two fish to me are the prettiest fish in the world. I thought, how neat it would be to not only look at those beautiful fish in the river, but to then also to see a print of them on my feet.
If you would like to get your hands on a pair of these Thomas Rhett Chacos you can find them HERE. Every pair sold benefits our friends at Trout Unlimited!