KT really had no choice. He was practically born with a fishing rod in one hand and a gun in the other. KT’s passion for the outdoors was fueled by a father and grandfather who allowed him and his brothers to tag along on hunting and fishing excursions at a very early age. In his own words:
“ I can still remember fishing with my grandfather, who became a guide after taking early retirement. He would put me in the front of his john boat with a cane pole. I would swing the hook back to him and he would spear a cricket onto my hook. Then I would swing it just ahead of the boat into a brush-pile and in no time my cork would take a dive and I would find myself hooked into a beautiful and scrappy little bluegill. I’d swing it back to him and he would unhook him and put another cricket on. It seemed like we filled up the fish basket on every trip. As soon as my legs were long enough my grandfather would let me follow him, my dad and his dogs as they quail hunted the East Texas piney-woods.”
KT’s grandfather ran the same breed of dogs that KT hunts with today. English setters and English pointers. KT left his hometown of Tyler in 1978 and graduated from Trinity University in 1980 which KT thinks was a miracle as he spent way more time chasing deer, hogs, and ducks than in the classroom.
After spending 10 years in the oil industry KT left a secure career to chase his dream. He spent the next seventeen years guiding fly-fishing and upland bird hunts in The Rocky Mountains of Utah and Colorado, eventually owning and operating a small hunting operation in Nebraska for three months of the year.
Then it happened. Tarpon Fever. And KT has it bad. It changed his life. He says, “I’d fished in Florida and Mexico a few times and had caught a few tarpon, most of them under a hundred pounds. Then, fishing out of Port O’Connor, Texas with guide and friend Scott Graham on the morning of August 2, 2004 my life was changed. 10 minutes into the hunt Scott spots a dorsal, then a tail. A rolling tarpon 30 feet away at 11:00 o’ clock. On my first cast the fish followed and then ate my fly 10 feet from the boat. An hour and a half later we leadered my biggest tarpon ever. About 140 pounds. The next day on my first cast I landed a 160 pounder that ended up breaking the rod in half.”
Six months later KT left the Rockies behind and moved to the Gulf Coast of his home state of Texas. After spending a full year learning as much about his new water as he could he attained his Captains license and now guides out of Port O’ Connor from March through October chasing tarpon, redfish and any thing else that will eat a fly.
The move to Texas brought with it an opportunity that KT had only dreamed of. The chance to share his passion with others through the art of filmmaking. KT teamed up with London Broadcasting through 41 Entertainment and The KT Diaries was born. KT says, “The concept is really pretty simple. I want to share the sights, the sounds, and the stories that are born from my passion for the outdoors. There is a story in every hunting or fishing trip. You just have to recognize it. Many of life’s lesson can be learned in the field or on the water. It is where I feel the closest to the one who made it all possible: Our Father in Heaven.”
Born in Tyler, Texas on June 29, 1958
Parents – Royce & Gloria Townsend
Brothers – Kent & Kenneth
Graduated High School in 1976 from Tyler Lee
Graduated w/ Liberal Arts degree in 1978 from Tyler Jr. College
Graduated w/ Bachelor of Science degree in 1980 from Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas
1980 – 1990, Rocky Mountain Region Sales Manager, ERC Wellhead Co.
1990 – 1995, Fly Fishing Guide on Utah’s Green River
1995 – 1999, Shooting Sports Director / Fly Fishing Guide at 7 Lakes Lodge, Meeker, Colorado
1999 – 2004, Fly-Fishing Guide on Utah’s Green River,
1995 – present, Owner/Operator of private hunting club, North Platte, Nebraska
2006 – present, Fly Fishing Guide, Port O’ Connor, Texas
2006 – present, Host of KT Diaries Adventure Series, Pursuit Channel
Based from a small operation in Nebraska, KT is ably assisted by his Australian-born female assistant, Friday, who plans, coordinates and tantalizes guests and viewers with her Aussie perspective of outdoor adventure!
ABOUT KT’S DOGS
Groussie has been a companion of KT’s for almost 12 years. She is an AKC registered yellow Labrador Retriever. Many people are fooled by her beautiful red tint and mistake her for a Vizsla. She may be the smartest of KT’s dogs. KT swears she understands English.
Groussie has hunted from Texas to Canada. She is at her best when hunting Grouse in heavy trees and cover but loves it all. Her nose is incredible. She is the go to dog when it comes to retrieving crippled, running pheasants. She is also KT’s favorite fishing dog. Groussie has never had a bad day. On the water, in the boat, in the field, or on the couch, Groussie is happy. Groussie has taught me much and has definitely made me a better person.
My breeders wife Sandra once told me that Iris means “gentle flower”. I never looked it up but I have to believe she was right. Iris is nothing short of amazing. The most gentle and loving dog that I have ever known. A perfect pet. Iris is a black and white English Setter. Her black eye patch and that big black stripe through her perfect tail makes her one of a kind.
When she hits the field her personality changes. The birds don’t have a chance with Iris in the field. When hunting tight mountain cover for grouse she stays close and works thorough. Hunting chukar in the open mountains of Idaho she ranges to the next mountain. In Nebraska CRP she hunts at perfect gun range. She understands the difference when hunting bobwhites versus scaled quail. She creeps slowly into a staunch point with bobwhites. She would cut out and to the side of a running covey until she was well ahead and then cut back pinning the covey of scaley’s between her and the hunters. She is truly one of a kind. I love them all, but she has a special place in my heart.
Dr. Bob Taylor, from The Animal Planets “Emergency Vet’s”, one of the world’s best canine sports surgeons is Hank’s owner. Hank is a 5 year old liver and white English Pointer. Bob hunts at my place in Nebraska and he leaves Hank with me after Nebraska’s pheasant season to hunt the later quail seasons in Texas and Arizona.
What Hank lacks in style he more than makes up for with desire and a strong work ethic. Hank has what some breeders call sickle tail. When he points his tail bends over into a hook shape like a sickle. Field trailers don’t like it, but it makes no difference to me. Hank doesn’t miss many birds. He has the best nose of all the dogs. His personality makes every hunter fall in love with him.
Rosie is the most special gift I have ever received. She is a tri-colored English Setter. She was a gift from Montanan horse-back field trailer Shannon Nygard. Shannon ended up with too many dogs in her kennel and needed to thin the herd. I fell in love with Iris immediately, but I couldn’t compete with Rio’s (you will be introduced to him next) love and desire for her. Rio won out in the long run. He and Rosie are inseparable. I definitely see puppies in their future.
She was fully trained when I received her and that has made hunting with her a dream. She knows her business. Commands are rarely needed. After spending her first five years chasing Hungarian Partridge for hunters on horseback she has really adjusted well to the pheasant and quail fields of Nebraska and Texas. Thanks Shannon for a very special gift.
Rio is a five year old black and white English Setter with a face that looks like he is wearing a black bandits mask. The only thing he will steal is your heart. Rio is driven. His smooth gait gives the impression of gliding through the field. A gait similar to a Tennessee Walker. He will hunt all day long day after day with no signs of fatigue. I have never hunted with a better pheasant dog. One client asked if he had a degree in pheasantology. You gotta love that.
He adjusts easily when hunting birds and terrain that are unfamiliar to him. When hunting Nebraska pheasants he ranges just within bird range. In Montana he will range out further, but not too far. In Idaho and Arizona he will range as far as a half mile without ever busting a bird. His point is solid and stylish with that big, bushy white tail. When working a field he methodically covers every possible hiding place. He is a true pro.
Poco is the newest addition. A tri-colored English Setter, she is the product of the torrid love affair between Rosie and Rio. She was born on an unforgettable Christmas Eve two years ago. Poco occupies a deep and special space in my heart because I actually delivered her through a very difficult pregnancy. She is a real survivor. Four of her litter mates were still born and Rosie almost died in delivery. I fell in love with her when she was 5 seconds old.
She is still learning but showing that she has great potential. She is a top notch retriever and loves to bring the bird back with her head held high. She sometimes will strut in a circle around you like she’s taking a victory lap. Poco has more personality than most dogs. Just looking at her will put a smile on your face. I am looking forward to many years of adventure with Poco.
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