Jon Boats Part 7---The Final Word

Jon Boats Part 7---The Final Word

Andy Dear | Monday, 4 October 2021

"Well, there is nothing more classic and simple than a flat bottom skiff in wood or aluminum or glass. These boats would still rule if everybody was not in a such a great big fucking rush."

---Chris Morejohn, Founder and designer of Hells Bay Skiffs

   I should have titled this week's Front Page "The Road Warrior". Last Monday I made a 10 hour round trip to pick up a Yamaha 25hp for the new sled. Normally I would have purchased an engine locally, but due to Covid related shipping delays, outboard motors like everything else are in really short supply. I also managed to procure a push pole yesterday for which I had to make a 6 hour round trip to and from Corpus Christi. I've spent more time in my car this last week than I care to, but I guess you do what you have to do to go fishing!

 The Monark is just about least to the point of being able to officially splash her as the new owner. This Friday, we'll be making the run to Laguna Salada, a tributary of the legendary Baffin Bay. Salada should be perfect for the MonArk, as it's a narrow body of hypersaline water that is well protected from the relentless wind that Baffin is so famous for.

 This little series on Jon Boats got me contemplating not only the type of angler that I am but also how my choice in boats reflects who I am as a person. For many many years now I. like many of you, have lusted after those sexy fly fishing skiffs constructed of aerospace materials that glide through the water with nary a decibel of sound. But, when I got to the point where I could actually afford one, a funny thing happened.....I didn't really want one anymore. I have yet to figure out why that is exactly, but I think it may actually be a number of things. I know for a fact, that fishing out of a good ol' Jon boat takes me back to the days of my youth. A flat-bottomed aluminum skiff was all we could afford, and the fish never seemed to care that it wasn't elegant or expensive. So, I have GREAT memories associated with Jon boats. But I think the real reason is that over the years I have watched fly fishing become a sport whereby the fishermans ego drives the aquisition of expensive gear purchased more as status symbols rather than necessary tools of the trade. I'm all for having quality gear to use, but many of the folks I see on the water nowadays are more interested in how they LOOK while they are fishing, than actually FISHING. This is a trend that I absolutely abhor, and will do whatever I can, whenever I encounter this behavior to turn and move as fast as possible in the opposite direction! There are very few things in life worth becoming so consumed with, that you allow your identity to revolve around, and the brand of boat you own is certainly not one of them! 

Besides, when I show up to the boat ramp in the MonArk, people are probably going to assume that I'm some backwoods redneck headed out to trap blue crabs or gig flounder and that I wouldn't know a fly rod from a fly swatter. The funny thing is, they wouldn't necessarily be wrong about the backwoods redneck part.

Hope you're all having a great week