Around The Next Bend

Around The Next Bend

Andy Dear | Sunday, 7 April 2019

Boats are awesome....they just are. I don't care if it's a leaky 10 foot aluminum Jon boat or a 72 foot enclosed bridge Viking Yacht, THEY ARE ALL AWESOME. They're awesome not just because they expand one's angling possibilities, but also because they allow those of us with an insatiable addiction for exploration to see what's around the next bend.

   I have owned several boats in my life. Every one of them I have loved for the sense of freedom it has given me. The act of traveling into the unknown by boat, for me, is as paramount to the angling experience as the act of fishing itself. The rush I get from being able to explore a new angling destination is almost indescribable. On the slow days, when the tides not moving or the fish aren't biting (which usually coincide with one another), I love to go scout out new spots that I have never been to before. If there are no new spots nearby, I go visit old spots that take me back to a time and place that remind me of my younger days, when the fishing was, well quite honestly....better.
   I also have a deep appreciation for naval architecture. The ability to design a vessel that is functional, efficient, safe and attractive is an art unto itself. I don't care if its a commercial tug boat, a sleek featherweight tunnel hull flats skiff, or a wafer thin composite canoe. They are all beautiful and they all serve the higher purpose of taking us places we wouldn't otherwise be able to go.
   You've probably heard they saying " the two happiest days in a boat owners life are the day he buys the boat and the day he sells it". For some, that may be true, but for me, with every boat, I have sold came a sense of loss and regret. Even if I was selling the old boat in order to upgrade to something better, it always felt like the breakup of a long term relationship. I suppose there is a bit of irony in the fact that historically boats were, and still are often given female names.

   After being footbound for the last two years, my son and I decided it was time for a new vessel to explore the local river. Having been through two canoes and a kayak, I finally decided that a whitewater raft would be the safest and most efficient platform for traversing the tight twists and turns of the upper Guadalupe. We took delivery of her last week, and as soon as the intermittent rainstorms clear out, we'll set out on her maiden voyage. It will in fact be the first time in over a decade that I have seen many parts of the upper Guad. Much of it I probably wont recognize as South Texas is ravaged about every two years with as the meteorologists call them a "100 year flood". It will almost be like exploring the river for the first time to be honest
And as excited as I am about the almost infinite amount of water this will open up for angling, I am equally as excited to just be able to see what's around the next bend.

Hope you all have a great week,