Andy Dear | Sunday, 26 May 2019
I've always been fascinated by the names given to fishing spots. Not really the obvious ones like "Lake Sam Rayburn" or "Lake O' The Pines", as those are pretty self explanatory. More interesting are the ones with monikers not so easily discernible like "The Meadows" or "Middle Ground". Even better if they have a dramatic, even ominous tone to them, like "The Graveyard" or "The Badlands". Although names like that may have originally been given as a warning to the uninitiated or inexperienced, for those of us with an exploratory spirit, and an insatiable desire to fish the remotest of locations, those names serve only as a sirens call to what could be the angling promised land.
Recently my son and I have been doing some serious exploring via raft, on the upper Guadalupe River that is adjacent to my home. One of the most enjoyable aspects of our time on the water together is coming up with our own names for the places we frequent. It may be because of a unique landmark, or geologic formation, or in some cases because of an experience that we shared that holds a special place in our lives.
Case in point; In August of 2017, after only having been fly fishing for a few months, my then 9 year old son sight cast to his first Carp with a fly rod. Turns out the darn thing actually ate, and a 30 minute battle with a 6wt. ensued. It was a monster Common Carp that we estimated well over 15 pounds. Not knowing what the stats were, or even IF there was a junior fly caught state record, Jackson made the decision to release him back into the river. Turns out that fish would probably have beaten the current youth fly caught state record by at least 5 pounds. However, neither of us regret our decision to release that big boy, and in fact, we decided to give him the nickname "Brutus". Now the associated crescent shaped flat Jackson stuck him on is forever known as "Brutus' Bend".
A few weeks ago we were floating a stretch that had recently been ravaged by one of the famous Texas "Hundred Year FLoods". Never mind they seem to occur about every three years. Off in the distance, we saw what looked like, ironically enough...a giant white credit card. It was a perfect rectangle with a big black stripe going through the upper third. Turns out it was actually a white picnic table turned on its side from the most recent flood. It was positioned just right so that the space between the bottom seat and the table top looked just like a magnetic stripe on the back of a credit card. That spot is now known appropriately as "Credit Card"
The famous hard rock guitar player Eddie Van Halen was once asked back in the late 1980s about the significance of the peculiar and unique title of Van Halen's 1988 album 0U812. His response was something to the effect of "There is no significance to the title...we could have called it Mustard On Your Leg for all I cared, I'm more concerned with the content than the title". And I suppose that whether we're talking about hard rock music or fishing spots, Eddie is as usual, absolutely spot on. It really is more about the content than it is the name. But, you have to admit, when one of your fishing buddies calls you up and asks you if you wanna go fish a new spot called "The Graveyard", you can't help but wonder how it got that name....and even more importantly, if it has a name like that, is it worth risking life and limb to go catch a few fish. To which the short answer is, of course, YES IT ABSOLUTELY IS WORTH IT.
Hope you all have a great week,