Locking the oars in place after settling into the seat. Steam rising from the water, the aftermath of the cold front passing through during the night. Today, the fourth day on the water I am greeted with sore muscles in my back and neck and a burning in my arms as I expel energy to get the raft with all it's gear moving forward to start the day.
The trip began with me stopping into ReelFly Fishing Adventures to say hello and welcome them back home after taking the summer off to guide in Utah to get away from the heat here in Texas.
Before leaving the shop I had agreed to row a raft with a cameraman, his assistant, and all of their gear down the Devil's river. The most remote and dangerous river in the state along with being the most beautiful.
How often do you actually get to scratch something off your bucket list with the demands put on you these days. When the chance arises, you sometimes have to go for it. Going into this I knew it would be very demanding since the Devils river is one of the most remote stretches of river in Texas. The majority of its land is private and once you put in you are a good three days from taking out. Besides being picturesque with its fall colors and crystal clear waters, it is home to some serious class II and III rapids along with a 15ft waterfall. .
The drive there was like sitting around a campfire as I listened to stories of rugged terrain and large fish being discussed from trips taken before. It seemed to take forever to get to our destination as it usually does when you are ready to start any adventure. Turning off the highway and onto a dirt road that made its way through cliffs and washed out creek beds just made the anticipation grow. Turning that last corner and seeing the beauty of the river for the first time made it all worthwhile.
Sleeping on the small islands that nature had provided made for peaceful nights as you listened to the sound of water moving over rocks as the wind gently rocked the tent hammock that we each slept in. The bugs were kept at bay with the mosquito netting and full rainfly to keep you dry during the night, My only wish would have been to have a skylight to enjoy the stars in between the storms.
Two cold fronts passed through our area days apart keeping the fish at bay for most of the trip. Fish were caught, but it took many casts to entice the take. The natural beauty of this place made the scarcity of hooking up seem irrelevant as you drifted by engrossed in the sights.From the deep crystal clear pools of water to the rugged cliffs, it was like being in an old Western movie.
The river offers up a variety of fish species. We were fortunate to catch Largemouth bass, Smallmouth bass, and a few Carp with most falling for Clousers stripped at a medium pace.
This will go down as a trip of a lifetime and thanks again to ReelFly for the invite.
Some of the pictures taken on the trip.