In March of 2017, we took a little trip down to the Lone Star state for a float on the fabled Devils River. I had heard a few stories (rumors mostly) of a spring fed turquoise colored waterway through the Southwest part of Texas in the middle of nowhere.
The opportunity presented itself as a "press trip" involving Oru Kayak, TOPO Designs, Tenkara Rod Co., and a few editors. After the long drive from San Antonio and an overnight stay at a campsite somewhere, we made it to the put in of the Devils River. Oru brought along our watercrafts for the journey, foldable kayaks made of a polyethylene material. After taking a few minutes to get our boats folded out, we were off on the river.
The first day we had planned on covering only 6 miles. But with a low water flow and strong wind (not to mention the fact that my brain turns to goo and only thinks about fishing when there are fish around, does this happen to anyone else?) it took a little bit longer than expected and we made it to camp just before dark.
At one point during the first day, I had a smallmouth bass on the line and was removing the hook when I heard a loud crackle in the trees above me. By the time I had looked up all I could see was a 40 foot tree falling right on top of us. There was one other boater about 15 feet away from me and luckily the tree only landed on his boat and barely scraped my arm. It was a true Devils River story. The good news is that after all of the commotion I still had a fish on my line, so I was able to remove the hook and release the fish, a memorable fish to say the least.
The second day we paddled 9 miles. We had a lot more time to fish and take our time on the amazing waterway. There is so much life down in the canyon of the Devils River where up above lies a harsh and windy desert, and not too far away, Mexico. Everyone who went had a good and memorable time and lots of fish were caught. It is a trip I recommend doing, most of Texas is private land and is not accessible to the public, so the only chance you have to see the landscape of this area is through the Devils River.
Photos - James Q Martin