The Devil’s River in Southwest Texas is far from anything that I would have chosen to name after the devil. In fact, I would describe it as quite the opposite: heavenly, cool and an absolutely euphoric oasis in the middle of the desert. Desert is actually more like the kind of place that describes the devil the best because it was hot! I was fortunate to have fellow Jackson Kayak fishing team member and Texas native, Brady Sullivan, take me this past summer and it was one of those trips you never forget as long as you live.
The overnight trip began with a shuttle that seemed to go for days, but once we got there and I saw the river you could have mistaken me for a 12-year old child that is practically tripping down the hallway in anticipation of Christmas morning!
Why was I nearly leaping out of my skin? Uh, haven’t you cheated and taken a look at the photos before reading the full blog post yet? C’mon, you know you have, because we all do, and it is one of the reasons you’re reading this right now, so I clearly don’t need to explain to you why I was about to literally jump out of my skin knowing I had the next two days full of mirage-like beauty ahead.
However, lucky for Brady and I this was no mirage, but a real place on God’s amazing planet. I strapped on my Bahia Tour PFD and off I went casting away in the cool, 72 degree, spring fed waters.
We came across springs flowing into the river and I still can’t even grasp how springs pure enough to drink from are forming a river right out of the ground in the middle of the Texas desert. If there is any place I wouldn’t expect a river like this it would actually be there, deep in the dry, cactus-laced, rock and dirt filled landscape. There were also beautiful waterfalls, rapids, bluffs and limestone formations peppering the landscape! Notice how I haven’t even mentioned fish yet, because in a place like this the fishing becomes secondary if you simply look around you. However, don’t get me wrong, we fished!
The fishing consisted mostly of smallmouth and largemouth bass. The cool thing is that you can see the fish’s world so well when you’re standing and fishing as both Brady and I were doing in our Jackson Coosa’s of course. You won’t catch any world records here, but there are still nice fish to be had.
Brady and I both ended up catching some nice fish and even had a couple as a meal one night to go along with our steaks. After dinner I decided to do something that you don’t have the chance to do every day – sleep under the stars with no tent…oh yeah, and in the middle of the river! Being as dry as it has been this summer and the river being consistent spring-fed I knew this was a safe time to do it. I simply took two elite seats and laid them out flat, then added a thermarest on top of that with some twin bed sheets on top of that. The temperature at night was perfect, probably 75 degrees, but with a strong strong breeze that made it feel right around 70.
Best sleep I ever had. When I woke up there was a herd of sheep coming down for a drink on the other side of the river, it was perfect. If I had to make a list of Top 5 North America kayak fishing destinations, I would a trip to the Devils in that top 5 for sure. A big thanks to Brady Sullivan for taking me on such a cool trip and showing me the way on the Devils. We took so many great photos and videos of our memories that will last a life time. Check out the cool slide show below to see all of them!