TexasKayakFisherman.com est. 2000

Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...


User avatar
By FishingSETX
#1530284
First off, I started this report with the intention of grouping the photos by days and spent over 1.5 hrs working on it before my internet went caput :evil: and I lost it, so instead I am going to type out the report (with a couple of pics) and then post the rest of the pics at the end.

All I can say is WOW, I will be doing that trip again!!!! Had an absolute blast in some of the most rugged and beautiful country I have seen. Would like to say thanks to Ed (M.Saxitillis) and Cord (Weird1) for coming along!! Ok on to the report.

We started of this shindig with a meeting and camp-out at Seminole Canyon State Park. Its a beautiful place, but unless you plan to take the tour, there isn't much to do.

Home for the night

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The View

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We had a visitor!

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The Sunset was awesome!

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After seminole canyon, we spent the night at the ranch where my dad works. Dinner consisted of fresh grilled dove wrapped in bacon and stuffed with jalapeno, fried Axis Backstrap, grilled Axis Backstrap, and all the trimmings! Somewhere there is a photo of dinner, but I dont have it.

The next morning, we made the trip to bakers crossing and arrived about 8:30. After unloading and Ed's reminding, I realized I had forgot my PFD at the ranch 1.25 hrs away!!!! Luckily the guy at bakers had one he sold me for $10!!! We proceded to load/launch the boats.

Old Bridge

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Loaded Boat

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Ed and Cord Loading Up

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Ed just after launch

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Uh Oh!!!

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Oh well its one way to cool off!!

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We proceeded down river 9 miles to the camp. Talk about some beautiful scenery!!! We made camp just before dusk. Due to a downpour the first night which had us all worried (except Cord), we ended up spending two nights at the "9 mile island" to let our gear dry out and because it was only another 5 miles to the SNA.

Camp Day 1 & 2

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The boats at camp

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The view from camp

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Brim and fries for supper!!

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Third day found us on our way to the Devils River SNA. It was a beautiful trip with only a few mishaps. I was coming down a chute when I found one rock with the nose of the ultimate 12 and the back found another turning the boat sideways into the current. Didn't take long to fill up and sink! Thanks to Cord, I didn't loose any gear. I also ate it lining my boat down Game Warden Rock but the boat stayed upright. My ankle paid the price with a pretty good rock rash. Cord ran it like a champ, and Ed made it all the way to the pool before dumping!! Ran into another group of 8 yakkers here also.

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Made the SNA with plenty of time to make camp and get a pic of the sign

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Ran into the Park Ranger. After he checked out our reservation and checked all our fishing licenses (although at the time we were not fishing!), he went to check the other group. He ended up writing one of them a ticket for no fishing license (again no fishing going on at the time). If you decide to take this trip, It would be good to have a license if you plan to fish or not. Otherwise it might be up to the judge. Also warned a group in canoes that they could not camp at Dolan falls. they just laughed the warning off. More to come on that.

Next morning we set out for Blue Sage early. Upon arriving at dolan falls, there is quite a commotion going on. turns out our unheeded warning was valid as the group of 4 where being ticketed while we were portaging the falls.

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Here is a pic of the portage route

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Ed at the end of the portage

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We arrived at Blue sage after a grueling upwind paddle at about 5:00 pm. There were quite a few lessons learned on this trip, and I have tons more pics to post later, but im out of time at the moment. More to follow soon.
User avatar
By Weird1
#1530324
Well I had a great time. I will be going back next year. Great company great place great time.
Here is the food pics from Chris and his dad.
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being cooked

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fixing to be eaten.


Thanks for putting a fantastic trip together good job Chris I look forward to paddling with you again.
User avatar
By daveg99
#1530336
Brings back memories of my trip in June. How did you guys like the rapids? I cant wait to get back on three tier rapids. Thats the same campsite we stayed at at the 9 mile mark.
User avatar
By jeff coast
#1530444
Thanks for the report and pictures very informative. I am graduating soon and plan on making the trip. Its something that I have really wanted to to do for some time. :D Cant wait to get my paddles wet there lol.
User avatar
By FishingSETX
#1530461
Ok now onto the lessons learned!!

Lesson 1

Even with a bow skirt, the Ultimate 12 (and I'd assume the other lengths) was not the boat for a river trip with rapids. While it did ok, there were several rapids I had to line that would have been a blast to run and a couple of those found the ultimate upside down anyway. Either a SOT or a SINK (with skirt) would have been better.

Lesson 2

Bring a guide book or maps!! I had just bought a Delorme PN-40 gps and loaded it down with all the info I needed for the trip. I dont know if I had some dirt in the battery seal, didn't get it tight enough, or it is a faulty unit, but halfway through the first day, it bit the dust due to water intrusion and refused to work for the rest of the trip. Luckily Ed had brought his guide book and although it wasn't waterproof, it held together enough that we could figure out where we were and where we needed to be!! A good rinse with distilled water and a night spent in a food dehydrator on low (110 degrees) was enough to bring the gps back from the dead. Im going to be more carefull about the seal and test it out.

Lesson 3

On a trip like this, you pay for every ounce you bring along!! The flow was at 200-250 cfs on our trip and there were alot of places the going was pretty tough. I'd hate to try it at 150 cfs (lowest flow recommended). My gear weighed in at about 50 lbs, and next time that will be trimmed by at least half!!! If you dont absolutely need it, dont bring it!!!!

Lesson 4

Have the rain fly ready and know how to use it BEFORE it rains!! When the storm hit on the first night, I threw my fly over my tent, staked it down as best I could in the dark and rode it out. It kept the majority out, but if I would have had it on correctly, I would have been dry and comfortable throughout the storm!

Lesson 5

Chap stick is your friend and should be in every first aid kit!!! It took 5 days to get my bottom lip to quit hurting after the trip!

Lesson 6

Test ALL your gear BEFORE the trip!! The first night at seminole canyon, I figured out my lantern was dead, so it was easy to swing by walmart to pick up a replacement. Would have been some dark nights had I not!! Wount have that problem ever again (more to follow in another post).

There were several other lessons learned, but thats all I can think of at the moment. I'll post them up as they come to me.

Will post a gear list and review of each item as soon as I get time!!
User avatar
By MudDuck
#1531135
Ran into the Park Ranger. After he checked out our reservation and checked all our fishing licenses (although at the time we were not fishing!), he went to check the other group. He ended up writing one of them a ticket for no fishing license (again no fishing going on at the time). If you decide to take this trip, It would be good to have a license if you plan to fish or not. Otherwise it might be up to the judge. Also warned a group in canoes that they could not camp at Dolan falls. they just laughed the warning off. More to come on that.

Next morning we set out for Blue Sage early. Upon arriving at dolan falls, there is quite a commotion going on. turns out our unheeded warning was valid as the group of 4 where being ticketed while we were portaging the falls.


Kerr Wardlaw??? If so he represents the local ranchers interests not the State's, even though he works for the State. :dance: His family owns 30,000 acres adjacent to the River and the place has been in their family since the 1800's. From what I can gather they don't want us on the river! Including the Nature Conservancy i.e. cloak for ultra rich folks who want the places beauty to themselves.

BTW the "Park Ranger non Game Warden" in my judgment should have no authority outside the park jurisdiction i.e. Dolan Falls is not within the parks boundaries. If you don't have a fishing pole in your boat then a ticket is unwarranted.

I heard that some folks are getting tickets for just passing through the park without a camping permit? Maybe when I get some free time I'll go check some court records and see just how far this rabbit hole goes.

Folks if your going to run this river make sure i's are dotted and your t's are crossed. :horse:
User avatar
By FishingSETX
#1531411
Not sure if they were spots or not. Only had one tounge patch and thats how we always decided. Spots have 2 tounge patches.

On to the gear review.

Tent - Coleman hooligan 2

Great tent, but will not be along for the next shallow river trip. Just too much weight and the footprint is too big for my liking. Did stay pretty dry during the downpour, and might have sayed completely dry had the seams been sealed and the fly installed correctly. Would be perfect for a river with big sandbars or car camping. Love the fact the top is completely made of mesh!! The stars on the devils are awesome!

Stove - MSR Pocket Rocket

Great little stove if you include a can stand and a good cup. Next time I'll have a Jet Boil!!!

Air Mattress and Pump - Borrowed from Weird1

Debated bringing this or my Z-rest pad and I'm sure glad I brought the air mattress!!!! The coleman rechargable pump kept Cord's and my mattress aired up for 3 nights and was still going very strong!

Lighting - Candle lantern and Petzel 3 LED headlight

I had brought a single mantle lantern and it was DOA at Seminole Canyon. Cord had brought a small candle lantern that worked flawlessly. I went by Wal-mart and bought one before the trip and I'm sure glad I did!! Headlamp worked great the whole time!

Navigation - Delorme PN-40 GPS

Died 1/2 way through the first day! Not sure if dirt had fouled the seal, I didn't have it on tight, or it just leaked, but it's dry and working now. Will be testing it soon to see.

Water Purification - Katadyn hiker and Katadyn XR Personal Water Bottle

Both worked great. I'll be carrying the XR with me on any fresh water trip I take!! Nothing like being able to dip the bottle in the water, screw on the cap and squeeze!!

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