I love my boat. I have owned a lotnof outdoor gear and some really neat things and stuff….but my old boat is by far my favorite and best purchase I ever made.
I live really simple. The past 2 seasons I have downsized more. I moved into a 180 square foot tiny house this winter…that I have spent more time out of than in. I live out of my guide rig and boat more than a house.
I leave things in my boat so I know where they are. By May if it isn’t in there we probably don’t need it. My boat has character, roughed up around the edges, dents and scrapes, things coming apart, old and new things mixed and matched. She is a seasoned boat. 10 years and the past 5 really heavy. We have gone through 4 trailer axles, wrecked in rapids a few times, wrecked on the trailer last summer, ran hundreds of people and thousands of river and road miles together.
You fish and spend as much time outside and in a boat as much as I do and you become attached. I talk to my boat. Have full on conversations with her. I have clients that miss my boat almost as much as I do. A boat can have that effect. Its a tool yes, a thing, a giant hunk of boat shaped plastic…but it offers something no other thing has ever given me….freedom.
A boat gives me freedom…which sounds cliche but its true. It gave me the ability to explore natural and beautiful places…while discovering more about myself. It has given me a means to get healthy. It feeds me, cloths me, and my kids, pays the bills, and makes my business possible. I would not be the angler or the guide I am without my boat. I will forever be grateful for the help I got when I purchased the boat.
It opened up and entire world to me and gave me a means to chase a passion and make a living at it. It has lead me to a lifestyle that many are envious of and few actually live in this day and age of social media influencers and like chasers.
The guidelife isn’t all fun and fish. Its fucken work. Being at the mercy of the river can be tough at times. Trips have to come in, which means work has to be done to get them. Working for myself, I only work as much as I put into it. Ya I have figured a lot out but it is still constant. Those days off I hashtag are still work days when you run your own gig. Every day on the river is a day where I am making money. Thats how you have to look at it when its your only gig. That can ruin it for some…I have found a nice balance and there are rarely days where it feels like work. Its my career…so your perspective has to be in the right place to keep this kind of thing going.
That boat helps. She talks back, she looks at me longing for the river. She entices me out of bed in the morning to go to work. She reminds me of the freedom I feel when I am at the sticks. I love rowing….the feel of the river under the boat, using the current to move and position the boat. Its about finding that sweet groovy jam where the river, boat, and I are all in sync….in that river rythym. Everytime I look at my boat I feel that rythym and it pulls me in.
A boat is a very precious thing to some. Its the one thing that I probably couldn’t live without. It changed my life. Some might say ruined it depending on their perspective. I feel that the boat has guided me on the path I am supposed to be on. It hasn’t let me down yet. So if you meet someone who is weird about their boat just knoe its normal. We all get a little weird about out boats…well…I do at least.