Discovering the Thrill of Paddling Creeks and Rivers

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by rivers and creeks. A piece of me felt connected in some way I never quite understood, till now. As a boy, I would fish for bluegill and small largemouth bass in the creeks behind my neighborhood. Sometimes, I’d just sit there and watch all the wildlife that surrounded me. I’d wonder where the water came from and where it was going. How could I see more of the creek? What adventure was up or down stream? I still have the same sense of wonder and curiosity today; the excitement of peeling back nature's curtains to expose a boundless world of possibilities. A world that is always loyal to giving the gift of discovery, and the unexpected thrill.

 

Ray Martinez

 

About nine years ago that childhood fire evolved into a nuclear passion when I purchased my first kayak. As if the water was calling me back. The idea was to paddle the river for exercise and scenery. I had no clue the first trip paddling my new kayak would change my life for forever.  I spent the entire day sun up to sun down paddling....I was hooked! The river had so much LIFE. From the colors of the leaves, to the sounds of ospreys singing in the cypress trees. At the time, I wasn’t even concerned about fishing. To me it was more about the adventure. Paddling to new places, almost as if I were hiking through a water trail. It was perfect! 

 

It didn’t take long for me to recognizing the amount and quality of fish in the area. Unfortunately, I wasn’t a very good angler at the time. I attempted to catch fish with the absolute wrong presentations, techniques, attitude, etc. After many outings I soon found my way. I would read up and head out to apply my newly gained knowledge. The chase had started and it started quick! Ha! I was learning how to fish! The fish numbers started to go up and my trips became more frequent. I had become an angler. Although I got the fishing bug I never forget to put the rod down and look around. Listen to water and the life around me. To me, it’s refueling. It allows me to be free as the ospreys soaring the skies, in pursuit of a catch because its apart of my nature. I am now too a part of nature.

 

Ray Martinez