At some point in the life of every angler, the desire to own a boat morphs into something resembling an obsession. As Nathaniel Riverhorse Nakadate discovers in his essay, “Horsepower,” it’s best to be careful for what you wish for. Riverhorse’s journey to boat ownership includes the good (floating through remote flats stuffed with redfish) the bad (late nights filled with maintenance and costly repairs) and the ugly (exploding gas tanks). Boat may be an acronym for Break Out Another Thousand, but Riverhorse also shows us that while some things may be pricy, others are simply priceless.
The storm came on quick. Such is the Gulf Coast. The canoe, a handmade 16-footer, never did well in winds. We’d been a couple miles deep in the shallow marshes and had nailed some beautiful reds on a crab fly known as the terminator. But trying to paddle back to the truck headfirst into stinging rains and 30-knot winds was a bust.
I tied off a rope to the wooden bow thwart and jumped out into rib-deep saltwater, deciding the only way possible would be to pull us back. I couldn’t see for shit other than when the lightning hit. It was serious. It was a “situation.” For her part, Catherine, an adventurous soul I’d met while she tended bar, sat in the half-submerged rig under a slicker somehow able to finish off half a joint and the rest of the Dickel, laughing her ass off and cheering me on. Good times. Subscribe to start your collection of the world’s best flyfishing publication.