There’s a new twist to our Pecos River flood story. On Saturday, fifty days after the flood, a bass angler was fishing a club tournament on Lake Amistad and he found the Pelican case with Dan’s camera equipment. The waterproof case was nestled in a floating canebrake almost fifty river-miles below the spot where we were flash flooded out on June 20th. We lost everything that morning including three kayaks and a canoe, after stowing our equipment, including the camera case, into a crevice twelve feet above the river just before bugging out of the steep river canyon. What we didn’t know was that the river would rise thirty feet that day. When we got back down to our campsite on the river less than a week later, all the gear we’d stuffed into the crevice was gone.
Fast forward to fifty days later–Brandon Beck was fishing the San Antonio Bass Club’s monthly tournament which is normally out of Lake Amistad’s Diablo East Marina. However, a big pro tournament forced the smaller fishing club to fish out of Box Canyon, on the west side of the lake, instead. Brandon and his back-seater were fishing a cove around the 28 mile marker when they saw the black Pelican case near the edge of a large canebrake. They couldn’t reach it and so he used the trolling motor to back the boat into the thick cane and when they got close enough, his fishing buddy netted it.
There was no identification in the case and so the anglers powered the camera on and started scrolling through the pictures. They ran across one photo with four men standing in front of a sign out in the desert that said “Pandale Crossing” and it listed a phone number. Beck called the number, and although the man who answered didn’t know anything about the camera, he did say that four kayakers had to be air lifted out of the river, and that he thought one of them lost some camera gear.
That night, from his hotel room, Beck scoured the internet and found a story about us being flooded off the river and losing our equipment. Based on that article, Beck was able to contact Scott who broke the news to us that night. The next morning, Scott drove back to Del Rio and picked up the case from the San Antonio angler.
Dan retrieved his cameras from Scott the following day, and amazingly nothing was wet or damaged. Not only did he get back his cameras, thanks to the honesty of the two tournament anglers, Dan also got his pictures from the trip…even if it was fifty days after the flood.
Lone Star Chronicles – Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Fish