IT HAS BEEN said that never has a boy been made that couldn’t use a new toy. I would agree. This boy went for a voyage in his new toy last weekend and though we have barely begun the honeymoon stage, I do believe we are in for a long and pleasurable relationship.

I haven’t given my new toy a name just yet, only describing it as weighing in at 43 pounds with a length of 10 feet, 4 inches. She (I have decided that since all great ships traditionally were given female names, that this vessel must be a girl) does not have a name yet.

Based on my lovely wife’s first impression of her, I should perhaps call her Plain Jane, but that would be decidedly unfair to a lady who, upon my first impression, is quite beautiful for the purpose she is intended for.

Maybe Lady Jane Grey might be a more fitting name, though I hope that she doesn’t lose her head like the original Grey did after her handlers decided she should be the Queen of England, a decision England’s Privy Council in 1553 did not care for. They, for you history buffs who might remember this British period, were quite emphatic in their show of dislike for the 16-year-old “Nine-Days Queen,” causing not only her, but her teenaged husband as well, to lose their heads on a chopping block after a short stay in the Tower of London.

But I digress. My Lady Jane Grey, after boarding her for a maiden voyage on a small lake, is not just beautiful, but handles quite nicely as well. She is a kayak of the highest standing with a cup/bottle/can holder, plus a bait container holder, two rod holders, two storage bins for anything a solo fisherman might need and a place to tie either or both a fish basket and minnow bucket to her, and I am sure she and I will make a well-matched pair as we ply the small lakes I most often fish for bass, northern pike, bluegills and perch.

I figure one of her rod holders also might serve well as a net holder and if not, I would think I could come up with some kind of jerry-rigged holder for that purpose with a little hollowed-out plastic and a tube of Gorilla glue, and a roll of duct tape.

I have long been a canoe man and I will absolutely continue to use my faithful Old Town square stern many, many times throughout the summer, but I have to admit I am eager to test out Lady Jane sometime this week on an actual fishing expedition.

One of the things I really like about her is that she is 50 pounds lighter than my Old Town and will be much easier to carry to the shores of the walk-in only access lakes I favor. I will still use my wheeled-roller carrier on longer portages, as well as when I need the Old Town to carry two fishermen on an outing, but for those short carries, the ease of moving a much lighter weight will be greatly appreciated. Finding easier ways to do a lot of things is one of the main goals of people like me who are at the doorstep of 70 years of age.

As for my wife calling my new lady Plain Jane, I suppose that is because her deck is of an ecru color and her body a very plain grayish-white. I will consider her even more beautiful before Sept. 29, when the North Dakota duck season begins.

I know it was wonderful to have a 6-month-old yellow lab take on the bulk of my duck retrieving chores last fall and even though I envision him doing even better this year, with a year of growth, strength, training and confidence, my new lady will still come in mighty handy for putting in at the roadside edge of a 50-acre slough to paddle across to a chosen site for a blind rather than having to walk all the way around the slough in neoprene waders through muck, mire and cattails to reach the same spot. A coat of brown, green and grayish camouflage paint on her deck will transform her into an easily concealed blind.

In the meantime, I mean to give her a good coating of northern pike slime and perch scales. I missed out on my mid-May trout outing over in the Delta-Mason area on the White River, but I’m thinking there just might be a trout or two left in that famed crick for me to perhaps find on an early June expedition.

Once I become more proficient at handling my new lady, I might even chance a trip from Stone’s Bridge down to the Naniboujou Bridge on the even-more famous Brule River in Douglas County, although my owner’s manual said my craft is not meant for rapids, waterfalls or otherwise perilous waters. Who reads or follows directions in an owner’s manual anyway?

In the meantime, I will put in my time on a number of backwoods lakes that see relatively few anglers during the fishing season and there, my new lady and I will work our way along promising shoreline weed beds, over the edge of fish-holding bars and around fallen, dead trees where fish congregate thick as fleas on a dog’s back.

My bulging discs will thank me when I carry her a quarter mile to a favored fishing hole instead of having to wrestle my 92-pound Old Town over the same twisting, narrow path it takes to get to said pothole.

My lady is quite comfortable to sit in just as she came from the factory, but I am already thinking a foam pad, perhaps the one I’ve been sitting on for 40 years in various deer stands will make her even more comfortable to be in.

My dogs will probably not be pleased with me and my new lady as we head off together for outing after outing, not liking their being left out of all the fishing trips they are used to sharing with me in the Old Town. 

My lovely wife probably won’t care which craft I launch in as either one will get me out of her hair while she listens to one of her audio romance novels or whatever else she does when I go fishing. I doubt that she’ll even be jealous of my new lady.

Life is good. New toys are good. It is especially good to have an understanding wife who encourages me to acquire new toys. Here’s to my new lady.