Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Home Waters

I know it hasn't been that long, this is only day 2 of Every Day in May, but I have been waiting with anticipation to write this post ever since I stumbled upon this challenge.  Everyone who has fished for any period of time has "home waters" that hold a special place in their heart.  Here is the story of mine.
I recently moved away from my home waters.  About 6 months ago my wife, son, and I moved from our little duplex not two miles from "my" river, but the story of my home waters starts well before that.

I grew up in a small town on the edge of the Texas Hill Country.  We didn't have much money growing up, so instead of spending our summers at theme parks or playing video games, we were outside.  If we went somewhere, it was somewhere free.  But did we care or know any different?  No.  In fact I would argue that my brother and sisters and I had a better childhood than anyone else I know.
A huge largemouth I caught in the San Marcos a few years ago
When we were lucky (once or twice a week) my mom would pile us all in the car and head south down I-35 for about 10 or 15 miles to the San Marcos River.  We would spend all day swimming in the crystal clear, 72 degree, spring fed river.  Well I say swimming, but what I did was usually fish.  I would walk up and down the banks with my rod and little tackle box in search of sunfish, and if I got lucky I would catch a bass.  It was always blistering hot, but we didn't care, heck I don't ever remember noticing the heat.
My brother relaxing by the fire on one of our camping trips on the river
When I graduated from High School and went to college, I naturally chose the school that had "my" river flowing through campus.  But...this turned out to not be the smartest idea ever.  Early in my college career, I discovered kayak fishing (Why I Kayak Fish,) so I ended up skipping most classes to go fishing rather than attend the lecture I was already on campus for.
Mike with fresh caught breakfast on another camping trip down the river
In my billionth year of school, I met the love of my life at a baseball game.  We married not long after and moved away for a short time.  Not long after moving four our first time though, we headed back to San Marcos to finish our degrees and I was back on my home waters.  Dana became pregnant with Hank in my last semester of school, and he was born shortly after graduation.  The day before his due date, I was on the river fishing a tournament.
Mo with a nice San Marcos River largemouth
A few months after Hank was born, we moved about 45 miles away when Dana got a job in North Austin.  We didn't stay long, Dana soon found the job of her dreams teaching English in a small South West Texas Town.  I am able to work from home, so we packed up everything one more time and headed out West.
Good Smallies can be caught in the River as well
There are rivers around me out here.  The Llano, Nueces, Frio, Guadalupe, Devils, and Rio Grande, just to name a few.  And they are all beautiful with excellent fishing in there own right, but they are not my home waters.  Home waters grow with you.  Home waters are a part of you.  You will never find new true home waters.

We make trips back to the area still to visit family and friends, however I have yet to fish my home waters since we've moved.  My wife tears up when we head back, because that area is a part of her (we still consider it home.)  If I weren't so darn "manly," I might tear up as well.

Norman Maclean had the Big Black Foot and I have the San Marcos River.  And although I would never compare myself to him in terms of writing or fly fishing ability, I too know how a river can become a part of you.  Although my home waters are relatively small, they are, and always will be, a large part of me.

Related Posts:
The Plight of the Guadalupe Bass
Interview With Drew Gergory


  1. Nice, i've only fished the San Marcos twice and really enjoyed it.

    1. It can be an amazing river. I need to make a trip back soon, I will let you know when I go and you can meet up and fish if you want.