An interesting string on our Bulletin Board this past
week asked folks to post what was their "home water."
Many replies and some photos as well. The late Al
Campbell asked us to start a Home Waters section here
on the website, and we did - but it didn't get very
much interest...at least only a few submissions. I
suspect part of it is because folks don't consider
themselves a "writer" - but I've suggested many times
anyone can write, just pretend you are writing a letter
to a family member or an old friend. If your writing
is truly awful, we have a very good editor. So no
excuses, write something. (Unless of course you just
don't want anyone to know where you fish.)
JC and I were raised in Michigan, and as adults our
"home water" became the Au Sable. We don't get back
very often, so the Michigan Fish-In is a perfect
excuse to go there. For the record, one of the
reasons we still list the Au Sable as our home water
is because it has been under attack from several fronts.
With a little support from FAOL and us personally, we
hope to encourage other folks to join the Anglers of
the Au Sable to help preserve a wonderful watershed.
The term home water can be deceiving though. The first
one in my mind is the Devil River and Lake Huron. Then
the Ocqueoc where I first learned fly fishing with my
Grandfather. The Au Sable next and then the move to
Montana. Oh my, so much wonderful water. We spent
three months camped in Yellowstone National Park one
summer, and did not fish all the available trout water.
I loved the Spring Creeks just south of Livingston, and
caught my personal best trout on Nelson's - will always be
tucked away in my mind. We guided on the Spring Creeks
and the Upper Yellowstone as well. The last time we
fished in the park, we thought the numbers of insects
were down, as well as the number of fish. But then,
somehow we always view the past fishing experiences
as 'the good old days.'
Chico Creek, shown in Castwell's column this week, is
a dependable and easy to fish salmon estuary. Fishing
in the creek itself, where the banks are above high
water, is prohibited. The estuary is very large, and
there is room for hundreds of anglers - and that does
happen from time to time. We just had a couple of good
days of rain, and the fish are there! It's about
fifteen minutes from our front door. How can you beat
We have another favorite, Point No Point on Admiralty
Inlet, (part of the Pacific Ocean). Here you fish, in
waders, just off the white sand beach for Coho and King
Salmon. Castwell did catch a steelhead there once, but
it's not a recognized steelhead spot. As much as we
really like the location, there is a serious problem in
fishing there. There are several open or closed seasons,
and it is confusing. The rule of thumb seems to be, if
the fish are there, it's closed. Not there? Open.
We've spent enough time at PNP to know how low a low tide
really is, where the deep holes are where the fish hold,
and to recognize the riff which develops on an incoming
tide change. Early morning and just before dark are the
best times - especially if the tide is right. We did not
fish there this year at all. But I still consider it
How can that be?
I've listed a half-dozen or more of my 'home waters.'
They all exist and aren't a figment of my imagination.
I don't think I could pick just one.
Each has a special place in my mind and heart - and maybe
that is exactly the way it should be.
We fished up in Quebec this summer with Chris Chin on his
'home water' the Ste. Marguerite. Chris was raised in
British Columbia, and I'll bet he has a stream or two
from his earlier years which have a special place in
his memories too. Recently he has changed jobs and
moved to a different region (still in Quebec) and I've
already seen some comments on the Bulletin Board to the
effect he has lots of new water to explore and learn.
If he's there for any amount of time, I suspect a new
home water will be added to his resume.
Now that I'm thinking about it, there's some flats off
South Andros Island, Bahamas which I would like to
include as home waters too. But of course we don't
live there, just visit from time to time. Does one
have to live on or near a particular piece of water
to have it as home waters?
Birders often have 'life lists' where they record the
new birds they have spotted. Some will travel great
distances to add to that list - not as part of
something else, but especially for the bird watching.
Is that what we fly fishers are doing? Building a
life list of our favorite places to fish? Hmmm,
that doesn't seem to be it. Are we creating a
fishing resume? I suppose that could be true for
some. But I think there is something else.
Those home waters are more than a place we fished.
They are a part of who we are. We may have learned
something in fishing there, had an experience that
added to our knowledge, or just our overall
appreciation of the outdoor world which surrounds
Just as those home waters have become a special part
of us, in our memories and recollections, we have
become part of them as well. And you know what?
We've left a part of ourselves there too.
So if and when we return to those home waters,
it really is going home. ~ LadyFisher
If you would like to comment on this or any other article please feel free to
post your views on the FAOL Bulletin Board!