Friday, October 23, 2009


Reagan Wells is a small community located about 25 miles to the north of Uvalde, and just to the west of Garner State Park and the other Frio River lodging legends in that area. It's located on Ranch Road 1051, and it crosses the Dry Fork of the Frio River at several low water crossings.

Here's a nice page that has some good pictures of the River and the terrain.

In good years, the Dry Fork of the Frio is anything but. I've seen it when it was a strong running stream with water crossing over the low water crossings.

About 10 years ago Ms. El Fisho and I were looking for a weekend cabin in a nice place on a small amount of acreage and near some sort of fishing water. We went to Reagan Wells to look at a nice cabin located on an elevated piece of property on a very high bluff over looking the Dry Fork of the Frio. It was reasonably priced, and sat on five acres overlooking the river. It was at least 60 feet about the river, so any flooding chances were remote.

It looked to me like the perfect place. Although in that semi-desert and more barren lower Hill Country, there were quite a few trees on this property. There are springs and wells all over Reagan Wells, meaning plentiful water most of the time, and for several decades in the early 1900's the area had a health spa touting the healing waters of the springs and wells in the community.

In any event, the fatal flaw in the plan was the fact that the place, and indeed, Reagan Wells, was located on a dead end RR that had either two or three low water crossings that had to be crossed to get back to Uvalde or to roads that connected to the main highways in the area.

I found out just how strongly Ms. El Fisho felt about low water crossings. She doesn't like them, she will not drive over them and she damn sure will not own property that involves driving over one or more to get to it.

I suspect that in a flooding rain the crossings would be absolutely impassable for those folks who live in Reagan Wells, meaning no way out of the area in a flood except by helicopter. You'd have to keep a several week supply of food and water and the like in case a big flood came, trapping the folks there in their homes.

So after that idea was nixed, we looked at several places in the area surrounding Bandera, along some of the small creeks that feed the Medina River. Again, we found some nice, quaint and pretty cabins and small houses along small acreage fronting rivers and creeks. Of course, we are interested only in those that are high enough to keep from getting flooded.

Again, the curse of the low water crossing. This area is in the large but somewhat nebulous part of Texas referred to "As the Country of 1100 Springs". There are creeks and streams and rivers all over the place. Alas, all of the places we could afford and that we liked required crossing at least one low water crossing to get to.

So that was the end of trying to find a weekend cabin in the Hill Country with some live water flowing through it. Any of the places we could afford were in low lying areas that had flooded and would flood again. Finding an affordable place required at least one low water crossing, and I can tell you we're at an impasse on this issue. There is no negotiation.

So since the chances are slim to none that I can ever convince Mrs. El Fisho to move or even weekend in that area, I'll give up this little secret place of paradise. The Hill Country can be quite dramatic, and I think the elevation of this area is in the 1400' range. The availability of live water makes this little area unique. It is isolated and sparsely populated. I suspect it is a hunter's paradise as well, having seen numerous deer while there during the daytime.

It's a great drive to hit the Ranch Road to Reagan Wells and the side roads once you get there and it's really a dramatically beautiful part of Texas. Bring the camera, or better yet, bring the fishing rod and fish off of the low water crossings. Beetle Spins work pretty well, as do spinners. When the fish are deep, streamers and nymphs work well also, but you have to get them deep.

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