A house on a river is somewhat of an American archetype, especially for a fisherman. You awake and just as the coffee makes its way through the filter into your cup, you notice through the kitchen window that the trout are rising behind the large boulder downstream of the riffle. You grab your fly-rod from the corner of the garage where you left it the night before. It is all set up. You walk intently across the lawn with hot coffee sloshing on your fingers wondering if they are feeding on baetis, midges or a more juicy PMD.
Ah, yes. And then, there is life and the reality of it all. A house on the river is probably next to a busy road, has lots of neighbors, is far from town and isn’t all that great in the off season.
Since humans have been walking, hunting and trading, they have been building trails, roads and railroads through the river valleys. Many river beds are commercial areas. Public reclamation efforts have turned other areas into federal and state forest, parks and otherwise protected lands. the remaining private land is divided between commercial, agricultural and residential.
The outcome is that the house on the river is certainly pricey and all too frequently in earshot of a noisy road or railroad line. Your backyard will be a playground for kayakers, canoers, rafters, fishermen and other water-sport enthusiasts.
If you are close to a town, the land will likely be subdivided to the point where houses almost touch each other. If you are further out from town, you will drive for just about everything: groceries, gas, schools, libraries, and friends.
And then there is winter, rain and off-season.
I’ve probably looked at too many properties recently and been too disappointed. But, I think the house on the river is best relegated tot the weekend or vacation home status.
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