Jane looked up and smiled as she tossed another bag of ice into the truck. That is two of her trademarks, a smile, and hard work. Working 37-years on a farm will do that to you. She works over the Sabine’s white bass just as hard. Imagine running a farm, a guide business, and a campground, at the same time. She has done that too.
Then, a Texas Parks and Wildlife agent came around. Two tough Texans with a love of the outdoors made sparks fly. Now I do not mean some sissy looking sparks from the Fourth of July. We are talking about sparks you would find in a blacksmith’s shop. These are tough, sage characters. Tom’s calm demeanor hides all the crazy experiences of being a TPW officer for 28-years. His stories told in a dry, Walter Matthau style will keep you in stitches.
After dinner, I made my way to one of their rustic cabins on their campground. The sounds of the night were music to my ears. Sleep came quickly.
The alarm awoke this angler on the third ring. It was time to go fishing! Jane and Tom being hospitable folks, had muffins and wild hog sausage waiting. Tom later informed me that hog hunting was “slow”. “We only got 63 of ‘em last year”. “Darn” I replied.
Breakfast was over as soon as Jane said, “Let’s go catch some fish”. We could not keep up with her. Tom and I rode down to the river and said, “Yep, she left us. Jane’s always in a hurry to fish”. Guiding has been her passion for nearly 27-years.
We were thumping Sabine River’s BIG white bass 15-minutes later. Tom was casting Road Runners and telling stories. Little zingers like “I’m gittin’ ahead of ya’. You better get to work” were just part of the fun.
Later, Tom reluctantly posed for a few photos. A dark cloud was approaching from the south, threatening the future of my cameras. We headed back to the ramp. We said our goodbyes without Jane. Her party of four was still catching fish and had rain gear.
I felt sad, as River Ridge grew smaller in the rear view mirror.
The River Ridge experience is easily worth the price. Trips with Jane, Tom, or Andy are just $325.00 for two. Extra anglers are $75.00. You can camp the night before for $20.00. Cabins with the guide trip are as little as $50.00. Anglers can keep 25-white bass a day. That’s a lot of fish to fry.