“Bayou Seipe” by Doug Fincher

January 25, 2021 - Before Toledo Bend Reservoir was ever built, the Bayou Seipe near Huxley, Texas was a ten-mile “no boat” creek- fisherman’s paradise and when my friend Hollis Peavy and I heard about it, we were soon addicted to it. Busy little Harris Branch … spring-fed and ever-flowing … intersected the Bayou Seipe on its ten-mile run to the Sabine River. And this gorgeous branch/creek stretch of water became a favorite for Hollis and me.

In 1957 I was a senior at ETBU in Marshall, Texas and spent every weekend in San Augustine, Texas where I was pastor of Liberty Hill Baptist Church.  Church member Gordon Peavy’s family often invited me to spend Saturday night in their home.  Their son Hollis and I developed a special brotherly friendship and fished in every lake, pond, and pothole in San Augustine County. 

I got to San Augustine earlier than usual one Saturday morning and asked Hollis if he was ready to “try the fish” at Bayou Seipe.  Within an hour we were parked at Harris Branch and racing down the trail toward Bayou Seipe. And our first look at it proved we had picked the right day and time to be there. The creek’s clear, reddish water was just high enough to be running between the holes and autumn’s falling leaves kept us hidden from the fish.

As I slid down the bank, Hollis reeled in a frisky small-mouth bass and within minutes the creek was just exploding with fish. We began laughing and racing each other to the next hole and three long hours later we began trudging back upstream lugging 46 fish on our two stringers. In our excitement we had forgotten to eat that day and when we got back to the car, we were not just exhausted and hungry, but I had developed a severe migraine headache…the worst of my lifetime.  On the way back to the Peavy’s I whispered to Hollis, “Don’t talk, any sound splits my head wide open.” At the Peaveys I asked him to let me lie down under their pear tree and to ask Betty Jean and Ruby Carolyn not to come outside or make noise. Two hours later, my eyes suddenly popped open, .and I was gazing into a clear blue sky… and with no headache.

As I walked toward the house, I could hear the Peavys laughing and talking around their kitchen table. I jumped into the kitchen and laughed out, “Y’all can talk now. My headache’s gone and I’m starving!” Mrs. Peavy poured me a glass of buttermilk and we all sat down together for food and fellowship. 

When Toledo Bend Reservoir filled, it covered over 181,000 acres of land and attracted fishermen from all across our nation. And most of them had likely never seen or heard of the once beautiful Bayou Seipe. But we old fellers remember her well … and wish she was back.