Home Waters: A Chronicle of Family and a River

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In this "poetic" and "captivating" (Publishers Weekly) memoir about the power of place to shape generations, John N. Maclean chronicles his family's storied bond with Montana's legendary Blackfoot River, which his father, Norman Maclean, made famous in A River Runs through It

A New York Times "New & Notable" Selection

A long-awaited nonfiction companion to A River Runs through It, Home Waters is John N. Maclean's remarkable memoir of his family's century-long love affair with Montana's majestic Blackfoot River, the setting for his father's classic novella. Maclean returns annually to the simple family cabin that his grandfather built by hand, still in search of the trout of a lifetime. When he hooks it at last, decades of longing promise to be fulfilled, inspiring John, reporter and author, to finally write the story he was born to tell. 

A book that will resonate with everyone who feels deeply rooted to a place, Home Waters is chronicle of a family who claimed a river, from one generation to the next, of how this family came of age in the 20th century and later as they scattered across the country, faced tragedy and success, yet were always drawn back to the waters that bound them together. Here are the true stories behind the beloved characters fictionalized in A River Runs through It, including the Reverend Maclean, the patriarch who introduced the family to fishing; Norman, who balanced a life divided between literature and the tug of the rugged West; and tragic yet luminous Paul (played by Brad Pitt in Robert Redford’s film adaptation), whose mysterious death has haunted the family and led John to investigate his uncle’s murder and reveal new details in these pages.

A universal story about the power of place to shape families, and a celebration of the art of fly fishing, Maclean’s memoir beautifully portrays the inextricable ways our personal histories are linked to the places we come from—our home waters. 

Featuring twelve wood engravings by Wesley W. Bates and a map of the Blackfoot River region.

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About Us

Blackfoot River Outfitters is Missoula, Montana's family-owned Orvis-endorsed fly fishing company. We’ve been sharing Montana’s rivers with anglers for over 25 years while imparting fly fishing knowledge that is informed, honest, and timely. We hope to include you as one of our many loyal shop customers and guiding clients.

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