Sunday, January 6, 2013

Scouting (new) small water

Hinkson Creek.  It's been on my "list" of places to explore for a few years now.

I have fished a pool below the bridge on McMillan Rd a few times, and the pool has been productive. Usually after having fished nearby Rowan Creek, and out of just good old fashioned curiosity, I stopped by the bridge since I was in the area.  The problem is the pool is essentially all on private property, so fishing it legally from the bridge is sketchy at best.  I try to be respectful of landowners wishes and stay out of their little slice of heaven, but occasionally the chase gets the better of me.  So I tested my limits from the only spot on the side of the bridge that I think is legal.

A fly rod won't do.  This is a spin fishing spot, for no other reason than making any kind of cast with a fly rod is just asking for an altercation with a tree.

So what we have is tempting water, with fish in it, that is too tight to fly cast in, and the up-stream side of the bridge is DNR land.  I'm not too proud to bust out my spin fishing set up if I know there is good fishing ahead, but until today I just never took the time to scout it.

So why did it take so long to explore this area with DNR land on this creek?  Because it was an unknown.  And, because that little voice in my head screamed uncontrollably about getting lost in a thicket and never returning due having by eyes gouged out while just trying to get through the brush.

So today, while I had a rare few minutes to escape without anyone with me (read: no kids), I thought: 'What the hell...may as well hike the DNR land.  At least the bugs won't get me, the brush should be bearable and then I will know for certain if it is fishable or not.  Right?

After my hike, I can say without uncertainty that there are fish there.  A decent number of them too.  I can also say without uncertainty that I will never step foot in that god forsaken land again.  Fish or not, that place worse than the 7th ring of hell; just waiting for a new victim.

The fact that the DNR has signs all over the place proudly tempting unsuspecting fishermen in, strikes me as the work of someone who has a sick sense of humor and knows that the best way to protect a trout stream is to allow it to grow so thick with underbrush that even the coyotes will avoid it.

It was good to get out.  I did, for the most part, enjoy myself and I needed a few gulps of fresh air.  As an added benefit, I also satisfied that nagging question in my mind:  Yep, been there once.  Nice place.  Don't see to many reasons to go back.

Here are a few pictures.  Just don't let the beauty fool you.

The hike in from the parking area looked promising

What I should have taken as an omen, was instead taken with a defiant
"What kind of asshole does this?" The answer of course, came to me a bit later: This was spray painted by someone who has also been sucked in by curiosity and he was just trying to warn me.
Bambi slept here (likely during "Draco" the wonder storm)
Stepping out of the woods and realizing you've just found the headwaters....Cool!
Headwaters or not....marshes SUCK to hike through.
Fishable water that would be hell to get to without snow cover
And there it is.  The stream quickly shows its true colors.
Now, imagine this in summer. Ick.
And last but not least, the pool below the bridge with a sweet riffle below it that as far as I could see drops into a juicy run.  Oh...and that sign on the  bottom right---Boooooo!
Remember that little voice in my head that was screaming?....turns out it knew something I didn't.

Anyway, for those of you who are local, and have thought about fishing Hinkson Creek upstream from McMillan Rd (Columbia County)....go if you must, but don't say I didn't warn you.

Til later,

-M

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