June 21st Through The 23rd Blackwater Trip

23 Jun
June 23, 2009

Spirit of Moonpie & I spent the 21st through the 23rd on the Blackwater above the Steel Bridge Rt. 603.

The water was at 6ft. on the USGS gage. Trash was light and I saw no water quality problems up there. The fishing was phenomenal as usual on that part of the river. I guess I caught 100 bream & red throats with three red throats weighing over a pound apiece. All were caught on the baby Snagless Sally. The bass fishing was not too shabby either. I caught nine with the largest weighing 3.11 lbs. All were caught on topwater. While the fishing was great, it was REALLY tough getting to them. I had to cross many log jams to get up there so I’m telling you now your bass boat ain’t gonna make it. I did it in a small jon boat but a canoe would be much better. I got on one logjam and did not think I was going to make it back. The water was over my head on both sides and I just could not get the boat to move, plus I was fighting a stiff current that on the upriver side of the log was trying to suck me under it. I heaved and yanked until I was just about pooped out and was hanging on to the boat in water up to ears. I told Moonpie, “ durn, I must be getting weaker in my old age or something’s getting heavier.” Moonpie leaned over the boat and looked down at me in the water and said in a smart alec voice, “well it ain’t me Grandpa cause I don’t weigh anything anymore remember?, ‘so get your butt in gear and get us back to the camp site.” I finally got it going by getting on the downstream side at the front of the boat and put my legs on the log under the boat and gave it one big heave. That got the boat off the log but also afforded me a big knot on my head when the boat ran over me in the process. That would have been the end of me if it had knocked me out. So yea, the fishing’s great but if you go up there you’re going to pay for it. That’s precisely why the fishing is great on that part of the river because not many people want to go through all that just to catch a fish. Oh, speaking about the many qualities of the river I just learned that it has passed the first phase of getting designated as a Virginia Scenic River by meeting all the requirements according to the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). So thank you Jane Hill from IOW County who was the person that really got this project going because without her hard work this would have never happened. Okay, back to the report. The last night we camped I was about asleep when all of a sudden something went about makin’ a terrible squalling. My eyes flew open and I grabbed Hanna (my 44 magnum) and held her tight. It was about pitch black in the tent and when I turned to get an ear pointed to where I though the sound was coming from I bout had a heart attack right then. Moonpie was sitting right there in the tent beside me just a grinnin’. “Pretty slick huh Moonpie said, I can just come and go in your tent a anytime and don’t even have to ask! “That’s great you can walk through walls now I said but what the hecks that screaming out there? “Don’t know, don’t care, and it can’t eat me so I’m going to bed and in your sleeping bag she added.” Well I listened to this screaming off and on all night. I have never heard anything like it at night. The next day as we were coming in I started hearing it again. We drifted closer and closer and finally there was the source. Not one but two immature bald eagles most likely born this year because they looked like they could not fly real well. I guess that would also explain the odd behavior. Still I have never heard of eagles doing like that at night, but then you never know what you might see or hear on the two rivers we call the Blackwater & Nottoway Rivers.

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