Spirit of Moonpie and I spent the 20th through the 22nd on the Nottoway below Hercules. The water was 70 degrees low and nasty. Air temps ranged from 58 to 85 degrees. Trash was unusually heavy for this section of the river. It could be coming from a new popular bank fishing location just above the boat ramp there at the old Delaware Park. The shore is trashed there pretty bad some of that is most likely ending up in the river. I also removed several abandoned limb lines, one had the remains of a dead gar that had got snagged on it and rotted swinging in the air when the water went down. This was my first land-based patrol since spring and I was sooo ready for it. Though it was still right hot for me, the nights were just about perfect. I was worried that the skeeters were going to kill us on this trip cause it still was so warm. Sure enough as soon as I got to base camp, the biggest bloodsucker I ever did see landed right on my knee. How big was it you ask? Well it was so big that when I slapped it, guts from this king size vampire bug went everywhere. In fact I kept its liver and fried it up for supper that night! But really, the bugs were actually not that bad and I only got bit once. The fishing on this trip was a mixed bag. I ran limb-lines for catfish but only caught 5 the whole trip. The biggest was a 10-pound blue. I caught 7 largemouth all small on various lures from spinners to crank baits. The bluegill fishing though was fantastic, I caught all I wanted easily on the fly rod and casting. On one casting run I had 17 bites in 10 casts! That was a LOT of fun. I could not believe how many snakes were around on this trip. In fact right after the skeeter fiasco, I was tying up the boat to this dead tree stump. The next thing I know is this snake is materializing out of the dead stump wiggling and squirming its way out between the bark and the rotten wood. It was a baby water snake about 10 inches long. I just stood there starring as it noodled its way free and fell at Moonpies and my feet and quickly swam away. Wow! Moonpie said kinda matter of factly, that was strange. Yup, I replied, both of us still standing there in the water looking at each other. Is it cause we are getting older and things just don’t scare us as bad anymore or what Moonpie pondered out loud. I thought for a second and replied, Well, I think its more like we’re both old and just can’t move quite as fast on these two old rivers we call the Nottoway and Blackwater.
Right Moonpie replied, laughing as she drifted away.