Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Orvis Riverbend Roundup Float 2013

This past Saturday the local Orvis stores hosted a float from Algonkian Park to Riverbend park.

Producer Jason came down to float in the canoe with me. We started on Saturday evening on lake Audubon in Reston across the street from my parent's house. We fished tandem rigs mostly and Jason fished some streamers. We both caught more fish than we could count. Bluegills bent my 6wt all evening. It was exhausting.

We got up early on Sunday and headed to the  park. Cars with kayaks, canoes, and hybrid boats were headed West on Route 7. We all convened at the boat ramp. Deer were all over the park. On the golf course, in the road, in the woods. Props to Jimmy from the Tyson's store who seemed to be in charge. He also had a lot of bottled water for us as it was HOT.

 Lots of types of boats at the ramp. New and old kayaks, inflatables, stand up hybrid things, and Scott's home made wooden kayak.

The float started a little after 0730. We all got out into the slow and wide water. Jason and I stuck to the Va side to fish the weeds and shore. The majority crossed. The Md. side had a lot of mud on it. It took a good hour for us to float and paddle past the gold course. We got a few nibbles but nothing in this stretch. It was out in the open and HOT.

We passed the golf course and got to the first set of rapids, Seneca Breaks. I was a bit stressed going through the narrow passages in the rock garden and steps. Jason and I parked and got out to fish this stretch. We paddled, hopped out, fished, repeat. This was the only stretch where we got into fish.

I finally got a fish on the Clawdad. Long ear sunfish.
 We ran into some more floaters in this stretch. As we had no idea how far the float was or how long it would take, we didn't stick around  this spot.

I already mentioned it was hot. And the water was slow. Not much was biting. Maybe a few nibbles on poppers. Rebecca joined us along the Va. shoreline. She had a kayak malfunction and one of the air chambers in her boat popped. We continued down river and along Jamie from PRSC

We finally passed 'the pipeline' area and got more bites. I was fishing a grim reaper and clawdad off and on. I got some nice tugs on the reaper but didn't connect. We finally arrived above Riverbend. I paddled over to the Md. side where I used to guide and knew some good spots. 

Jason got into smallies right away. They were tucked in against the shore in the shallows under the trees.
 Both fish jumped and tail walked before throwing the hook. It took 8 hours and this was the most excitement all day.
 Jason rocking his new Umpqua hat.
 The shade was delicious.
 We finally arrived at the take out at 1pm (ok 7 hours of floating). After hours of paddling we were exhausted. We dragged the canoe up onto shore, discussed the lack of biting fish with the others (the temps had been near 100 all week and the water was super hot. As we know, hot water holds less oxygen and the fish will become more sluggish.)

We put the gear in the bus and the shuttle service took care of the boat. 


After a 20 minute or so drive we arrived back at Algonkain. We unloaded from the bus, got the boats back on the cars, and changed out of our grimy threads. The cost of the float included a lunch at the pavilions. I downed an ice cold coke, had a burger, some bbq chicken, beans, and cookies. It was a good lunch to fill me up after all that work. 
 Project Healing Waters and the Chessapeake Bay Foundation were there too. We each were given an Orvis gift bag of an Helios 2 hat, magazines, coupons, catalogs, and BUZZOFF bandana. If you total the lunch, swag, and shuttle it was one heck of a cost effective day. I can't wait for the next one but hopefully we have less water and cooler temps.

Shout out to the transportation shuttle guys.


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