Thursday, November 28, 2013

Gobble Gobble Y'all | Morning At Gravelly Point


I usually fish this time on turkey day. Get up early and head to either Gravelly Point or Four Mile Run to enjoy the river to myself (last year I caught a morbidly obese largie at 4MR and five years ago jumped a huge catfish at Gravelly in fog so thick I couldn't see the planes taking off over my head.) However this year I was on a recon mission and didn't plan to fish.

I have clients scheduled for tomorrow morning at 0700 and wanted to check the water conditions and levels after this weeks rain event. I got up and out of the house around 0800 today and headed to the river.Temps were in the mid 20's and the wind was howling.

I love driving around on this day, early in the morning. No one is around.

Driving was super easy. I only managed to avoid three crazy pedestrians running across the road in their ever present attempt to play human Frogger on Little River Turnpike.

Traffic got bad as I neared the airport. The gulls were standing in the middle of Roaches Run so I knew the water had been blown out by the wind. It was mostly dry.

I drove through the airport, pulled into Gravelly Point, and suited up in my waders, Elmer Fudd hat, and windstopper gloves.




Yea, so there wasn't any water at Gravelly Point either. The wind had blown it all out. It was a bit off color from the recent rains and I was glad I brought a big Ziploc bag with me to collect some hardware off the bottom. And with no water, no fishing.

One of the benefits of a drained river system is that you get to see the substrate. What it is made of, where the water flows, and what you always snag your flies on.

 Here you can see the water coming out of the tunnel beneath the GW Parkway. There is a large bowl shaped formation right in front of the tunnel. This bowl is full of major big sized rocks on the bottom.
 And on those rocks are major knots of monofilament. Most of my and my clients seem to loose our flies on these masses rather than snagging rocks. I was able to pull out several lures and flies in relatively good condition from these masses. If I had a knife I would have cut them all free. I managed to rip out a few and toss them up on shore. If you need any heavy lead sinkers, look for them in these tangles.
 This is just off the boat ramp. The herons were hiding out there and thus baitfish must have been around.


 The substrate is just about all made up of dead clams and mussel shells. Throw in a bottle and can and a shovel and  you get the rest.
 This is the view from the GW Parkway looking down at the tunnel effluent. You can see where the rocks are in this spot and where the fish will be hiding when the water comes back in. See, this is also a recon mission to learn where the fish will be hiding, holding, and avoiding. The bottom isn't just rocks up here but rebar, old metal posts sticking out, tree trunks, part of a chimney and other odd bits.
 You can see the green wooden fence at the bottom of this pic for reference.

Here is my grab bag:

I found 1 TieFast knot tool, one bunny Clouser, one EP crab thing, a few minnow flies, and a black Clouser.

There were a bunch of sassy shads, twisty tail things, crank baits, Rappalas, rubber worms, and other things that I don't know about. 

Bundles of monofilament were ripped out and tossed aside.

And since  you were inquiring, yes, my hands were friggin numb. The wind was howling and there was ice around. It was not pleasant.

I'll bring the bag of goodies to the next Beer Tie and let everyone grab their flies. 

There were scuds under the rocks. Other than that no life forms except birds. No fish in the shallows.


So there you have it. I determined that at the same time tomorrow (tides an hour later) that fishing most likely will not be feasible. The temps will be a bit warmer but the wind will stick around. Four Mile Run would be the other option but that has the same wind going through and thus will also be dry (great chance to go through there and see whats on the bottom- ladders, lawn mower, CPU etc).

We will re-schedule for next weekend. Maybe I'll put stuffing in the waffle maker tomorrow morning since I'll be home. And instead of maple syrup I'll use gravy.

Have a great turkey day everyone.

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