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#28229 - 07/31/21 11:41 AM Fish & Stream report. 2021
redsnow Online   content
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Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3035
Loc: WV
Our rivers are really low and the creeks are just about dry.

I've been out swimming with my mask and fins like I do every summer. I've been swimming in the South Branch of the Potomac River, basically the same spots where I swim year after year.

One thing that I've noticed, I'm seeing more smallmouth bass, than I have in recent years. The bass population is nothing like it was 20 years ago, but I'm seeing more. Mostly, in the 5 to 8 inch range. Seeing a good many from 8 to 12 inches. Once you go to 15 inches and up, you don't see many.

I know we have a lot of fishermen here on the forum. I always like to fish around some kind of, I guess you'd call it "structure". That slack water behind rocks, snags, drift piles and bridge piers, stuff like that.

Anyway, I was out the other day, noticed this snag out in the middle of the river, so I swam over in that direction. I was just floating, spread eagle on my belly, looking around. The visibility in the water is over 10 feet. I grabbed the snag, just floating effortless, watching the fish.

There were 4 bass right there, the smallest one was a largemouth bass, and it'd go 18 inches. It was right there 2 feet from me. 2 very nice smallmouth, a little bit longer than the largemouth. And then the big one. I don't think he'll go 5 pounds, but he'll easily go 4. It swam right under me, I looked at it from both sides, it's a pretty fish.

I stayed there and watched them for probably 5 minutes, they were still there. A couple carp swam past, maybe 15 pounders.

But I've told several of my friends, that is the biggest smallmouth that I've seen for 10 years or better.

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#28230 - 07/31/21 02:13 PM Re: Fish & Stream report. 2021 [Re: redsnow]
Hal Offline
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Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 10237
Loc: Blue Creek, Ohio, USA
Nice!
_________________________
Endeavor to persevere.

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#28231 - 08/02/21 11:41 AM Re: Fish & Stream report. 2021 [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3035
Loc: WV
Well, I've got a plan. Big D. and I are going fishing Thursday. (If things work according to plan) I'll tell you now, if either one of us would hook up with any of those bass, we'll keep them out of the water long enough to take a picture, and right back in they go. I haven't kept a bass out of the river for 20 years.

Talked to a man the other day, he gave me permission to seine the creek behind his house. Usually, that hole is 10 by 15 feet or so, Gary said that it's about the size of 2 wheelbarrels now. We are very, very dry here.

If nothing else, we'll go upstream and seine for driver minnows, and cat minnows. Driver minnows are a type of "dace" minnow, they will drill to the bottom of the river. Get us a few crawdads an helgramites.

I've only been out swimming 6 times this summer, but one thing that I've noticed within the last 2 or 3 weeks, the algae, moss and gunk on the bottom of the river is really coming on. The river rocks are slick now. Very slick.

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#28233 - 08/08/21 01:37 PM Re: Fish & Stream report. 2021 [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3035
Loc: WV
Well, my plan worked about like I expected. D. and I caught bass, but nothing up near 4 pounds.

I'll give you a quick run down of Thursday's events. After we loaded the boat and all of our gear, we went to Gary's house and seined up about 6 dozen creek minnows. The creek is dry, not flowing at all, and the hole is just a puddle.

The minnows that we got are smaller than I prefer, but, that's all we had. I know of places where I can catch good minnows, but by the time you go get them, that's an hour and a half or 2 hours down the drain. Minnows are hard to keep this time of year.

But we put the boat in, only fished for a couple of hours, and the best fish we caught was a largmouth bass. We guessed it at about 2 and a half pounds. It put up a pretty good fight.

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#28236 - 08/09/21 11:48 PM Re: Fish & Stream report. 2021 [Re: redsnow]
jarentz Offline
Member

Registered: 01/25/11
Posts: 73
Loc: central pa.
I have not been fishing since the end of May! I'm with you we can use some rain.

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#28237 - 08/10/21 11:37 AM Re: Fish & Stream report. 2021 [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3035
Loc: WV
We are very dry. We had a nice rain shower the other day, then the sun popped out and it was gone. Wardney had 3 tenths of an inch. I had 72* at 6am today.

I went swimming in the South Fork the other day, the water is a good bit cooler up there, lots of springs in that area. It's just a small swimming hole, I did find 2 smallmouth in the 12-14 inch range. Visibility was over 10 feet.

For anyone that has never swam using a mask and fins like I have been, fish will let you swim right up to them. I poked a spotted sucker with my finger the other day, just for the heck of it.

I wanted to tell you this, the day that I found that biggest bass, I noticed a pickup backing down the boat ramp. He had a big plastic trash can strapped down on the back. That's a "public stream access". You never know about people. An older man got out, grabbed a bucket off the back, standing in a foot of water, he bailed up enough water to fill the trash can. He noticed me, I waved at him. And away he went.

I wanted to watch him go back up the river bank, and he lost a bunch of water.

It just happened that the day Big D. and I went fishing, the old man came along while I had the boat ramp blocked. I recognized the old Ford pickup. I told him I'd be out of his way in a minute.

While D. was getting the boat squared up, I talked to the old feller, I'd guess he's up in his late 70's or so? We talked about fishing years ago, he said that's the first time he'd seen anyone with minnow buckets for years.

He had 2 big trash cans on his truck that day, I asked him what he was doing with his water, he said for his garden.

I'll tell you one thing, that's a man that loves his garden. If he's willing to drive to the river, then bail up 60 or 80 gallons of water using a 10 quart bucket, then take it home and carry it around to his plants.

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#28238 - 08/13/21 11:37 AM Re: Fish & Stream report. 2021 [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3035
Loc: WV
Chester, that works at the town's water treatment plant usually stops here before he goes to work. He likes to bear hunt, sometimes he'll hang out here for an hour or so? We've been talking about water.

Chester said that right now, they are treating 4.2 Million gallons per day. "On a good day". That's all coming out of the South Fork, of the South Branch of the Potomac River. That's pretty much 100% capacity of the water plant.

About a year ago they started building a new water treatment plant. It's designed to process 8 million gallons per day.

I'll try to describe how the South Fork plant is set up. There is a concrete dam across the river, never did really size it up, but the pool of water above the dam is well over an acre in size. It may be 3 acres? Chester said that when the pumps kick on the water level in the pool will drop 4, 5, maybe 6 inches.

Back years ago when my daughter was small, I asked one of the water plant guys to give us a tour. Up and down the stairs and all, that was interesting. I've already been invited up for a tour of the new water plant. I forget how much $ that thing is costing us? I think there for a while they were pouring 300 yards of concrete per day.

But I'm looking forward to checking out this new treatment plant.

I had 72* at daylight, we are dry and burnt to a crisp. Even the weeds are wilty.

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#28239 - 08/13/21 05:34 PM Re: Fish & Stream report. 2021 [Re: redsnow]
jarentz Offline
Member

Registered: 01/25/11
Posts: 73
Loc: central pa.
It is hot and dry here also 98 degrees @ noon! I'm done for today!!

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#28241 - 08/15/21 01:44 PM Re: Fish & Stream report. 2021 [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3035
Loc: WV
Well, we had a little rain shower yesterday, and an even smaller shower the day before. Just enough to get the pavement wet, then the sun popped out and it was gone. The weeds did perk up just a little bit.

I may have mentioned this before, not sure? I've told a lot of folks in person, But, years ago we had a hot dry summer like we're having now, Dad and some of his/our friends were talking about it. George was the oldest feller in the group, he was a good bit older than Dad, so he'd have been born about 1900, give or take?

George told us that the hottest dry spell that he could remember, he said the temperature here in the valley went up to 100* F. and stayed right at 100*, day AND night for a week. He told us that they had a thermometer on a tree at the river, and it didn't change. That's hot.

Chester at the water plant said the water temperature was 70*. When the air temp is up in the 90's or above, the river is the place to be.

Talking about how dry it is, I went up to the King's property, figured I'd mow off the weeds around my trail camera. Fired up the tractor with the brush hog and blazed a trail. On my second pass, hit a big rock in the field, bounced and banged around under the mower before I could raise it up.

Happened to think about the farmer from Grant county, a week or so ago, his machinery set his hay field on fire. That said that it burnt 4 or 5 acres of hay before they got it snuffed out.

Here I was 20 minutes from town, no phone service, 15 minutes from a land line (if someone would be home). I figured I'd just better shut that machine down, before I did set the world on fire. It'll rain one of these days.

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#28242 - 08/16/21 11:35 AM Re: Fish & Stream report. 2021 [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3035
Loc: WV
Here is a link to the USGS, a Million gallons.

https://www.usgs.gov/special-topic/water..._center_objects

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#28246 - 08/17/21 11:37 AM Re: Fish & Stream report. 2021 [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3035
Loc: WV
Well, we had another little rain shower yesterday, best rain we've had for a long time. I don't have a gauge out, but it would have been less than a half inch. I see where the weather folks are calling for a chance of thunderstorms for the next 5 days.

The mailman told me the other day that we'd had less than 2 inches of rain during the past 2 months.

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#28250 - 09/07/21 11:35 AM Re: Fish & Stream report. 2021 [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3035
Loc: WV
I'll give you an update on our streams and all.

Three weeks ago, my brother and I went out swimming. First time he'd been in the river this summer. We went to the spot in the South Branch where I'd found that biggest smallmouth bass.

We'd had a couple little rain showers, the water was up little bit above where it had been, but still about 2 feet below the normal water mark. And the water was a little bit cooler than before. Visibility was right at 10 feet.

Remnants of hurrican Ida passed over the area, for 2 or 3 days. Here locally, we had one steady rain that lasted about 14 hours. All together we had somewhere between 6 and 8 inches of rain. Other areas 15 miles away had another 5 inches.

Last Thursday, the South Branch and it's South Fork were both muddy, and up around 2 feet above normal. Visibility would have been less than an inch.

I've mentioned this before, our streams flow fairly swift. Remember that 180 pound chunk of sandstone that I dropped off the bridge a year or so ago. The current has washed it downstream about 25 yards.

But within 24 hours the water in the South Fork had cleared to where the visibility would have been back up to 3 feet or so. Visibility is back up to 10 feet now.

Our temperature went into the 40's the other night, I had 55* F at daylight today. Our swimming season is just about over for this summer.

Didn't find much this year, one rod and reel, 2 cell phones and a 15 pound boat anchor. And a golfball.

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#28259 - 09/27/21 11:34 AM Re: Fish & Stream report. 2021 [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3035
Loc: WV
Well, swimming season is over for this year. Last week we had another 4 or 5 or 6 inches of rain, depending on the location. The rivers are up and muddy again, they'll be clear in 2 or 3 days. But our low temperatures have been in the 40's, three of the last 4 nights. I've got 50* now. This late in the year, the water isn't going to warm up.

So, time to put my swim gear away for a while.

One thing that I wanted to mention is that swimming is a lifetime skill, sport or hobby. I swim because it's relaxing, fun, quiet and peaceful. Now and then I'll find some good stuff too.

For anyone that has never swam with a mask and fins, it's pretty neat. I've posted pictures of my gear, nothing fancy. If you're interested, do a search: Mask and swim fins.

You can buy them in a package deal. After you buy a pair of water booties, you're looking at $100 total. If you take care of them, they'll last for years and years.

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