Friday, September 20, 2013

A Day of Paddling

On a whim I took off Wednesday from work. We were having beautiful weather and I was yearning to be on the water. I'd discovered yet another lake near my house and was going to explore it. I've had to make a list of ideal kayaking waters near me, there are so many less than an hour's drive, and I desperately want to cover most by this season's end.
When I finally found the water, the lake looked desolate, I couldn't see anyone else out there but did spot 2 vehicles parked nearby.
The water was chilly, a sure enough sign that fall is approaching and the shady areas were a little cool, so I didn't linger in those, but it was lovely to feel the sun and hear nothing but crickets and birds.
Throughout my paddle I saw only 2 other boats, both with guys fishing. so for the most part I had this great expanse of water to myself and nature. I explored all the tributaries and found plenty of dragonflies, some green herons, turtles, a beaver house, and HUGE fish.
The lake has a lot of standing wood in the water, some reaching up from the water line but plenty hidden underneath. Some you could see but others would occasionally ruck under my kayak, making me jump. I loved seeing the old trunks lifting up out of the lake and started to weave in and out of them until I realized that the spiders liked them too and had also weaved in and out of them, but they were leaving thick single strands of their web behind, and these would catch me as I paddled through.
Largemouth bass also loved the wood. I've never seen such big fish before. I inadvertently herded and trapped one up a tributary of shallow water. I saw it hovering and we watched one another until it made a dash under my boat, rocking me and leaving a wide trail of bubbles as it sped away. It had been easily 3ft long and 7-8" wide. I saw a few others, a little smaller, and wondered if the fisherman had seen them too. There is a notice on the bank asking the large ones to be returned to the water, they can take about 12 years to reach the size of the one I saw. Wikipedia has the maximum length of one recorded at 29.5" long. If that's so, then that's the one I saw or a new record could be achieved if this chap is caught.
After a few relaxing hours I loaded Big Red onto Stuart and drove home, also relaxing because there's hardly any traffic out here.What a wonderful way to break up the work week. It should be made law that Wednesdays are now a day of rest! Or in my case a Day of Paddling!

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