I took the canoe out to a small pond for my first attempt at paddling. It was actually fairly windy, so getting the canoe down off my car, by myself, was something in and of itself.
I did several laps around the pond while trying out different seating positions and paddle strokes that I had read about. When the wind would catch the bow it took some muscle to overcome.
In the end I came home safe and tired. One trip down, 19 to go.
Trip with Trevor
Trevor came over after work and we headed up the Trinity River from the Sandy Lake Canoe Launch.
After chugging along for 45 minutes, we had 45 minutes of day light left, so we ended up turning around a couple of miles up river.
Trevor wants to race. I think we'd need lots of practice.
First Fishing Trip!
I woke up early one Saturday morning on a morning with perfectly calm winds and a pleasant 60 degree temperature. I headed down to a local fishing hole - there always seems to be someone fishing there, either off of the bank or in some small bass buster.
I headed out alone with just my ultralight rod and in search of crappie. My first target was the old riverbed but I left after barely a nibble.
I made my way into the westernmost pond inside of the nature preserve. The land trail has a no fishing sign, but there's no such sign on the water route!
I hooked up on a biggie under a log at the first little island. I fought it for a bit with it continually stripping line out but it ended up breaking the lure off. From the flash I saw it had the color and manner of a large mouth; I would have loved to have landed him but he was too much for me and my 4 lb test line!
Soon after I found a sunfish bed and picked up my first fish by canoe: a little bitty redear. Small as they are, they're still fun to catch on my ultralight rod. I love that thing!
All in all that morning I caught lots of sunfish, a small bass and a few crappie. Wish I could have stayed longer!
Another Trinity Trip
It was a pretty afternoon, they hot of course, so I threw the canoe on top of my Outback and decided to try out a new canoe launch. This one is fun because the parking lot is about 100 yards down a walking path to the launch, which itself is on a steep bank. But hey, time to get some use out of those squats I pound out in my weight room!
I first carried my gear, including a fishing rod of course, down to the river to take a look. Satisfied that I could manage it, I went back to the car, unstrapped the boat, put it on my back and went walking. As I type this, my neck hurts thinking about it. At least it's a fun workout!
I dragged the boat down the bank and into the water. I expected the Trinity to be a lazy river downstream as it was upstream at Sandy Lake. However, the riverbed was shallow here and the water reacted accordingly. I went upstream first, but by the time I got to the Belt Line Rd bridge, I could barely make progress. Turned out to be fine though: there's a logjam blocking the way just north of the bridge.
I floated back down stream and rigged up my fishing rod. On the first bend I went to the inside of the curve and fished the edges of the current and under some overhanging branches. I either got bites or was just fooled by debris floating along. Either way I never landed any fish.
I headed downriver and enjoyed the current at my back. I eventually came across a sandbar in the middle of the river with two fast currents on each side. I beached the canoe and fished the currents until I snagged and broke off my lure.
I went up a "ditch" until the canoe was hitting gravel before backing out. I continued to fish the slower water just north of the sandbar. There were lots of fish active but I never got a bite. As they say, it's "fishing" not "catching."
I paddled back upstream to the canoe launch where the path awaited me once more. Hot, thirsty, and tired, I lugged the canoe uphill that hundred yards and tied her down.
It wasn't easy, but it sure was fun!