I never got around to writing a report until now, but back in June I found the time to wade fish a Feliciana parish stream with the long rod. I made it on the water as the sun was rising and actually caught a bass on one of my first few casts. The action was slow after that, but it was, and has always been, time well spent and a great way to beat the summer heat.
The usual suspects were around – spotted bass, longear sunfish, and bluegill, but I also had the pleasure of catching another shadow bass. This was likely the biggest I’ve ever caught too. He came off some submerged timber in the very middle of a deep bend in the creek I was fishing. True to form, he hit a dead drifted crawfish pattern I was running behind a big hopper. It’s always fun to catch these guys as they are pretty unique.
Google Earth tells me I fished maybe half a mile before I was ready to call it a day and turn around to head back home. It never fails that when I’m fishing I think I’m covering at least a mile, but in reality it is always much less. It’s funny how that works. It makes you wonder about all the untouched water that lies beyond a mile or two from an access point? How much better is the fishing if I put in the work to get there?
This past Saturday Amanda and I had a chance to check out BREC’s newest park, the Frenchtown Road Conservation Area, which is the biggest conservation area in the system at 495 acres. It encompasses most of the land between the Amite and Comite Rivers, south of the Illinois Central Railroad. Currently there are a little over three miles of hiking trails on the property through mostly bottomland hardwood forest.
These trails are just the beginning of the park’s intended development. I’m hopeful that established kayak/canoe launches are in the master plan, as it sits now the only river access that is available is via a 0.7 mile railroad trail to a beach on the Amite River at the park’s NE corner. Any new access to our area’s scenic rivers is a good thing, but it looks like I’ll have to invest in a cart before I can give this stretch of water a proper go. I did manage to get a few mid-hike casts off from the beach and was rewarded with a little spotted bass for my efforts.
It was a nice day for a hike and I look forward to using this area more in the future. There was a little confusion on the trails though. Seems a nearby property owner was not too pleased at the location of the big loop trail in the park and “No Trespassing” signs were placed toward the end of the trail turning this loop into a long one way. According to the park’s facebook page it sounds like a bypass trail has been added and the area can be avoided. You’d think they would figure these things out before opening the park, but live and learn I guess.