There is nothing in the world that invokes the memories of childhood for me like flowing water. Whether the creeks and rivers of the Florida woods, the tidal flow of the inter coastal, or the mountain streams of Appalachia, the current always flows strong in my veins. I have been trying to convince my wife of a trip to Little Econ, and over the summer I made an attempt with the kids, but there was so much heavy rain at the time that the river was swollen and the surrounding area was flooded. It is a place that I prefer light tackle, spinners, small poppers or a fly, but the water was so high and the current so strong, that my Rooster tails just danced along the surface. So fast forward to yesterday and much lower water levels, it's raining but the river is approachable. The rain is not so cold as to be uncomfortable, and not so heavy that it floods the banks, but strong enough to clean the air and rest a tired mind.
The water is a beautiful red in here and some of my most productive lures have been Rooster tails, Mepps and Panther Martins. It is dark and cloudy though today, and there is no light for the blade on my spinners to reflect, but I still managed a very beautiful Red Belly. I do well in here with white, red and white, and the hammered blade type of spinners. It is a good place for a drop shot but no matter what you use, you will invariably brake off at some point. The bottom is littered with fallen trees, but that is also where you find the bass. There were leopard frogs around so I decided to put away my drop shot and cast the only small Hula Popper I brought. As I brought it back through a section of slow water and over some logs, it got hammered. It has been a while since I fished back here and I forgot how much harder the river bass fight. I thought I hooked a bow fin as he pulled me down and hung me in the branches. So I slid down the bank and tried to work the snag free, but what's this, he is still on my line. It is a 3 prong hook and a prong was lodged in the wood and another in the hard part of his lip. I managed to straighten out the prong and land the bass, which considering my current luck with closing the deal, I felt quite accomplished. Maybe I have broken the cycle of missed sets and lost fish.
There are several ways to approach the Little Econ area, and whether you want to fish or are just out for a hike, there are different entry points that would accommodate both, but I can't imagine being by water and not fishing. Yesterday we parked at the kayak entry off of 419 and Willingham Road, and we were able to get the last to spots. It is a very small parking area, so it is always good to have a plan B. There is a bridge on Snow Hill Road that offers good access to the trails along the bank, and is also a good place to launch your canoe or kayak.
I have also taken pickerel, American Shad, bluegill, crappie, catfish, bowfin and gar in these waters. There is also a lot of wildlife to be seen, like the deer that came charging down the hill about 30 feet in front of me. A beautiful place to visit, and its really not far from the city.
You can see holes in the hill on the opposite bank. The water was higher than that earlier in the year. Often these cavities are the work of Plecostomus, and I have seen them burrow from one pond to an adjoining farm pond, causing the land bring to collapse.
Some of the trees were very heavy with air plants.
Red bellies are very beautiful and also make a great shore lunch. My brother caught some larger ones on a small crank.
A nice chunk here and his fighting prowess would shame the bass in my lake. I took this largemouth on a Hula popper and look at the gorgeous color on this fish.