Friday, June 12, 2009

Kingston Springs Float - Hwy 249 to Hwy 70

Well, my kayaking friend and I knew we weren't in Kansas anymore when, while dropping one vehicle at the take-out, a passing car blew its horn and strains of Dixie came out à la The General Lee on The Dukes of Hazzard. Our rustic whereabouts were further confirmed when I parked my truck next to an SUV with an aluminum arrow for an antenna.

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We listened hard for banjo playing at the put-in, but when all was silent, we decided to proceed with caution. The river access at Highway 249 is quite good with a clear shallow slope down to the river just by the bridge. As we started downstream, we crossed under a railroad bridge and then ran parallel to Highway 70 for a while before turning south.

Harpeth Hwy 249 to Hwy 70 at EveryTrail

Map created by EveryTrail: GPS Trip Sharing with Google Maps

Our paddle was a roughly 8.5 mile winding path with two long bends through the Kingston Springs area. I actually liked this portion of the river better than the Narrows. The scenery is terrific with just as many high cliffs, and in my opinion, there are better slow stretches with cover for fishing. Around the halfway point, the Kingston Springs City Park offers easy access to the river such that two 4+ mile paddles are easily do-able in this portion of the Harpeth.

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After last Sunday's Harpeth float, I had hopes of catching more smallmouth and even went so far as to research good lures and make a few purchases. However, because two strong rainstorms came through yesterday, the river was up and dingy, and I wasn't very confident about catching a lot of bass. I started out throwing a Heddon Tiny Torpedo on topwater. Nothing. Then I switched over to a chartreuse Slider grub on a jighead. Not a bite. The 1/4 ounce white Rooster Tail? Zilch.

Finally, I went back to an old standby, the Rapala Countdown in silver. I've used the CD-01 for years to catch stocked trout in nearby streams, and I tied on a slightly bigger CD-05 to try and tempt a bass. It wasn't long before I had a strike. Not a bass, but a small catfish. A little while later, I hooked a bigger cat that put up a nice fight, and before the end of the paddle, I caught a smallish bream on the same lure.

In the final leg of the paddle, I took the time to grab a movie file with my camera. Photobucket, it turns out, makes it a piece of cake to post such captures here at Blogger. The .mov files are converted to .flv files during upload, and Photobucket offers a ready-made string of HTML for embedding the video.

Today's clip is not exactly high drama. Actually, after the first ten seconds or so, it's a little like watching paint dry, but I guess even Spielberg had to start somewhere. I can note though that this filmed section was one of the more prolonged choppy runs, and I was impressed by the way the little Perception Swifty tracked in the faster flowing water. I only had to dip my paddle once to keep the bow pointed in the direction I wanted.

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