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My home pond. The solar array seen in pictures run a well pump in all but the wettest and coldest times of the year. The pond would loose 1/4" a day without it due to evaporation. The little rock pond was made with the pond liner remnants and is fed by a wet weather creek that brings in small fish and fry from up stream farm ponds. All the bank lining rocks came from the woods on my place. It's a terrific place to observe pond life.

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On 11/20/2022 at 5:01 PM, ol'crickety said:

^I know this lake! Well, not this exact like, but lakes that look just like it. And I love them all.

Got two more for ya Katie!

Google Earth Walnut Bend Lake Mississippi. It's confusing because the lake is in Arkansas. It is an old river channel of the Mississippi River two hundred years ago and the land from east of the lake to the Mississippi river is still considered Mississippi. Same applies to oxbows on the Mississippi side. The land west of the Mississippi lakes are still Arkansas. Anyway Old Walnut bend is a typical "river run" that was left stranded went the River changed its course. If you follow the southern end of the lake to the end you will see "Whiskey Chute". This is the run in from the river. When the river floods, the lake floods. Terrific lake that I spent so much of my childhood and teenage years on.

 

Not far is another out of the way place. Search Raft Bayou Arkansas. This is a slough off the St. Francis river. Only way in is either an eight mile trip from the nearest ramp, or cross country and drag your jonboat up and down the hill. No fishing pressure and slab Crappies and Bluegill. Also full of everything else. Great memories of a time long past! This is the lake that the coons were fighting in a tree branch right over my head one dark night I was running trot lines. Scared Jesus out of me and right back in again! I wrote about that adventure in a earlier post.

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Thank you, Bob. With Google Earth and my imagination, I just paddled up Raft Bayou and Walnut Bend. What great names, huh?!?

 

I caught a few fine fish too. 

 

I think I told you that I paddled the Mississippi a couple times, once from Pittsburgh by way of the Ohio River and once from the source in northern Minnesota. I landed in New Orleans on the Ohio River trip and stopped in Baton Rogue on the Minnesota trip because I was down to my last buck-fifty. So, I know oxbows and love them. And I love those big rivers. They scare people because they can kill ya, but that means more solitude for those of us who do paddle them.

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19 minutes ago, ol'crickety said:

Thank you, Bob. With Google Earth and my imagination, I just paddled up Raft Bayou and Walnut Bend. What great names, huh?!?

 

I caught a few fine fish too. 

 

I think I told you that I paddled the Mississippi a couple times, once from Pittsburgh by way of the Ohio River and once from the source in northern Minnesota. I landed in New Orleans on the Ohio River trip and stopped in Baton Rogue on the Minnesota trip because I was down to my last buck-fifty. So, I know oxbows and love them. And I love those big rivers. They scare people because they can kill ya, but that means more solitude for those of us who do paddle them.

You made a couple of fantastic trips. You mean to tell me you paddled the river from Itasca to Baton Rouge?!!!!!!!!!  You do know the river and " Big Muddy" is no joke! I learned to swim in that river and It does not give second chances! More than once I thought my time on earth was finished! What an incredible journey! My hats off to you.........wait......my hats off for the rest of the day for you!!!!!! I'm humbled to be speaking with a legend! That was an accomplishment I can only dream about.

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Aww, shucks, Bob!

 

Snow White And The Seven Dwarves Dwarf GIF

 

However, I have interviewed and profiled many who show me to be a pipsqueaky paddler. For example, I interviewed a Norwegian who was paddling from the end of the Aleutian Islands to Greenland, by kayak and cross-country skiing. He made it halfway before losing some toes to the cold.

 

I interviewed the first two who ever paddled around Ellesmere Island. One night, a polar bear stuck its head into their tent.

 

The older guy had a hand cannon on his chest and told the bear, "I don't want to die and I don't want you to die, but only you can decide."

 

And the bear withdrew.

 

I profiled another guy who paddled from Washington to Alaska, over the Chilkoot Pass, down the Yukon away, across the tundra, and then out to the Bering Sea and down it. At one point, wind pinned him at a river mouth where brown bears were feeding on salmon and they came closer and closer to him. He escaped by climbing a cliff, hauling his kayak and gear up it by rope, and then lowering it to the other wind-sheltered side. 

 

Then there's Shackleton, who makes even these ^studs^ seem like buttercups.

 

So, I'm no legend, but I know a few.

 

I'll never forget what one of these adventurers told me, which is that when it comes to the greatest adventures, it's not so much a matter of skill when it comes to surviving, for everyone is skilled at that level, but luck. His wife, by the way, was buried in a landslide when they were skiing a remote mountain. This guy also paddled around Cape Horn. Imagine that, paddling Great White Central in a kayak. 

 

I've also interviewed some guys who kayak waterfalls. The waterfall plungers make me shake my head and sigh.  

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On 12/22/2022 at 11:29 AM, ol'crickety said:

Thank you, Bob. With Google Earth and my imagination, I just paddled up Raft Bayou and Walnut Bend. What great names, huh?!?

 

I caught a few fine fish too. 

 

I think I told you that I paddled the Mississippi a couple times, once from Pittsburgh by way of the Ohio River and once from the source in northern Minnesota. I landed in New Orleans on the Ohio River trip and stopped in Baton Rogue on the Minnesota trip because I was down to my last buck-fifty. So, I know oxbows and love them. And I love those big rivers. They scare people because they can kill ya, but that means more solitude for those of us who do paddle them.

     Of all the many lakes and swamps of my youth, I miss Raft Bayou the most. Haven't been back since I moved to middle Tennessee thirty something years ago. It was our special place, (me and my dad). We would stop in Hughes Arkansas at the St. Francis diner for a cheeseburger and a Coca-Cola in the old green glass bottles, then go by Bobbie's bait shop for a couple tubes of crickets. Bobbie was a very elderly lady that had a small bait shop in Hughes tucked in behind some other businesses. The kind of place you could walk past without noticing if you weren't looking.

     Then we would head for the tiny town of Brickey's and turn left just before crossing the bridge over Alligator Bayou. Couple miles down that road and daddy would turn the big Chrysler to the right and parallel the St. Francis river on dirt farm road's all the way to Raft. The last 1/2 mile would be cross country so we had to have dry weather to go. Daddy would back the boat trailer to the edge of the steep bank and we would put everything in the boat, ( I still have the boat and will include picture), then we would drag the boat down the hill to the Bayou. No one else would be there so it was just me and my dad until it started getting dark. He would insist we leave while I pouted and begged to stay in spite of the fact that I would be covered in man-eating mosquito's!

We would come home with a cooler full of big Bluegill with the occasional Bass, Crappie, Warmouth, cat....ect. My dad would joke sometime that he would need to "hide behind a tree" just to bait his hook, the fishing was so good!

     I continued to fish at Raft, taking my friends along, until life changed and I moved away. It is a one in a million! Zoom in sometime and follow the bayou all the way to its's end. You will notice a pond on the left side about half way. That's lost lake. Only way to reach it is to walk through the woods. Raft Bayou is covered with wildlife in the air, ground, and water. I'm blessed to have it's memory!

     The boat is a 12' aluminum that my dad bought at a tornado damage sale around 1970. It was beat to pieces and leaked all day but it got us there and back! Better to take your shoes off when you got in that boat!1746234932_IMG_1406(002)Resized.JPG.1a4e411d980c07509549a42c21f3a698.JPG1746234932_IMG_1406(002)Resized.JPG.1a4e411d980c07509549a42c21f3a698.JPG

 

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55 minutes ago, Blue Raider Bob said:

I continued to fish at Raft, taking my friends along

 

Bob, your post is my all-time favorite post at Bass Resource. Wanna know why?

 

Well, look at your line that I quoted. That's why!

 

You just took all of us along to fish at Raft. I loved the entire trip. The cheeseburger and Coca-Cola in the old, green bottles at St. Francis diner. Then Bobbie's. Turning left just before crossing the bridge over Alligator Bayou. The dirt road. The steep embankment. Loading the leaky boat. Catching all those fish and begging to catch a few more. 

 

You're a helluva storyteller, Bob, and that's a helluva story you told. 

 

Thank you.

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2 minutes ago, ol'crickety said:

 

Bob, your post is my all-time favorite post at Bass Resource. Wanna know why?

 

Well, look at your line that I quoted. That's why!

 

You just took all of us along to fish at Raft. I loved the entire trip. The cheeseburger and Coca-Cola in the old, green bottles at St. Francis diner. Then Bobbie's. Turning left just before crossing the bridge over Alligator Bayou. The dirt road. The steep embankment. Loading the leaky boat. Catching all those fish and begging to catch a few more. 

 

You're a helluva storyteller, Bob, and that's a helluva story you told. 

 

Thank you.

Thanks! You are very kind. There was/is so much more to tell but I'm concerned about boring the readers to tears!

     Forgot to mention that when we would leave the Bayou we had to hook the front of the boat to a rope and walk up the bank and tie to daddy's Chrysler. He would literally drag the boat full of gear up the slope to the farm field above. Then we would unload the boat and place boat on the trailer only to reload boat for the trip home. Often times this was done in the dark because of my reluctance to leave.....I think he had some reluctance as well. Especially as he knew then what I know now. These special summer days would not last forever. Kids grow up and find other pastimes and daddy's don't last forever either.

    We had a 1973 4 HP Mercury that we used. I was proud the day I could carry it up the hill all by myself. Even more so when I got to run it. Daddy would use a small wooden boat paddle to scull the boat down the bank through the trees. His depth gauge was his bamboo pole. I recently sold that engine because I found someone nearby with kids that would use it. I fixed it up where it ran terrific then I let him have it for real cheap. Children's smiles are a payment that keeps paying. I won't part with the boat though. Memories are too strong for that!

     There were two bait shops in Hughes, (you can google, just a few miles from Raft and Old Walnut Bend). One was on the highway next to St. Francis Diner, and sold beer, gas, groceries, ect. The other was Bobbie's and she only kept a few bamboo poles and hooks, line, sinkers, minnows, and crickets. She also had an old metal cooler that she kept Fanta orange and grape sodas. Hers was the only place daddy would stop. She also kept Dr. Pepper in the old 10-2-4 bottles. Boy it was a treat when daddy put some of those in the cooler. Only thing was daddy also put the bream in the same cooler. Those Dr. Pepper tasted kind of (different) after you had to fish one out from under a couple dozen huge bluegill!

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58 minutes ago, Blue Raider Bob said:

Often times this was done in the dark because of my reluctance to leave.....I think he had some reluctance as well. Especially as he knew then what I know now. These special summer days would not last forever. Kids grow up and find other pastimes and daddy's don't last forever either.

 

^Heartbreakingly true^

 

59 minutes ago, Blue Raider Bob said:

I fixed it up where it ran terrific then I let him have it for real cheap. Children's smiles are a payment that keeps paying.

 

My Love Flower GIF by cintascotch

 

1 hour ago, Blue Raider Bob said:

The other was Bobbie's and she only kept a few bamboo poles and hooks, line, sinkers, minnows, and crickets. She also had an old metal cooler that she kept Fanta orange and grape sodas. Hers was the only place daddy would stop. She also kept Dr. Pepper in the old 10-2-4 bottles. Boy it was a treat when daddy put some of those in the cooler. Only thing was daddy also put the bream in the same cooler. Those Dr. Pepper tasted kind of (different) after you had to fish one out from under a couple dozen huge bluegill!

 

Bob, I've done some outdoor writing. You could get published, I think, with enough persistence. As a fisher, you already possess persistence, and you also possess the memory for fine details.

 

I'm reading "At the Loch of the Green Corrie" right now. I urge you to buy it and savor it. It's about three men who hike to a lake in the highlands of Scotland because a dead poet suggested it. Like you, Andrew Greig, the author, takes you along, letting you hike beside him and loft flies to those very same trout.

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17 hours ago, ol'crickety said:

 

^Heartbreakingly true^

 

 

My Love Flower GIF by cintascotch

 

 

Bob, I've done some outdoor writing. You could get published, I think, with enough persistence. As a fisher, you already possess persistence, and you also possess the memory for fine details.

 

I'm reading "At the Loch of the Green Corrie" right now. I urge you to buy it and savor it. It's about three men who hike to a lake in the highlands of Scotland because a dead poet suggested it. Like you, Andrew Greig, the author, takes you along, letting you hike beside him and loft flies to those very same trout.

     Thank you so much! I have really enjoyed this forum not only as a way to learn and share current fishing ideas, but also it sparks my often dormant memories. Expressing the memories makes them all the more enjoyable and it also makes me realize that I was so incredibly blessed. I was not coddled and overprotected, nor was I neglected. I got to get caught up in brambles and scratched and hung on barbed wire fences. I got to get my feet wet and muddy without justification. I got to play baseball until it was way too dark to be safe. I got to explore the levees and surrounding swamps. I got to identify the snakes I could play with opposed to the ones to avoid long before school. My kids and grandkids never had the urge to do the things we did. They preferred a regimented, sanitary upbringing as opposed to the quest for unlocking nature's secrets that I still obsess over. A few fishing trips and a couple "critter hunting afternoons" taught us that we were different. No harm, just fact.....and perhaps a little disappointment.

     This brings another magical moment to mind. I was waist deep in a bar pit "barrow pit" along the river levee in extreme northwest Mississippi on day with my flyrod fishing for bluegill in the middle of a logjam. I caught a movement to my left side and turned to see a large mink running on the logs and heading my way. It had not yet seen me and I froze movement. I watched amazingly as this mink hopped from log to log continuing in my direction. As it approached I realized that I was directly in its way! Finally it reached the log beside me and was running full bore down the log in my direction. It never looked up and was about to use me as a springboard to continue its journey. I'll admit that I flinched first and just as it was preparing its jump it finally saw me and leaped in the air and into the bog. It was no more than three feet from me when this happened. There were two swamp critters with racing hearts that afternoon!

 

     I am interested in reading EVERYTHING you have written and I will be searching for "At the Loch of the Green Corrie" today.

BTW, I am a reader and do not watch television. I read nightly so I will really enjoy your suggestion. I am currently reading about Operation Cobra, the sixty days that changed the world. It is the American breakout from Normandy culminating in the liberation of Paris and northern France all the way to the German border. Our mom's and dad's were some tough "critters"! 

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@Blue Raider Bob

 

Bob, have you read "Citizen Soldiers" by Stephen Ambrose? If not, then do. One reason I admire "The Greatest Generation" is that they all stepped up, including the famous and the rich. Jimmy Stewart flew bombing runs over Nazi Germany. The president's four sons not only enlisted, but FDR and Eleanor made certain that they were put in harm's way. Can you imagine that today? I can't.

 

Here's one poignant thing I learned in reading "Citizen Soldiers": Ambrose observed that in training camp, the men who blustered about their fighting prowess weren't the heroes, that it was the quiet men who stepped out from cover to take out an enemy machine gun...and often died, whereas the braggarts were busy soiling themselves. 

 

I'm going to message you a couple fishing essays I've written for Gray's Sporting Journal. I'll also send you a short story that they published. And I'll send you an essay that's about to be published in a different magazine. It's about the time I wore sugar maple leaves in my hair into an aggressive college classroom.

 

Please keep telling your stories. I have my own weasel story. I was sitting at the head of some steep, shallow, rock-laden rapids in northwestern Ontario. There was a lot of noise and water in the air and the stones were slippery, which is why an otter making his way upstream to me by rock-hopping was focused on keeping his paws on the rocks and not in the water. He came closer and closer and closer and finally I made a courtesy noise. Lawdy, he was surprised! 

 

Weasel stories aren't the only thing we share. If you substituted farm ponds and creeks for your rightfully beloved swamps, we had the same childhood. I was burnished with dirt and freckled with scabs. Heck, when I was 15, my dad took me to a wilderness island and left me there for five weeks. What a dad! In high school, I rode my bike to Canada. Twice. It's not that I had a long leash. I was unfettered. 

 

If you'd seen me with my scuffs and scabs, you would have opened your arms and said, "Sister!"

 

And I would have looked at your barb wire scars and wet, muddy feet, opened my arms, and yelled, "Brother!"

 

One last thing: Today, my favorite places to fish are the swamps. They're like teasing burlesque dancers, slowly revealing their treasures. 

 

Look for the message with the stories. 

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20 minutes ago, ol'crickety said:

@Blue Raider Bob

 

Bob, have you read "Citizen Soldiers" by Stephen Ambrose? If not, then do. One reason I admire "The Greatest Generation" is that they all stepped up, including the famous and the rich. Jimmy Stewart flew bombing runs over Nazi Germany. The president's four sons not only enlisted, but FDR and Eleanor made certain that they were put in harm's way. Can you imagine that today? I can't.

 

Here's one poignant thing I learned in reading "Citizen Soldiers": Ambrose observed that in training camp, the men who blustered about their fighting prowess weren't the heroes, that it was the quiet men who stepped out from cover to take out an enemy machine gun...and often died, whereas the braggarts were busy soiling themselves. 

 

I'm going to message you a couple fishing essays I've written for Gray's Sporting Journal. I'll also send you a short story that they published. And I'll send you an essay that's about to be published in a different magazine. It's about the time I wore sugar maple leaves in my hair into an aggressive college classroom.

 

Please keep telling your stories. I have my own weasel story. I was sitting at the head of some steep, shallow, rock-laden rapids in northwestern Ontario. There was a lot of noise and water in the air and the stones were slippery, which is why an otter making his way upstream to me by rock-hopping was focused on keeping his paws on the rocks and not in the water. He came closer and closer and closer and finally I made a courtesy noise. Lawdy, he was surprised! 

 

Weasel stories aren't the only thing we share. If you substituted farm ponds and creeks for your rightfully beloved swamps, we had the same childhood. I was burnished with dirt and freckled with scabs. Heck, when I was 15, my dad took me to a wilderness island and left me there for five weeks. What a dad! In high school, I rode my bike to Canada. Twice. It's not that I had a long leash. I was unfettered. 

 

If you'd seen me with my scuffs and scabs, you would have opened your arms and said, "Sister!"

 

And I would have looked at your barb wire scars and wet, muddy feet, opened my arms, and yelled, "Brother!"

 

One last thing: Today, my favorite places to fish are the swamps. They're like teasing burlesque dancers, slowly revealing their treasures. 

 

Look for the message with the stories. 

Just ordered both books.

Thanks!!!!!

I have six living sisters! Would be glad and humbled to have you as well! We will get together after New Years like always. I love being with my sisters because I can act like a fool and they won't notice! Don't have to pretend to be Mr. Businessman.....just brother! And they don't have to act like the Veterinarians, college professors, PHD statisticians, Medical professionals they are....just my sisters!

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21 hours ago, ol'crickety said:

 

Bob, your post is my all-time favorite post at Bass Resource. Wanna know why?

 

Well, look at your line that I quoted. That's why!

 

You just took all of us along to fish at Raft. I loved the entire trip. The cheeseburger and Coca-Cola in the old, green bottles at St. Francis diner. Then Bobbie's. Turning left just before crossing the bridge over Alligator Bayou. The dirt road. The steep embankment. Loading the leaky boat. Catching all those fish and begging to catch a few more. 

 

You're a helluva storyteller, Bob, and that's a helluva story you told. 

 

Thank you.

You two share so many wonderful attributes in common.   I see exactly why you loved that post so much.  

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8 minutes ago, Blue Raider Bob said:

Just ordered both books.

Thanks!!!!!

I have six living sisters! Would be glad and humbled to have you as well! We will get together after New Years like always. I love being with my sisters because I can act like a fool and they won't notice! Don't have to pretend to be Mr. Businessman.....just brother! And they don't have to act like the Veterinarians, college professors, PHD statisticians, Medical professionals they are....just my sisters!

This last post made me remember something and laugh outload! My sisters (all of whom have degrees with a couple of doctorates in the mix) all grew up the way I did. At a function with a crowd of people present a snake was sighted in a lawn and while most of the people present shrieked and ran, my sister Patty (who is a college professor at University of Memphis) said "Ooo, I wonder what kind it is" as she crossed the lawn in her dress shoes, shoved the snakes head in the grass, and grabbed it by the neck to examine. The crowd was in shock as I shook convulsively with proud laughter thinking " That's my sis"!

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1 hour ago, GaryH said:

South sandy creek steelhead fishing 

99153433-0251-474F-952D-125ABBA381C8.thumb.jpeg.d0a1fb5dd8fd34b9c7248462165f9149.jpeg

Is that ice? That is another beautiful part of America! Thanks for sharing. It looks really cold. Where is South Sandy Creek?

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29 minutes ago, Blue Raider Bob said:

Is that ice? That is another beautiful part of America! Thanks for sharing. It looks really cold. Where is South Sandy Creek?

No ice. Small water falls. Pulaski NY. Just a little ways off the salmon river. 

Salmon river spring vs winter

B8952A91-E5E9-4125-9F89-1409057CC215.thumb.jpeg.4ee72bdfbd1a13d4ac790fbf055bfcda.jpeg5DDC2729-4824-4558-B31E-ADE24B7B62F8.thumb.jpeg.8fe7baca48231b22642d2418f13ac1f3.jpeg

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