Saturday, October 10, 2009
Withlacoochee- Madison Hwy/GA 31 to Florida Shoals
As you can see I've got my kayak high and dry not wanting it to wash downstream. That would have been a chase!
These shoals are about 2 1/2 miles upstream (west) from the Madison Hwy/GA 31 launch site (see September 2009 post) and occupy approximately 600 yards or more of the river.
Look at the map below.
You will notice that if you go west from GA 31 up the Withlacoochee you will meander up into Georgia then dip back into Florida. As you dip south into Florida you will arrive at the shoals just before the river turns west and back into Georgia.
A leisurely paddle of just over an hour by kayak if the water is low and slow as it was this day.
George was paddling the Ocean Kayak Trident 13 while I was in the OK Big Game. I could tell the BG was a bit slower to get under way than my Tridents but the river was like a pond except when the water got skinny so it was no big deal. Once the Big Game was underway it wasn't that hard to paddle.
The river has some interesting limestone banks. With the water this low they are very evident. Gives one the feeling of being in North Georgia.
At some points the bank was very high, maybe 20-30 feet above our heads.
Arriving at the shoals we got out of the kayaks and waded.
I fished here with George for awhile but eventually decided to go further upstream to explore and get some more pictures.
I hope you can tell from the pictures that one would have a difficult time trying to float through these shoals. Count on portaging over parts of this section. I did find a trail along the bank which would make it a bit easier to tote your 'yak.
If the river rises this would be underwater. However, with the water up you may be able to float through.
Looks like the beavers were having a time. Wonder if it'll be there when I return. I'm guessing not!
We had a great time. Spoke with a group of paddlers passing us going downstream who had put in at the Nankin bridge. Said it took them close to 8 hours to make it to the GA 31 bridge.
I'd love to end this post with pictures of fish but we were skunked.
We'll return and do better next time. Like they say. It's called fishing not catching!
Current Georgia river levels: Real Time Georgia Streamflow
Solunar Tables for your zip code: HERE
Rigging your kayak: Captain Dick
Interactive map by Angling Technologies: HERE
Georgia Kayak Fishing
Georgia River Fishing
Jax Kayak Fishing
Gulf Coast Kayak Fishing (you might need to be registered to view this one)
FLY FISHING RESOURCES
Fly Fishing West Georgia
Books and DVD by George Roberts:
Master the Cast
Fly Fisherman's Guide to Saltwater Naturals and Their Imitation
Saltwater Casting - 10 Steps to Distance and Power (DVD)
If you are a resident of Georgia and like to fish from a kayak I recommend becoming a supporting member of the Georgia Kayak Fishing Association located at GeorgiaKayakFishing.com.