Well, new to me at least. One of our new forum members, bm3moose, guided me toward this jewel last week. Neither of us had ever fished it but he'd heard it was worth a look. I was pretty excited about it being only about 1/3 the distance from my house as the next closest trout water! I did all the research I could online, but aerial photography often leaves a misguided impression.
For the adventure, I decided to pack along an old 9' 5-wt all-rounder I essentially got for free in a trade several years ago. It's a Bass Pro Shop rod and reel combo, and plenty good enough when there's bushwhacking to be done. I took along a small collection of nymphs that included pheasant tails, BHP's, copper Johns, and a few pink and chartreuse weenies.
The summer photos of the stream illustrated a somewhat lower water level than I found this morning. We've had some decent rain and snowfall over the last few weeks and that was reflected in the water column. The main channel appeared to be running in the 4-6' range, or at least the deeper sections I gauged with my rod. Water clarity was very nice for this area and while I won't estimate a CFM flow rate, it was far more vigorous than we're used to seeing around here.
I only had two takes this morning (on for only a moment), but both air and water temps were hovering in the low-30's. I expected action to be slow and this was much more of an exploration visit than an actual fishing trip. I can't wait to hit this when the temps rise a bit and the hatches become frequent! Considering the rain, cold temps, my being alone, and the total isolation of this area, I only explored the first 400-500 yards downstream from where I parked. Under better conditions, I'll explore the several miles of water available before this empties into the Ohio River.
The channel in the above pic gauged about 5' and the drop was abrupt, exactly as the transition looks in this pic.
One of my takes occurred in an eddy beneath the root wad shown above. Not a big fish, but I saw a flash of silver and felt the tug. Just barely got the rod loaded when the line went slack.
---------- Post added at 11:17 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:06 AM ----------
This is probably the best example of water clarity I can offer. Not bad for a winter flow, I'm thinking. As I've never seen this stream during the warmer seasons, I'm only guessing when I predict it should be quite clear.
I looked beneath a lot of rocks for aquatic life and found only a few small scuds and some almost microscopic snails. My guess is that the bulk of activity is going on in a bit deeper water than I could get to today. I did see plenty of raccoon sign along the shore and shallows, so I'm thinking crayfish may be a prevalent food source.
Above is another of the 4' deep channels. I'm not accustomed to seeing such drops in Kentucky's waterways, which typically are either deep, steep-banked ditches or wide, shallow gravel "pans". This reminds me of some of the smaller Erie tribs!