Rivanna River 1/16/12. A Trip Down Memory Lane

Rivanna River
Air temp -35.7
Water temp -37.3
Clarity- chocolate milk
Hatch activity -none

I’m starting nights again in the ICU this week. I wanted to go fishing today, but given my success with wind last week I decided to lay low for the day. But I did have more free time during daylight than usual so Tucker and I went down to an old haunt of ours Darden Towe Park. When we lived over on the north side of town we were always a ten minute walk to the Rivanna River, and we went there almost every day. Usually we would walk through Pen Park and Meadowcreek golf course, but occasionally when Tucker wanted a car ride we would drive over to Darden Towe to explore the other side of the river. On todays journey I put the 8 weight in the truck but I rated the probability of even opening the tube at 1%. Sure enough the river was at higher than usual flows, chocolate milk, and only a few degrees above freezing. Not conducive for small/large mouth bass fishing.

As we walked from the parking lot up to Key West along the eastern bank I was reminded of spring and summer trips from earlier in 2011. My brother and I put in a Darden Towe and floated to Riverview park quite a few times. Chris doesn’t fish so he steered the canoe. He was pretty upset that I never gave him a tip, but he did get to hold some sweet smallmouth

Chris' encounter with a fat smallie

On a different float with Dave Peterson where we sprung a leak in the ole’ fiberglass canoe, I hooked into this hoss on a green popper

18" submarine just above Riverview

I am hoping that all this winter flooding and high winds and hopefully, one day snow, knocks over a few more trees along the bank which form the best habitat for smallmouth bass.

When Tucker and I got close to the Lewis and Clark exhibit at the park, we began to hear loud machinery and see lots of bulldozers and excavators ripping up ground. I’m not sure what they are doing, but they surveyed the ground all the way to the edge of the bluff over the river…


I’m a bad judge of heights and I tried to capture the correct depth of field, but the iPhone camera wasn’t up to the task. I think this bluff is about 110ft up from the water? Can you imagine the volume of water if this 100 year flood came through???


When we reached the parking lot I was greeted by this bumper sticker. This is from a collection of paintings by a local artist called
Alioth’s Native Fish of the James and Rivanna Watershed. My reminiscing turned from smallmouth to shad. More to come on the shad later…

Alosa sapidissima

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4 Responses to Rivanna River 1/16/12. A Trip Down Memory Lane

  1. Dave Peterson says:

    Beware. The shadman cometh. Even now my wrists ache thinking about pulling one of these monsters in.

  2. Dave Peterson says:

    And we need to buy/tie a bunch of shad darts pronto.

  3. that’s it. i’m getting my fly fishing gear from home!!

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