I don’t need to tell any local anglers that this has been a rough year for getting out on our smallmouth streams in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. Three of us decided to run down and fish the Elkhorn for two days. The plan was to float from Knight’s Bridge to Peaks Mill on Monday and then from Peaks Mill to the 127 takeout on Tuesday.
We headed out of Cincinnati and were soon driving through the beautiful Kentucky countryside. We stopped at the Meadow-View Shopwise just north of Owenton to pick up some groceries and waters for the cooler. There is a lady in the back of the store that makes sandwiches. We grabbed a few of the tin foil wrapped breakfast biscuits (country ham or sausage) for the remaining drive. This is where I made my first mistake of the day. I only grabbed one biscuit.
We had a nice start to the day with smallies taking both top water Dixie Devils (size 4) and subsurface bead head brown rubber leg wooly buggers (size 4). Smacking the rocks along the banks worked best for me and then popping the Dixie or swinging the streamer produced strikes. It looked like it was going to be a good day of fishing.
We broke for lunch and then started to fish a big riffle section when we started to hear the rumble of thunder. It was not long after that there was lightning in the distance and then ALL HOLY HELL BROKE LOOSE. It rained and rained and RAINED. I mean it RAINED!! Hardest I have ever seen in twenty five years of hitting the Elkhorn.
We flipped over the canoe and created a shelter and waited for about two hours. In that time we watched the tops of rocks disappear and the clarity start to decrease.
When we loaded up the canoe and kayak and started down stream, I knew that the day was shot. We stopped at a couple of our “for sure to catch a fish” spots and there was no action. The clarity was down to about two inches and all of the small feeder creeks were pushing big volumes of water into the Elkhorn. There is a culvert with a dried creek bed that I have never seen a drop of water. By the time we floated pass this area it looked like Class V rapids. Well, the writing was on the wall. This stream was trashed for a couple of days so we headed towards Cincinnati.
The silver lining was that we found a good Mexican restaurant in Owenton called Casa. A really good plate of food and a Modelo and all was good!