I was looking at the Google traffic report the other day and, when the Beltway with showing red, I panned the map over to see what VA 123 looked like. As I looked at the map, I realized that there were a number of blue patches, representing lakes, that I had not yet investigated.
I did a further search for the largest, Huntsman Lake,and picked up almost 19,000 hits – many of which discussed fishing. According to landbigfish.com, the lake is 27 acres and includes bluegill, catfish and both large and smallmouth bass. Wow! How could I have missed fishing here for all these years?
Additional searches, confirmed by satellite analysis, revealed that there is an asphalted road leading into the northeast section of the lake from which people launch canoes and kayaks. Last weekend, the Basswife and I drove over with the intent of catching a few of the alleged fish. Unfortunately, when we arrived, the gate was locked; blocking the road leading to the launch.
The initial assumption was that the gate was probably locked because of the debris that still litters the roadway as a result of the recent strong storms. In fact, you could see the mud markings high on the trees – this lake must’ve been full to overflowing after Irene trundled through. Since it was too far to carry the canoe and all the “stuff,”, I settled on just looking at the lake to make an assessment. Since visiting, I did additional research and it appears that gate is never open… got to get a canoe cart….
This place looks pretty good. The shoreline is packed with overhanging vegetation and, from the vantage point on the dam, it looks like it has pretty good depth. There were a few kids fishing with bobbers on the dam shoreline and they told me that they always had a good time on this water. If you are not obsessed with floating like I am, you can also walk in through Huntsman’s Park on the immediate south.
One key point. The sign at the entry to the launch specifically says that motorized boats are not permitted. Therefore, plan on paddling and leave your electric trolling motor at home.
This is definitely a place I am going to return to to check out.
Getting There: From VA 123, turn north on Lee Chapel Road. Turn right on the Fairfax County Parkway/7100 followed by a left on Huntsman Blvd. Turn right on Golden Ball Tavern Court and follow it to the access point to the lake on the right.
Secrets Revealed? No. This is a very public location that was discussed in the Burke Patch and documented on wikimapia, itouchmap and other websites.
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Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore