I had a few hours on Friday and decided to visit the Hemlock Overlook park. I had been here on a recon a while back, but had not fished it. I was anxious to see if the upper end of the Occoquan Reservior was as good as it appeared.
I walked the half mile from the parking area down to the river and was startled to hear the raucous sounds of kids screaming and yelling with delight. A gaggle of kayakers and canoeists were working their way up the Occoquan river trail – clearly a school trip since this was after labor day. Given the noise of the voices that was punctuated with slapping paddles, I knew instantly the section of the creek was blown out.
Oh well, I was here. I waited for the group to pass and walked down the trail until I ran across some stacked canoes. After peeking at the river (waypoint 002 on the map), I realized there would be no wading downstream – the water was deep with high banks. I began fishing there and was encouraged by seeing some good sized bass swimming near a fallen log. It took a while, but I finally convinced a nice one (12″) to fall victim to the Kent’s Stealth Bomber I was throwing. Encouraged by that, I began fishing upstream.
The bottom is pretty much sand with a few large boulders scattered here and there. I hit the obvious deep spots with average results. Nothing big, but enough to make it interesting.
As I worked my way back up to the trailhead with the intent of continuing past it, I heard the echos of the group returning. Rats. Not wanting to fish over the water they had disturbed, I gave up the ghost and headed home.
Bottom Line: Others have related how enjoyable fishing this section has been. Nothing big, but usually quiet and close to the main roads – it certainly is an alternative to Burke Lake just down the road.
Getting There: From Route 123, turn west on VA-655/Clifton Road [there will be a sign for Hemlock]. Follow it to eventually turn left on Yates Ford Road [there will be a sign]. Follow it to the end.
Secrets Revealed? No. This is a very public location that is documented on the Fairfax County Park website
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The gaggle heads upstream
Don’t go farther than here.
View downstream from the canoes… too deep to wade
The gaggle returns
Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore