It was a great, cool and sunny day. My son, Chris, and I had just finished fishing on Buffalo Creek and we drove up to Jackson of another taste of regulated water. A three mile stretch of the Jackson is regarded andregulated as trophy water – we could not wait to get there.
We initially drove in from the south to check things out. From the map, it appeared that a 4×4 road would take us to the start of the trophy water where we could hike back in. Turns out that the road is closed and we would have to walk a mile or so to get to the water. Since it was already around 1400, we decided to leave that for another day and drove to the north entrance where the trophy water was only a 1/4 mile from the trailhead.
We hiked south from TRK to waypoint 021 fairly quickly. River looked good – fairly wide and clearly much deeper than Buffalo Creek. When the trail started to move away from the river, we doubled back as we wanted to start fishing. As you can see from the difference in the red line and the black dotted line, the real trail was quite a distance from the river.
Within 10 minutes of starting to fish, tragedy struck!
On a normal cast, Chris’s rod snapped in two! Dang. Fortunately, we had backups at the truck, so we headed back. On the way back, I saw a spot too good to pass up and threw in – amazingly, my rod snapped as well!! In over 45 years of fishing, I had never broken a rod – so this was very unusual.
So, now we had two dead rods… well, I had brought an extra trout rig and my wife’s (Donna) rod and reel, so we were ok. Off to the truck. Got the new gear and we headed back down to the river. Since it was 1730 now, we decided just to fish upstream from the truck. After a few minutes, Donna’s rod started acting up. It would catch when the cast was a few feet out. Double dang! Back to the truck again – yes – I had triple backups for both of us.
Got one of the bass rigs and popped a spool of 6 lb test on it and headed back to the river. We fished until around 1930 and then decided to head out. We had good luck on silver and gold Panther Martins. I tried some small Rapalas, but they were not productive. Action was average, but this river has huge potential – we were so pressed for time that we had to fish near the easy access points. We all know that the farther you walk away from the truck, the better the fishing will be. So, I regard this as just a recon by fire – got to see it, got to shoot a few casts to see what was happening, and mark this as a great potential.
Key decision…. stay in Lexington and fish this great looking river again or head north and explore the Rapidan. Since it would be an hour’s drive from Lexington (closest real civilization), we decided to head north and leave the rest of the Jackson for another day. Well worth a return trip!
We spent the day in the water. Glad we had invested in Orvis stream boots with felt bottoms for better grip on the rocks. We also bought some lightweight wading poles – lifesavers in the faster moving water – a must have for balance!
Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore