G. Sam Piatt
PDT Outdoors Columnist
They are both, father and son, good Kinniconick smallmouth fishermen, having followed up and down most of the course of the stream all of their fishing lives.
Both have caught smallmouth from the stream bordering on the four-pound mark.
And so they arose early yesterday morning from the bunkhouse to go and fish a remote section of the creek where it bends far back from the road.
At first Tom Clay, some time back, had been denied permission by the landowner to cross over his farmland bordering the stream.
Kinniconick Creek is a public waterway and no one can prevent people from floating down it or wading in it.
Bur crossing the private land to get there requires permission.
The landowner finally told Tommy he could fish if he agreed not to take anyone with him.
And so he fished it and did well, well enough that he wanted to return. When he returned to the farmhouse he brought a token of his appreciation with him – a jar of honey straight from the hives of a local beekeeper.
When he found nobody home, he left the honey behind the door with a note of thanks.
When he came back sometime later the farmer was home. He told Tom, “You’re the guy who left the honey? Well, let me tell you, that is the best honey I’ve ever tasted. You go back there and fish all you want to.”
The permission carried the implication that he could bring his father.
And so Saturday morning, as I said, Tom and Soc Clay were up early and off wearing their wading shoes and shorts.
At least that was the plan when I talked to them around the campfire Friday night before Creighton Stephens and I returned home. I’ve no way to contact them and find out if they did and how they did.
The place they were staying, on the banks of Kinni,is named The Farm. For years it was run by a Catholic Church organization out of Milwaukee as a place where youth could spend some of their summer vacation and learn about the Great Outdoors.
For some reason that use has been discontinued and The Farm – consisting of the two-story bunkhouse, a two-story church/cabin, the caretaker’s house, and approximately 20 acres of land along the banks of the stream – is for sale.
Some members of the Kentucky Outdoor Press Association, of which Tom is president, gained permission to use the facility for its spring outing.
Also spending the night in the bunkhouse was Soc’s wife, Wanda, and Chris Erwin and his wife, Linda, who labored to make some wonderful Bar-B-Q and coleslaw, and not one but two pineapple upside down cakes – the best in the nation.
RIVER FISHING SLOW
The Ohio River is in beautiful shape – just a little above normal summer level and running fairly clear.
But looks were deceiving on Friday – as far as fishing it goes – as Creighton and I launched my bass boat on the Portsmouth waterfront and motored upstream to the mouth of Tygarts Creek.
We fished minnows and jigs, working hard (yes, fishing is work) but all we got was sunburn on our faces and arms.
On Thursday, John Vinson Euton and I launched my boat at the Garrison ramp and cast both sides of Kinniconick Creek down to where it empties into the Ohio River. Spinnerbaits, crankbaits and surface lures produced no action.
Earlier this year one of my legion of fans (harumph, cough cough) told me he had been reading my column for years.
“And I’ve noticed one thing,” he said.
“What’s that,” I asked.
“You never catch any fish.”
Well, I will. You wait, you watch, you’ll see.
G. SAM PIATT can be reached at (606) 932-3619 or [email protected] Visit his web page at gsampiattbooks.com.