GREENBO LAKE STATE RESORT PARK, Ky. – The sunshine and warm temperatures were just too much to resist last week.
Having heard Greenbo Lake had recently been stocked with Rainbow trout, my husband and I decided Sunday was a perfect day to get out the canoe for a rare mid-winter paddle. We love smoked trout and thought we’d catch ourselves a fresh fish dinner too.
Our second-hand 13-foot Old Town Discovery Canoe came with a one-of-a-kind fabricated towing rack we lovingly call “the goal post.” Over the four years we have owned it, we’ve gotten the process of loading and strapping the boat our pick-up down to a science.
Or so we thought.
Less than a mile from the house on Blackburn Avenue, we noticed the nose of the canoe was wiggling a little too much from side to side in the afternoon’s substantially gusty winds. We made an emergency stop on the side of the road where we soon realized we’d forgotten to replace one of the pins that allows the post to spin during loading. Luckily it had stayed put right where I had put it on the back bumper.
With a laugh and a joke about being a little rusty, off we went again. But a few miles up the road a strong gust of wind almost swept the canoe off the passenger side of the roof. Another emergency stop was made. We circled the truck tightening down straps and then tied another rope from the nose of the canoe to the front bumper of the truck thinking that would keep the wiggling to a minimum.
A quick high-five and back onto the roadway we pulled.
Again the wind gusted and again the canoe’s nose swung wildly. Again we pulled over and again we tightened down the straps.
This time we got it right and after a slower, than usual drive we pulled up to the boat dock at Greenbo, unloaded and launched our craft.
Within moments we were sailing down the lake pushed along by the winds we’d been battling. We cast our lines behind us and cruised along effortlessly, our silver spinnerbaits trailing behind us.
With the wind and warm sun on our backs and the blue sky overhead we laughed about our arduous journey to the lake, deciding it was probably time to fork over the cash for a manufactured roof rack.
We made it down the lake to the dam in record time, but we hadn’t gotten a single bite on our lines. As we turned the canoe in order to troll back and front of the dam – a method we’d employed with great success following the fall trout stocking – we realized the wind was once again our foe.
Steering became almost impossible. The wind gusted from different directions and on the surface tight waves rolled over the lake, rocking us at times side to side. Our lines and lures became tangled as we strained to keep our heading, digging in deeper and more forcefully in order to make a turn.
Half way through our first loop we abandoned the plan and turned again to head back to the boat ramp.
After more than 30 minutes of hard paddling, we beached the canoe. Grabbing our fishing gear, we walked down the bank in order to see if we could still catch some fishing before dark.
After re-rigging our rods with sinkers and orange sparkly Power Bait, we sat beneath a large Sycamore tree on the bank and cast into the wind.
Almost immediately, Carl got a bite. The first feisty trout got away but we soon mastered hooking the crafty little fish. By the time the sun sank below the nearest hill, we had seven Rainbows on our stringer.
After loading up the canoe again – this time making sure every pin and strap were tightly in place the first time, we headed home to enjoy our dinner.
The next day dawned sunny and warm too but we left the canoe at home, and spent the entire day fishing from Greenbo’s shore.