While researching a future float trip, I came across the following passage:
“But as darkness set in, I noticed a bright point of light near the mouth of a creek lined with tupelo trees… The light hovered about six feet above the water, but I could not perceive its source.”
The quote comes from Riverdave’s Journal from the spring of 1997. He continues to talk about how uneasy his rest was after setting up camp on the Neuse River with the light constantly hovering near him just a hundred yards away, and then the next morning, not locating so much as a street light that could shine through the trees.
I find this interesting for a more than a few reasons. However, this was enough to help me determine where I would go.
I have floated significant stretches of both the French Broad River and the Tar River in the past. I am already planning on hitting the Roanoke when the rockfish head upriver later this month or early May (I’m on the fish’s schedule, not mine!). So, I was looking for a weekend excursion as a tune-up for the Roanoke River trip.
The Neuse has also been on my mind anyway, as I have always wanted to float the Cliffs of the Neuse to view the majestic ninety feet walls that run beside the river.
I should probably clarify what I mean by float in this context. Kayak fishing has become somewhat of an ever growing subculture. A step beyond kayaking is what is called stand up paddleboarding. Stand up paddleboards, or SUP as it is commonly called, is a combination of large surfboard and sit on top kayak. They are stable enough to stand on without the need for the extra push of a large ocean wave. The particular board I use is eleven feet long, three feet wide and has a removable seat/cooler/dry box combination that sits on top.
|Paddleboarding earlier in the year.|
Yes, I like doing things a little different. My plan is to float a twenty-two mile stretch on the paddleboard. Let’s look at it this way; it will make the trip more interesting.
I also have to do a little more than just float the river. Few people would disagree that it means fishing is also in order. One of the things I was taught early on when it comes to fishing was “when the dogwoods bloom, the fish start to bite.”
There is another thing of interest about this particular stretch of the Neuse. Remarkably fossils such as whale bones have been unearthed in the area. The tall cliffs constructed by the erosion from the Neuse have been known to reveal such items from time to time.
So, in a quick synopsis, we have camping, paddleboarding, fishing, archeology, and paranormal investigations all in one trip. I am simple to please, and just one of those events is enough to highlight a weekend.
River reports following striper and shad migration in the East as well as trout stocking reports for the mountains can be found at NCWildlife.com.