04-06-2020 - New Hope Creek @ Duke Forest and Hollow Rock Nature Preserve
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Thread: 04-06-2020 - New Hope Creek @ Duke Forest and Hollow Rock Nature Preserve

  1. #1
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    Default 04-06-2020 - New Hope Creek @ Duke Forest and Hollow Rock Nature Preserve

    04-06-2020
    New Hope Creek @ Duke Forest and Hollow Rock Nature Preserve

    ~~~
    I decided to stay closer to home today, and explore more of New Hope Creek in Duke Forest. I had to run up to Hillsborough after work anyway, so it made sense to just cut over to Erwin Road via Whitfield Road on my way home, and park at Hollow Rock Nature Preserve. And today, unlike last time, the parking lot wasn't jam packed. There were a few cars there, but nothing crazy. The brief rain shower that came through earlier may have dissuaded some folks from coming out. But by the time I got there, the weather was nearly perfect, other than being a bit muggy.

    I also decided to change up my approach a little bit today. Normally I try to find a spot that I think has fish (keep in mind, I'm only talking about bank fishing here, so no "fish finder" or other electronic aids to find fish) and assume there are fish in the area, and that my job is to find the combination of depth, bait, retrieve, etc. that will entice them enough to strike. This is why I typically change lures fairly frequently, and try many different retrieve techniques, speeds, etc.

    But this time, I picked ONE lure and used it the entire time. It was just a chunk of chartreuse green plastic worm on a weedless hook, with a nail weight jammed up its bum. Rigged this way it doesn't have much action when retrieved at a constant speed, but does this neat little dance when twitched. And so I walked down to the creek from the parking lot, and just started making my way down the trail, trying a number of different spots. The theory is "I have a lure that a fish would hit, now I just have to find the fish."

    In this particular case, this was probably not the best lure, because I don't think it looks anything like any natural food that fish in this creek eat. And the water was very clear in most of the places I stopped. But I was honestly there to explore as much as I was to make a serious effort to catch fish, and it was already tied on, so I just went with it.

    From Hollow Rock I made my way down to the Erwin Road bridge, and spent a bunch of time casting up under the bridge, around the bridge pilings, etc. Then I just kept working my way down, finding all sorts of amazing looking scenery. And met some girl and her dog, and her dog came running over wanting to play, so I stopped to play with the dog for a while. Highlight of the trip right there.

    Met a guy and his kid coming the other way on the trail, and he said they had managed to catch a few sunfish.

    After about an hour of this, the humidity, the temperature, my age, and all that climbing up and down hills and rocks and what-not had worn me out, so I packed it in and headed. home. No fish caught, but I enjoyed myself and got some exercise. You should have heard me earlier in the day, on the phone with my doctor, trying to convince her that fishing counts for my exercise goals. I don't think she was buying it, but she hasn't seen the hiking I was doing today.

    Finally, the one part of this trip that I can't do justice to verbally is the scenery. So much amazing stuff out there. I took a ton of pictures, and once I've pulled them off my phone and gotten rid of the fuzzy ones and what-not, I'll come back and post some for you guys. Anybody who hasn't been out in Duke Forest before will probably really enjoy these.
    Last edited by mindcrime; 04-07-2020 at 10:18 AM. Reason: typo

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  3. #2
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    I hiked and biked in Duke Forest when I was in school at UNC. There really are some beautiful areas out there. Thanks for the report!
    mindcrime likes this.

    - Sam
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    Gotta obey the rulez!!









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  6. #4
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    Good post. You should invest in some waders and get in that water.
    ~JOE~
    mindcrime likes this.

    Ad maiorem Dei gloriam


  7. #5
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    Couple things,

    - Water is only clear after a few blue sky days. It will muddy up after moderate to heavy rainfall
    - Unless one has a compromised immune system, one does not need waters. Quick dry shorts and shirt, and some tactical, or wading boots are all one needs. Been in the wading business for 35 years.
    - The slack water pictured is occupied by mainly chain pickeral and crappie. Some bass there also. The water gets a bit skinnier and rockier as one progresses upstream.
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  8. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrpossumtail View Post
    Couple things,

    - The slack water pictured is occupied by mainly chain pickeral and crappie. Some bass there also. The water gets a bit skinnier and rockier as one progresses upstream.
    Mindcrime, if you can make your way to skinny and rocky water then it is super easy to target the fish. They will be in any deeper pools between riffles and in eddys behind current breaks in the riffles. The heads and tails of the holes fish the best where there is more current. If there is wood cover or larger rocks in the holes the whole thing can fish well. Use the wee craw in those areas and I will just about guarantee you can catch some fish.
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    Tight lines,
    Andrew

  9. #7
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    Thanks guys. I am definitely planning to get some wading shoes and/or waders. I'm probably also going to buy myself a fly rod / reel as well, and take a stab at learning to do some fly fishing. This seems like it might be a good place to give that a whirl.
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  10. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrpossumtail View Post
    Couple things,
    - The slack water pictured is occupied by mainly chain pickeral and crappie. Some bass there also. The water gets a bit skinnier and rockier as one progresses upstream.
    I've never caught a chain pickerel. I don't think there were any in the farm ponds back home. Any advice on what lures work best for them specifically? I'm mainly interested in bass, but I'd love to catch something new as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mindcrime View Post
    Thanks guys. I am definitely planning to get some wading shoes and/or waders. I'm probably also going to buy myself a fly rod / reel as well, and take a stab at learning to do some fly fishing. This seems like it might be a good place to give that a whirl.
    If you want to fish small streams with a fly rod learn how to roll cast and get a rod on the shorter side. You'll hardly find a place you can keep from snagging on your back cast. Make sure you get a weight forward line, it will help too.
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    Tight lines,
    Andrew

  12. #10
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    I love fishing that creek. I've had the most success there with chartreuse trout magents and 1/16 oz fire tiger rooster tails. A small original Rapala also works well. I've caught plenty of bream and bass in there but never any pickerel/jack. Where did you see those cruising around?

  13. #11
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    Mrpossumtail mentioned the pickerel. I usually catch the jacks when I'm around grass.
    mindcrime likes this.

    - Sam
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  14. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mindcrime View Post
    I've never caught a chain pickerel. I don't think there were any in the farm ponds back home. Any advice on what lures work best for them specifically? I'm mainly interested in bass, but I'd love to catch something new as well.
    Larger spinners and floating plugs (f7 or f9 rapala), or husky jerk. March is golden for Pickerel, but can be caught other times of year. Fish slack pools among wood where light flow is pushing the slack.
    mindcrime likes this.


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