September 10, 2014
A week of torrid weather at the beginning of September served to remind longtime residents of the D.C. area just how delightful our summer was in 2014. Remember it well. It was a gift of mild days, blue skies, gentle breezes and low humidity. Not "normal," to be sure. Most of the season was perfect for boating, biking and fishing. Fletcher's Cove was quite a popular spot indeed, and taking care of our visitors' needs caused the days to fly by. As we slip into meteorological fall, do not forget that Fletcher's will remain open at least through the third week of October. The rich colors of fall and the amazing "painter's light" that radiates around this spot on the Potomac will only deepen as the next several weeks pass.
At the boathouse, some of the laborious tasks associated with wrapping up another year of business have begun; getting a jump on winter is always important. This week, half of our fleet of custom-made wooden skiffs are to be pulled from the water, racked up, scrubbed and then refurbished for the spring 2015 fishing season. As I have mentioned before, these boats require much TLC, as do all wooden craft. The payoff is that they are safe, functional for this environment, quiet and appropriate in an historic park such as The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. Over the years, Fletcher's rowboats have literally become part of the land (and water) scape. Countless painters and photographers have used them as colorful and interesting subject material. Come see for yourself!
Happily, during August many youngsters came to Fletcher's Cove for a few hours of fishing fun. It is always great to see young anglers away from the blue light of screen-time, absorbing a natural experience in the bright gold of daylight. Two such budding anglers, Cecelia and Bobby Burk, spent a fun few hours in mid-August out on the river. Accompanied by their Mom, Kellie, and guided by "Aunt Sandy" (see the March 28, 2013 report), both came back to the dock with smiles on their faces and stories to tell.
Another angler (while only a kid-at-heart) with an August fish story is our long time customer "Catfish Mona." Mona has caught many a big catfish at Fletcher's but is quite talented at landing other fish in other places as well. She and her fishing partner "minnow master" have a secret farm pond they fish. It's quite a spot judging by the results. They won't tell me where it is so I've secretly been dulling their hooks each time they come to Fletcher's, but they still catch fish! On this August trip, Mona outdid herself with a huge bass that truly shows why these fish are nicknamed "bucket-mouths." Mona… see what my trained worms can do?
As the river and canal water cools through the 70s and 60s, the resident fish such as large and smallmouth bass along with the blue catfish and assorted panfish will be more willing to bite. Anglers also can hope to find some two- to four-pound stripers attacking the schools of baby river herring and shad preparing to migrate down to the ocean.
We hope to see you at Fletcher's Cove before the doors close in late October. Ray's Zinnias are still in their glory and many wildflowers and strange critters are there to be seen. Rentals will continue on a day-to-day basis according to weather and water conditions. Please call for current info, but do remember, let it ring a while or try back if there is no answer… we might be away from the phone giving a boat a little tender loving care.