WiseAcre Gardens

north of the adirondacks – wildflowers & perennials that survive winters colder than my wife's feet

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Posted by WiseAcre on Aug 29th, 2010

RockinCanoe

2010
Aug 29

Another day canoeing on the Grasse River.
This time it was the section between Morley and Bucks Bridge. The trip starts out in shallow water riffles and there is always the chance of getting hung up on submerged boulders and rock ledges. By keeping to the north side of the river you can avoid most of the snares. A bedrock shelf extends out from the north (right) side. During periods of low water it lies exposed, today it was mostly submerged. You can just make out some debris stranded on the shelf where the water lever was only a couple inches deep.

Grasse River below Morley

It only takes a few minutes to run shallows (about 3/4 mile) in a canoe. This section is probably my favorite fishing spot in the county. It’s a great spot to wade and fish on a hot summer day, smallmouth bass like to hang out in the numerous ‘holes’. These pockets can be waist deep and the current can sweep you off your feet if you stumble into one but it’s oh so refreshing when it’s unbearably hot and humid. By the time both the river and I run out of current I can just manage to walk up the hill to home.

Near the end of the shallows is a limestone outcrop on the south (right) side and the location of my primary objective of the day. It might only be a mile from home and I may be a bit carried away when it comes to rocks but I’m not dumb enough to carry one that far. I are smart so I used my canoe to collect this beauty I discovered on the river bank.

RockinCanoe
rock in canoe

I’ve been collecting rocks and thinking about making some disappearing fountains. I’ll get into that another day.

After the shallow water riffles the river settles down. There’s 2 miles of flat water and a number of small islands before reaching sight of Bucks Bridge. I fished some on the way and caught a couple of smallmouth ‘keepers’ that I let go for another day. Hooking into bass over 15 inches is not an unusual experience in this section of river.

Grasse River between Morley and Bucks Bridge

The river bank is high and hides a beaver pond / swamp on the south side. Where the swamp drains to the river is a shallow area filled with pickerelweed. I usually catch both pickerel and northern pike here but today I just drifted by. A Great Blue Heron was stalking the shallows and I didn’t want to disturb it. I wanted photos of big blue.

Great Blue Heron

I was drifting slowly and quite a distance away but the heron noticed me right away.

Blue Heron wading

A couple of strides with those long legs and it was nearly hidden in the pickerelweed.

Great Blue Heron in Pickeralweed

My presence was too much to tolerate. With both of us in motion and the camera at full zoom I was surprised to capture the moment it took wing and get a half way decent photo.

Great Blue Heron taking off

The rest of the trip was pretty much uneventful. Another bass caught and released, a turtle diving for cover and a good slap by a beaver was all that interrupted the last part of the trip. (No I didn’t get slapped, beavers slap the water as a warning to others then dive out of sight)

The end in sight. Bucks Bridge

Bucks Bridge over the Grasse River

This is another section of shallow water riffles. Just before the bridge I got hung up and had to get my feet wet pulling the canoe to the takeout.

A Google map of the river section along County RT 14.


View Larger Map

10 Responses

  1. Tatyana Says:

    Riding a boat, fishing, heron watching… It sounds like it’s still summer! Wonderful pictures! The heron posed for you!

    Tatyana,
    Yep, hot and humid this week and the best thing to do is to hit the river, catch the breeze and watch the world go by.

    Getting my photos into Playbird isn’t quite the fantasy I had in mind 🙂

  2. Louise Says:

    What a beautiful, and peaceful, way to spend the day. Lovely rock, can’t wait to find out just what you are planning for it and its brothers.

    Louise,
    Nothing like a beautiful, peaceful day to come up with ideas that involve drilling holes into rocks with a rotary hammer drill. I think I can come up with some interesting fountains – birdbaths.

  3. Ratty Says:

    Those heron pictures are great. I have seen many herons now, but I have yet to get pictures that good.

    Ratty,
    They’re tough birds to photograph because they’re so shy. The only times I have actually gotten close enough is when I’m drifting in the canoe. So I’m 2 out of 25 or so this year.

  4. Out On The Prairie Says:

    Nice posts, I went back through July.Saw you as blog of the week and it sounded fun.I am in Iowa and do a lot of kayaking around the area. I enjoy drowning worms,I put air in the tail to torment smallmouth.I always like to see how close I can drift to a heron, but when I go to Padre Island they become laid back and you can walk within 30 feet of them.A favorite bird for me.

    Out On The Prairie,
    Now ya know better. Don’t feel bad, a lot of people learn the hard way they made a mistake by coming here.

    I should have mentioned that my secret bass weapon is a spinnerbait with a yellow curly tail grub.

  5. Emma Watson Says:

    Your site is so informative and full of humor. This posting is a good example of things to be found throughout. You are the Nature Site of the Week at Nature Center Magazine. I did NOT get here by mistake.

    Emma,
    Sorry you ran out of other sites and had to use mine.

    I’ll return the visit as long as I don’t have to dress appropriately. My nature suit doesn’t fit the way it used too.

  6. Emma Watson Says:

    Believe me, there is no end to the wonderful nature sites available. Your nature suit is fine. I haven’t had a good laugh in a long time.

  7. sharkbytes Says:

    Looks like a perfect day to me!

  8. Jean Says:

    I really enjoyed your picture of the frog with fly on Nature Magazine’s site. I am very glad I visited!

  9. Auntie K Says:

    The Great Blue Heron is one of my favorite birds. Thanks for such great photos. Good luck with the fountain/birdbath. Can’t wait to see how they turn out!

  10. miss m Says:

    Love these canoe rides !