G. Sam Piatt
PDT Outdoors Writer
Lovely weather for fishing, eh?
On Wednesday, Jan. 30, the state stocked 5,000 to 6,000 fighting- and eating-size rainbow trout into Greenbo Lake, which lies within Greenbo Lake State Resort Park.
The weather was too windy and nasty for fishing the next day, so I waited until Friday to try my luck.
I awakened at 5:20 a.m. and the temperature was eight above zero. A couple of inches of fresh snow covered the ground.
I took down a light action rod and reel from the wall in the garage and picked up a small plastic box holding small spinners, Super Dupers and Road Runners.
It was close to nine by the time I worked up enough courage and fortitude to head out on the 27-mile journey from my driveway to the boat ramp. U.S. 23 was icy. State Route 1 and the road leading into the park and down to the lake were worse. Without the Ford Ranger’s off-road four-wheel-drive I would not have made it.
To my surprise, there was not a bit of ice on the lake. The surface was choppy, the water clear.
I had the whole area to myself.
It was like the Rapture had come and everybody was a Christian but me.
I drove down the left side of the lake to the Delbert Grizzle Memorial Fishing Pier. While Little Dog Belle sniffed out some deer tracks leading away from the lake and into the woods, I snapped on an artificial lure, hurriedly put my gloves back on, and walked out onto the pier.
I made casts in all directions, reaching out 30 to 40 yards. I worked the lure fast, then worked it slow.
I had a woolen hat pulled down over my ears, but my neck was cold.
I called Belle and drove back to the ramp/dock area, where the trout had been dumped from the tanker truck less than 48 hours earlier.
I worked all that area out with different lures with the same results I’d had from the pier.
But all was not lost.
As you can see, I’m getting a February outdoor column out of the trip.
TO THE LODGE
I drove to the lodge. It seemed I was its only visitor. It was 11:30 a.m. The young lady on the desk in the lobby said the cafeteria would be opening at noon. The luncheon special was a fried chicken sandwich with fries or a bowl of beef and vegetables soup with a grilled cheese sandwich.
She said the buffet would be in operation for dinner, as a church group, apparently not affected by the Rapture, had made reservations.
NO CANADA GEESE
Canada geese, which frequent Greenbo year round, were absent from the air and the water. They probably had gone to nearby cornfields to feed. Also, a waterfowl hunt on the lake that opened Dec. 13 and closed Thursday, may have had something to do with their absence.
The only waterfowl season still open in Kentucky is on the snow goose. The daily limit is 20 and the season runs through March 31.
BIRTH OF GREENBO
How the state park called Greenbo came to be is an interesting story. It started first of all from an idea by George Collins, owner of Rail City Hardware in Russell, and his fishing buddy, Dr. Virgil Skaggs. They talked the idea up until the Greenbo Recreation Association was formed in 1953.
At a meeting with the Greenup Fish & Game Club to talk about raising money and site selection, it was decided that the hills and hollows surrounding Clay Lick Creek and its two tributaries, Buffalo and Pruitt forks, would be the best place for it.
The first big fund-raiser was Porch Light Night. People living in Greenup and Boyd counties who wanted to donate left their porch light on so volunteers would call on them with their donation buckets.
There was a fish hatchery on State Route 5 that was donated to the cause. It was sold for $50,000.
Donations reached $210,500 and it was paid to 33 different landowners to purchase the 3,300 acres that make up the state park today.
An earthen dam was built and the waters of the three tiny streams slowly backed up behind it to eventually create the 181-acre lake.
Realizing they did not have near enough money left, nor would ever be able to come up with enough for development and to maintain the lake, the Association talked then-Gov. Lawrence Weatherby into accepting the deed and to turn the area into a state park.
The groundbreaking for the park took place Oct. 20, 1969.
G. SAM PIATT can be reached at (606) 932-3619 or Gsamwriter@aol.com.