Thank you for visiting The Itinerant Angler. I encourage you to participate in discussion here.
This is the first of an ongoing series of personal observations from my travels. I will keep this up in a sort of blog format, but I elected to use bulletin board software rather than blogging in order to give you guys a chance to comment and contribute your own material.
I believe the board is in perfect working order but if you come across any bugs, please let me know.
In a sense, these posts will form my fishing diary. Although I hope a great many people will come to enjoy these pages, the diarist primarily writes to his future self. I hope you find the kind of personal observations these pages will contain entertaining and informative. I think Patrick O’Brian captured the sense of wondering introspection I have in mind the best in his character Stephen Maturin of the Aubrey/Maturin seagoing novels. I strongly recommend these.
Today Lauren and I travelled southwest from Nashville on HWY 96/100, to the Harpeth River area. This was a scouting trip, and I hope to fish the river tomorrow and post a report. We ran in to a flock of turkeys on the Natchez Trace, and I will post pictures if they turn out later.
The Natchez Trace was an overland route from the Ohio River Valley to the Mississippi River at Natchez, Mississippi, some miles upriver from New Orleans. Originally it was a highly travelled forest route for bargemen who floated their goods down the Big Muddy, then broke up their rafts to sell for that last bit of profit before walking back home. Multiple hostels arose, highwaymen and Indian attacks became common, and in general the Trace took on the character of the famous coach roads of 17th Century England. All of this was ended by the coming of the steam boat, which made overland travel irrelevant, and the Trace lapsed to a little used forest road.
Today it is a beautiful National Park, with mile after mile of open, winding, two lane road bisecting all of Mississippi and half of Tennessee. One high spanning bridge in particular is worth noting, soaring 155 feet over a canyon just south of Nashville. This bridge resembles the St. Louis arches with a bar of limestone laid across the top, leaping the gap.
The Harpeth appeared to be a low gradient, relatively warm, 30-50′ wide smallmouth and carp river, mostly gravel, not too snakey looking. Looks like good fishing.