View Full Version : 3 days and 2 nights on Calderwood

05-13-2011, 04:47 PM
At the spur of the moment wednesday I loaded up my 4 year old son, boat, tent, and some food and we went to Calderwood. We fished a while before dark and caught 1 rainbow on a husky jerk rapala and my son caught one on a night crawler. The lake was down about 6 to 8 feet and we found some new interesting places to fish.
Slick Rock Creek was dry other than the trickle of creek all the way out to the main lake.


My son liked the fact that he had a big place to ride his bike so that occupied most of his time.


We did get in some fishing Thursday morning and I caught a ton on a Bead Head Copper John under a #6 Stimulator. Most were 10-12 inchs long but, then I had a supper nice fish explode on the Stimulator. I didn't have a net and of course while trying to "man handle" it into the boat I popped the 5x tippet. I did get a picture of it in the water while I was fighting it.


I put on a crawler under a float for my son in hopes that he would catch some blue gill but, instead he caught his limit in trout. The first one being his very first solo trout. I tied a 3 foot piece of 5x tippet to his main line so he would have a better chance at catching fish. This would later come back to haunt me.



After he caught several I helped him by putting his float right against a fallen tree. The line had no more than settled out when the float went out of sight. All the other trout had either took off with the float or bobbed it a couple of times. So I instantly grabbed his rod while he was still holding it and jerked it setting the hook. He fought and fussed with this fish for the better part of 5 minutes. He even began to complain about his arms hurting. Finally after some encouragement he horsed the fish to the surface. It was an easy 22 inch brown. My adreniline began to flow and I put one hand under it's belly, pressed the fish against the boat and grabbed the line with the other. In the process the powerful fish wiggled free and I tried to turn loose of the line but the 5x popped and the big brown went back to his hide. I was sick and, my son smiled and said "did you see that big fish". I'm not sure if that made me feel better or worse.
After we lost his fish we rode around.




We explored the train tunnel since it was the first time that I had ever been able to go completely threw it.



We finished up the trip with a nice evening setting by the fire eating fried trout until we were stuffed.


On a side note.
I watched a guy catch trout after trout on a fly rod while we were fishing. When he came out I asked him how many that he thought that he caught and he said "an easy 50" which I do not doubt.

05-13-2011, 06:18 PM
FishNHunt....looks like a great time. Something I hope to do with my son one day.

How is the camping down by the lake? Do you ever have problems with people getting into your things while you are out on the water?

05-16-2011, 09:56 AM
Man I bet your son loved it. My father and I only got to fish a few times but those times were some of the best memories I have of us together. In fact it was fishing with my dad that I saw his cousin use a long skinny rod called a fly rod to put the flies on top of the bluegills. This started my interest.

05-16-2011, 03:44 PM
Times that your son will never forget! Way to go.

I still go camping/fishing with my sons/grandsons and can't get enough. Thanks for posting. Great report/photos.

05-16-2011, 08:10 PM
Granny Knot

It's not as "rough" up there as it used to be. I should say that it's terrible and I have stuff stolen all the time to keep everyone from coming over but, I can't. Knock on wood I have never had anything bothered with. I have left my truck at the ramp over night many times along with hunting trips. There is I believe 9 dedicated camping spots that have concrete picnic tables and grills. There is also 2 (rather clean I might add) porta Johns. The only problem that I ran into (if you can call it that) was an old man and wife had taken up 2 camp spots because they didn't want to hear a bunch of "ruckus" at night so my son and I had to camp in a less shady spot but, it worked out better because I just left the boat in the water the whole time. The state troopers came by once during the night while I was still up and twice during the day that I know of. There is also some constrution going on at Cheoah so there are alot of trucks that park at the road but, I never heard any noise from them working.

There are two other dedicated camp sites down the lake that are new and really nice. They have the fake wood picinic tables, lantern stands, wind brake fire pits and a leveled raised spot for a medium sized tent. A larger four man tent would hang over the edges. The first one at the power lines looks to have 2 spots for tents and is further up the bank than the one just past where Parson's Branch enteres the lake. The latter has a creek running at the edge of the spot which would make for some great sleeping. The lake also comes right up to the site when the lake is full and the bottom goes out far enough for kids to play closer to the bank but, drops COMPLETELY off to 15 feet deep. I would also keep an eye out for copper heads at this site as it is brushy almost all the way around it. I'm not a "worry wart" but, I didn't let my son venture out of the creek when we were there. I've never encountered a copper head in a creek is why. I'm not saying that they don't cross a creek but, they don't tend to "hang out" in them.

About the train tunnel. That was just awesome and my son loved it when the beavers swam right by the boat. One actually hit the bottom of the boat making an audible thump. Once you get half way threw the tunnel it opens up 10 -15 feet high and 25-30 feet across creating a large cavern. It is damp and water dripped down on up the entire length which my son replied "how does it rain in here". LOL!!

The canoe take out at Calderwood dam is the worst case of money mismanagement that I've ever saw. They have a set of stairs from the lake WAY up the bank to the road and a super nice aluminum walk way and hand railed dock. The problem is the 3/4 mile completely up hill drag to 129 if you portage there. I wouldn't dream of canoeing up the lake and taking out at Cheoah boat ramp. The wind comes DOWN the lake 95% of the time that I've been there. Plus when Calderwood is taking out and Cheoah is putting in it will be an "up hill" paddle with the way the current flows threw the lake. I had to stay on the trolling motor as if I was in the wind because of the current and we were pretty much half way down the lake. On top of the 3/4 mile up hill drag you have to contend with the "crotch rockets" and finding a parking spot there unless your there at day light is all but impossible. The only way that that would be a feasible portage spot would be to open the road and create a turn around at the dam but, that would cost even more money to excavate the mountain side for the spot and with the new laws on distances from a dam I don't see it happening. Totally a waste of money.

I am taking my son and daughter back this week since we had so much fun and we are staying from Thursday to Sat or Sun depending on the weather. If ya want to check the lake out just come on up and look for a black 4 door Toyota Tacoma, a 16 foot G3 with a 25 four stroke Yamaha and or 2 kids running wild. I doubt I could take anyone fishing in my boat since I will have to contend with the two young ones but, I can point anyone in the right direction, fish close by, or just enjoy company at camp.

05-16-2011, 08:37 PM
Thanks for the detailed info FishNhunt.
I'd like to check out those sites down near the power lines & parson's branch sometime.

05-16-2011, 08:51 PM
Thanks for the detailed info FishNhunt.
I'd like to check out those sites down near the power lines & parson's branch sometime.

Just give me 24 hours notice before you pick me up. ;)

05-16-2011, 09:26 PM
Here is a picture of the camp site just past the power lines.


The site past Parson's Branch.


One of the beavers in the tunnel.



cockeye valdez
05-17-2011, 09:03 AM
I don't want to get too personal but I don't say it enough. Fish/hunt is my son, the mischievous little boy with a smile as wide as his face, is my grand-son. It is the answer to every father's prayer that his son will give his children memories that such as Fish/hunt is giving to his children.
I've said it a thousand times, best job I've ever had is being a Dad. Fish/hunt is discovering the same joy.
Proud of you Son.

05-17-2011, 11:19 AM
Ok, maybe I didn't read good enough but what is the tunnel? Is it a flooded railroad tunnel or something? That is a really pretty place.