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Saturday, December 25, 2010

sleet and snow

some trail camera pics of a buck out in the sleet and snow...

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sleet

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Deer vs. Possum

A little opossum is bound and determined to eat his fill before he leaves the corn I put in front of the trail camera.... according to the times recorded by the camera he stood his ground for forty minutes while the deer circled and nosed at him.

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Friday, December 3, 2010

Loveland

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To my eyes, Loveland may be the prettiest town on the whole river. It is at least the one who's made the biggest attempt to embrace it's heritage as a river town. Indeed even though the bikeway runs the length of the river, Ive heard several people refer to it as the Loveland bike path. And no wonder, here, restaurants, ice cream shops, bike shops, coffee and tea shops, and the LMI Scenic River & Trail Center line the trail thru town. Right in town at the mouth of Obannon Creek may not be the best place to start your fishing adventures on the Little Miami. Not because it's not fishy looking but because it's crawling with kids wading, dog's fetching, and people just generally enjoying the river. Upstream at the first riffle before the really deep water will allways be special to me, for here I lost the biggest smallmouth I've ever hooked. It was late fall when the bass hit a grub and jumped clean out of the water giving me a good look at it's size. I had the big bass on long enough to be sure I was going to land it when the line just went slack. No theatrics just a slack line and no fish. A few kids were watching from downstream and it was all I could do not to throw a mini hissyfit in midstream. Not that it would have helped any. I won't say what I thought the bass weighed so I won't be called a liar, let's just call it very large.

Loveland is named after James Loveland, who ran a store and post office near the railroad tracks downtown. Loveland was promoted by the railroad as a resort town, who gave it the nickname "Little Switzerland of the Miami Valley." In the 1920s, The Cincinnati Enquirer ran a promotion that offered a free plot of land in Loveland, along the Little Miami River, after paying for a one-year subscription to the paper!
Some of the most graphic photos of the horrific 1913 flood that exist are of Loveland.

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Loveland 1913

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Even the bridges over the river in town are decorated with flowers.

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Much of the riverbank in town is one big park.

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The remains of an old dam across Obannon creek just upstream from the river.

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Looking up the creek from the river towards an old rail bridge that carries the bikeway across the creek.

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turntable at loveland now a parking lot

Milford

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Milford was built on a survey belonging to John Nancarrow a Revolutionary War veteran from Virginia. Nancarrow owned 230 acres but never lived in Milford. In money trouble, Nancarrow sold his land to Phillip Gatch in 1802 for $920.00. In 1806 Gatch sold 125 acres to Ambrose Ransom and two days later Ransom sold 64 1/2 acres to John Hageman. John Hageman was the first permanent settler and named this area Hageman's Mills after a small mill he set up in 1803.
By 1815 Hageman had moved west and the name Milford was in common use. The name says it all. Milford was the first safe ford north of Cincinnati. The water is still shallow here with extensive rock bars all up and down this stretch of river. Although there is ample parking and access and the river splits the town in two, the Little Miami isn't the town's overiding feature as it is with all the upriver towns. I guess Milford's bigger size and proximity to the city is the reason for this. The river here with all its riffles and rock bars has great smallmouth fishing and is ideal to wade.

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Upstream of Milford at Fletcher Road the bike trail crosses the river on a high railroad trestle known as the Hippie Bridge because of the cool graffiti and it's use as a party spot by the cabrewing crowd. There is fine fishing here for all the fish in the river as the river varies wildly within a quarter mile up and downstream of Hippie Bridge.

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Waynesville & Corwin

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What's Waynesville and what's Corwin? Well, Corwin was constructed to service the railroad as it crept up the Little Miami so everything on the railroad side of the river is Corwin while the other side of the river is Waynesville. I'm going to do what everyone else does and make the people of Corwin mad and just say Waynesville.
Waynesville slash Corwin may be one of the best bases to fish the Little Miami in it's whole length. There is tons of parking, nice restrooms, restaurants to eat at, and yes, great fishing. Waynesville has historically been a milling town and still has the old mill dam.

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Right below the dam is a good spot to catch sauger though in summer it's also a popular swimming hole. A series of mills operated here from 1800 till steam finally put water power out of business. The millrace was then used as a swimming and picnic area in the 1930's and 40's under the names "Wayne Park" and then "Old Mill Stream". In 1952 L. D. Baker and Tom Norris opened a mill race fishing concession. In the 1960's an old country store was added and in the 70's a swimming pool. Up until 2010 the Der Dutchman restaurant and gift shop was located on the millrace till a fire closed the restaurant. Just downstream from town the river flows under route 73 and makes a couple sharp bends. A path leads from the bike trail alongside 73 to river providing easy access. The bends have created several gravel bars and eddies that provide some interesting fishing. The gravel bars seem to change every winter with high water but allmost allways create some great fish holding spots. Last time I was there the current had gouged out a hole over my head two feet off the bank right alongside a riffle and a caught seven smallmouth without moving on a marabou jig pitched into the hole underhanded.

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Downstream the river slows and is lined with downed trees that hold plenty of catfish, panfish, and rockbass. Legend also has it that while his army was camped here during the Indian campaign in 1793, General "Mad" Anthony Wayne's paymaster hid the soldier's payroll somewhere along the river here during an attack by the Indians. The money has never been found! Something to think about when wading the river looking for a smallmouth. This area was well known to the first white explorers to contain alot of wild game and in his wonderfull book, The Pioneer Writings of Josiah Morrow, Dallas Bogdan related stories of bear hunting here in 1797 and states the early hunters found deer, bear, and wild turkeys plentiful in the area. Nowdays history is working to repeat itself as deer and turkey are becoming common and recently a bear was photographed nearby.

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Grain elevators in Corwin, old and new...

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