Oconee River in October
Posted By: Ryan Hines
Location: Somewhere between Milledgeville and Soperton GA
Photographer: Ryan Hines
Boat: 2 Old Town Tripper 17's
My good friend of many years Jon Hollinshead and I paddled 120 miles on the Oconee River in October 2012. Of course, we chose Old Town Tripper 17" Royalex canoes, both made in the 1980's and still going strong. The trip started in Milledgeville Georgia, and we paddled and fished for 9 days and nights going at a leisurely pace over the "fall line" and into the coastal plane. 2012 was a low water year for Georgia, so there were many navigational challenges, primarily a constant need to avoid running into downed trees in the river at all places imaginable. We camped on large sandbars found around nearly every turn in the river's winding path, and slept in the open by the fire every night; sun baked fire wood was abundant in the form of driftwood left on the sandbars from periods of higher water. October in Georgia is probably one of the best times to hit the river since it is not too cold for comfort yet the bugs have mostly become dormant and the water is generally at it's lowest before winter rains bring the level up. The fishing is exceptional then since they are feeding heavily, getting ready for the coming winter. A trip to be remembered for many years to come.