The Chattahoochee River

Some interesting notes about the area where we lived in Georgia, Sandy Springs (finally incorporated in 2007), was bordered on the west by the Chattahoochee River and we lived a mile up Soap Creek, where a large Civil War battle, in which two of my G Grandfathers participated, was fought where the river and creek joined.

We lived on Mark Trail Street in the Lost Forest subdivision. The subdivision land was previously owned by the creator of the “Mark Trail”’ comic strip. This strip was popular in the 1940’s and 50’s. There were about 30 houses built around the “hollow”, in Texas called a “draw”, and except for the ice storms, was a great place to live.

It was natural with the nearness of the river and my 12 foot aluminum boat, that we made several float trips a year down it. We would launch the boat at any number of places above Roswell Road, then float for several miles down to the I-285, North, bridge, and take out there.

One trip stands out. We, Benny Evans, a coworker and fellow Texan, and I put in way up the river, close to the gun club and made about a 6 mile, drift down to 285. We would drift the middle, drift around the eddies and drift along the banks, casting to the numerous “falls”, trees down in the water. We would drift, then electric motor back over promising spots, trying to keep our baits, Mepps #2, Spinners, in the water as much as possible.

Pictured is my Mepps #2 Spinner, the survivor of the float down the river. This bait is over 40 years old and remains poison for pan fish and fresh water Trout.

We avoided all the “tubers” and ended the day with a mixed, mess of small fish. The 4 Largemouth Bass were 12 to 15”; the one Smallmouth Bass 12”, one 12” Rainbow Trout, 2, 14” Pike, or Chain Pickerel, returned to the water because of excessive bones, 4 hand size Bluegills, topped off by 1, 15”Channel Catfish! We probably caught over 50 fish and had twice that number of strikes. By far the best day I enjoyed on the river!

In the late spring Georgia Tech held its annual, “Ramblin’ Raft Race”, a true civic highlight. The future engineers at the school would design the most motley collection of floating “things” imaginable. Prizes were awarded, classes cut, beer flowed and a grand time was had by all! I’m sure, by now, the “Friends Of Wildlife”, “The Green Movement” and “The Nature Conservancy” have put a stop to all of this fun!

Tubing was a family sport, and from May until September, the river was crowded with all sizes of tubes and people. For me, I thought besides getting sun burned, tubing was a serious waste of fishing time.