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Paddling the Tchoutacabouffa

All you could hear were the insects trilling and the occasional bird singing as we floated calmly in that secluded inlet. Every now and then, a fish would jump trying to catch its breakfast. Even the clouds seemed too relaxed to move quickly on this hot September morning.

As my sister and I paddled down the Tchoutacabouffa on Friday morning, I marveled at how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful place. A place where we can get up and head to the water and just relax and do some fly fishing.

We had a couple of missions in mind that morning when we loaded the kayaks and set out:

  • Have a little sister time paddling and chatting (with no kiddos)
  • Get in some fly fishing
  • Take some pictures of the beauty of the river
  • Lastly, we had a time budget on this excursion, had to be back home by 1 p.m.

Off we set from the Cedar Lake area headed toward Woolmarket at about 8:30 a.m. We estimated that our route would take us a couple of hours to paddle, leaving us with some time to stop when we wanted to fly fish for a bit. There wasn’t much wind, which we thought seemed a both good and bad thing for us on this adventure. Good because we didn’t have to fight it but bad for us when we needed a little breeze to fend off the heat.

As we paddled, it seemed the Tchoutacabouffa had an extra special treat for us in its beauty that morning. The clouds reflected perfectly on the water. The spotted gar were actively fishing, every now and then one of the large seemingly prehistoric creatures would splash next to us, breaking the surface to find its morning snack.

Our friends, the gar, were not who we had in mind that day to catch with the flies tied so meticulously. Our goal was to land some bluegill and have a little fun doing it. As we came close to the end of our paddle, we found a little secluded area where the fish seemed extra happy. We decided to try our luck and cast for a bit.

While my sister began casting her flies, I sat still and simply enjoyed the silence. Enjoyed the serenity of that hot morning. The world has seemed chaotic and sometimes a bit stressful lately. In that kayak, though, listening to the insect trilling and the fish splashing, I was relaxed and grateful to be there. After fishing for a while, we decided to continue to our car and back to reality. The river had one more treat for us as we paddled, a bald eagle flew over in all its majesty. I couldn’t think of a more beautiful way to end our paddle.

If you need a little getaway from life. If you need to take a morning to paddle, relax, and take in the beauty of our Mississippi home plan a trip down the Tchoutacabouffa. She certainly didn’t disappoint these two ladies. If you are wanting to try your hand at fly fishing for yourself, go see my friends with the Gulf Coast Fly Fishers they will be happy to share their knowledge and love of everything fly fishing.

I hope to see you out there on our next sister adventure paddling the Tchoutacabouffa.

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Written by Jessica Rankin

I am a married mother of two rambunctious boys. For over a decade I worked in Marine Resources as a Fisheries Biologist and recently changed career directions to follow my dream of owning my own business. I am now the Owner of The Safe Food Culture LLC a consulting business specializing in food safety regulatory and training. It’s my goal to support businesses in creating cultures rooted in safe food practices. For more information please visit: www.thesafefoodculture.com

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