Why are some of us attracted to waters? Is it the need to imbibe, purify or to just listen to the rush of water over rocks? Or maybe it’s the aroma that comes from a mountain stream or the freshness that arises from Piedmont rivulets. Whatever it is, it pulls on me, like a magnet to steel.
Once again I have that yearning to be not just near water but to be in water. One of my beloved streams would be Hitchcock Creek near my place of birth. My adoration for Hitchcock Creek started at an early age. During the summers of my youth I would visit my grandparents and my grandfather would walk me through the woods down to Hitchcock Creek for some fishing and nature time. At that point in time I was much too young and to cross or wade the creek on my own. My grandfather would hoist me onto his broad shoulders and we would wade and cross to find good fishing spots in the creek.
He was a carpenter by trade, grew his own fruits and vegetables and the fish he caught from Hitchcock were also used to feed his wife and three daughters. I have wonderful and fond memories of my grandfather. He was a gentle giant and soft spoken, and when he did speak, a hush fell over the room.
Once again I find myself between the banks of Hitchcock Creek. It seems to change every time I visit but at the same time it remains the same. There are rocks in that old tributary that never move. They’ve been there all my life and will probably be there for generations to come and I like that. Those rocks create closeness or a kinship that I adore and yearn for.
Today I spent a couple of hours fishing a small upper section of that wonderful stream of water. The water itself was very low despite the abundant rain we’ve had this year. The chest waders I donned could have easily been left at home.
With the water so low, I walked farther upstream to the dam knowing that the deepest waters would exist there. It did not take long before I caught several redbreasts, one crappie and a rambunctious largemouth bass in addition to three rock bass. I quickly released all the fish for another day.
It is the first week of September and the signs of autumn have already begun to show along the banks. Leafs are starting to show those amber hues and there is a fragrance in the air that invigorates my lungs.
I have spent countless hours in and around Hitchcock Creek. I’ve caught hundreds of fish from its waters. It has been a fixture in my life for 46 years. I’m certain if I were to move away that I would make annual trips to visit Hitchcock Creek.
Because of the combined efforts of the city and American Rivers, it will become an official Blue Trail. Hopefully then, more people can enjoy the beauty of Hitchcock Creek. I look forward to that day, I will journey those waters in my kayak.
I find its natural beauty unmatched. In the 10 to 12 miles that serpentine to the Great Pee Dee River, there are very few signs of civilization. My time in the water today must come to an end for I have to return back to civilization. The waters of that creek have renewed me once again, I feel contented.
“Water is life's mater and matrix, mother and medium. There is no life without water.”