by Joe Gahlinger
We had twelve members take part in the June 2023 Obey River Trip. The Obey is the tailwaters to Dale Hollow Lake. It is seven miles from the Dale Hollow Dam to its confluence with the Cumberland River. It flows through the town of Celina, Tennessee. I’ve lost track but believe this was our fifth Club Trip to the Obey. As with past Obey trips, this one had some unique characteristics and happenings.
First, the dam release schedule was quite different this time. We had long periods of no generation followed by almost equally long periods of only 1 generator flow. This allowed for almost all-day fishing. We have fished no generation conditions on past trips but did not have extended periods of 1 generator flow. Turns out, one generator produces a moderate (but manageable) current and navigable water from the Donaldson Park Boat Ramp up to the Moody Ramp (about 5.5 miles.) Under no generation conditions we are usually limited to a little over three miles (Donaldson to Island) of navigable water. This opened up stretches of the river we hadn’t fully explored in the past. And better yet, provided some pretty good fishing. Although no club records were set in terms of numbers or sizes caught, everyone caught fish and enjoyed some very pleasant fishing conditions.
Second, we tried out new lodging arrangements. While four folks stayed at the “fabulous” Valley View Motel in Celina, TN, the rest of us stayed in a cabin on the Cumberland River that Mike Norris has access to. The Valley View contingent were all first time Obey trippers and they got to enjoy the memorable experiences that only the Valley View can provide – ‘nuf said!! Mike’s cabin was very nice, comfortable, and was a great venue for winding down after a day of fishing. Mike provided delicious dinners and breakfasts and we had ample fuel for some pretty spectacular campfires. The only drawback to the cabin was the travel distance to the Donaldson Ramp – a little over 50 minutes. Fortunately, the Obey generation schedule meant we didn’t have to be at the ramp at the crack of dawn and thus were able to enjoy a little extra sleep and a relaxed breakfast before heading out. Another advantage of the cabin is that it has easy access to a boat ramp on the Cumberland that provides an alternative to the Obey. Finally, the Valley View contingent tried out the River Front Lodge in Burkesville, KY on Friday night and reported it was a great place to stay, reasonably priced, with charging stations for boats, ample parking, close to the Burkesville Ramp, several nearby restaurants for both dinner and breakfast, and it’s only 25 minutes from the Donaldson Ramp on the Obey. Will definitely be an option for next year’s trip.
All-in-all, another very enjoyable Obey trip. Already looking forward to next year’s trip and with the additional lodging options, we may be able to accommodate more participants.