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Doug Miley

Doug Miley

I am orginally from VA Beach. I have traveled the US living in a few different states. I have been coming down to Lake Gaston since I was a child and just love it so I finally moved here in Novemeber 2011. I have a kayak and canoe, but prefer kayaking. I kayak fish year round between here and Chesapeake VA.
Get out there and get some fresh air.

Posted by on in UR Loons Paddlers

We are sorry for the short notice.  We have spoken to several local Meherrin River residents.  They are telling us that we need to wait till late April for the water levels to be navigable in the river for the north fork.  We will reschedule then.  


This Saturday WE WILL STILL PADDLE.  We are going to meet at Saffold Rd. (Rte. 635) to Whittle's Mill (Rte 636/ Bridge Rd).  Meeting at 10:30 am to drop off boats and shuttle to Whittle's Mill and launch around 11:00 am.  

Dress warm, Layers are the best and stay away from cotton.  Bring your sunscreen.

See you there!
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Posted by on in Kayaking

Hey fellow paddlers,

Get your paddling stuff together, it's that time of year again.  The Loons will be doing some exciting paddles this year. 

We will be venturing down the Meherrin River Saturday March 9th.  We are starting Wallace’s Bridge (Rt 712) to Whittle’s Mill (Rt 636/Bridge Rd).  This is said to be one of the greatest areas to paddle.  As of right now we have about 6 people joining us.  

Make sure you bring warm clothes and plenty of water and food.  Hope to see you all there.

Happy Paddling

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Posted by on in UR Loons Paddlers

Ok so this one day of warm weather has got me pumped to paddle and enjoy the water.  Hope you all are ready as well.  Scott and I have added some of the events to our calender of events and we have added some to our facebook page.  I have also emailed everyone the schedule for 2013 it is also pasted below.  If you are not on our email list please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so we can stay in contact about our events. 

We have some great events planned as well as some amazing things happening throughout the region for our blueway trails.  If you have not checked out our Trails Wiki, you need to.  Scott and several others have worked really hard to get a good start on this project.  We hope you can help us build our trails wiki and our blog.  Please tell us some of your favorite places to paddle.

We enjoy hearing from you.  Have a great day.

 

Get Out Now!

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Posted by on in Kayaking

Hello All,

I hope everyone has had a great winter.  I know my winter has been filled with family and friends.  I have not been as active on here as I wish, I apologize for that.  I will try again to post about all my outings whether on land or by sea.

This post is about Scott and I going for a mid winter paddle.  We did a nice trip on Saturday January 19, 2013.  We decided on going from Hyco River to Aaron's Creek.  Kerr's water levels has been low for the past few months, we dicovered after the nearly 5 inches of rain that Kerr has water again.  The Dan River between Hyco and Aaron's Creek was flowing so fast we just help on and let it rip.

The Hyco River is a great paddle with many fun islands to paddle around, although on this trip we paddled over the islands.  You will see that in the pictures below (or http://www.facebook.com/pages/Upper-Reach/120866234666406?fref=ts).  While going towards the Dan River we saw a Banded Water Snake.  It is highly unlikely to see a snake in this weather but due to the flood stage of the rivers we are sure it got kicked out of its hibernation home.  We also saw plenty of Turkey Buzzards.

Scott and I tried to paddle up the Dan and around Hyco Island but were unable to cause of the current.  The current was so strong you could hear it whimping by us.  So we decided to turn around a cruise down to Aaron's Creek.  Aaron's Creek was about 1.5 miles away but came up real fast because of the flow.  We skipped over to the mouth of Aaron's Creek and were greeted by some great rock formations and calmer water.  The take out was about 1.5 miles from the mouth.  The total trip was right around 5 miles.  You can view the maps in the trail wiki.

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Posted by on in General

Hello Everyone,

This is my favorite time of the year...fishing, paddling, leaves changing, cool weather, and no crazy power boats on the lake!

We have some very fun relaxing paddles coming up this fall.  As the Loon Director (self titled)  I would like to announce these paddles.

Roanoke Rapids to Weldon  10:30am October 13, 2012

We will be paddling down the Roanoke River from Hwy 48(Roanoke Rapids Rd Boating Access Area).  The Loons will paddle down stream for 5 miles (2.5 hours) of fall fun.  We will be taking out at River Falls Park.  This is a great paddle full of small rapids and flowing water.  There is a nice Class I Rapid at the end but you can portage around that rapid.  

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Posted by on in General

Hello everyone,

 

I have been busy again fishing Lake Gaston. I went out today around 4 and fished for 3 hours.  While the crowd is disappearing slowly because of school being back in session, there were still a bunch of boats on the main lake.  So it is a reminder to be safe out there.  Yesterday I fished for a couple hours with no luck but I did almost catch a pontoon boat.  This pontoon boat came within 15 feet of me and did not see me waiving my paddle or hear me yelling.  So just be safe.

Back to my fishing today: I caught 3 large mouth with the biggest being a 4 pounder, 5 blue gil and 4 white perch.  I do most of my after work fishing from my dock launch in Poplar Creek. 

If any of you would like to go fishing sometime I am always looking for a partner.  I have a fishing kayak you can borrow.  Just shoot me an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Posted by on in General

Hello All,

 

Finally we have set dates for the rest of 2012.  I have been so busy I am sorry this is a little late.  But hey atleast you got it right....

 

August:  We will not be paddling as Loons in August.  How ever if you would like to participate in a great event at Lake Gaston here is your chance.  August 11th is The Crossing Event.  Please see

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Posted by on in General

I would like to start by thanking the people that did make it to our Four Rivers Picnic.  I would also like to throw a HUGE THANK YOU to Banks Dixon of Frog Hollow Outdoors for his clinic on Deep Water Rescue. Due to the crazy weather we were unable to go through all the steps but the abbreviated version is sure to help.

So July 14th we met at Stauton River State Park for a picnic and some boating.  If you have not been to this state park you need to go.  They have a great location between the Stauton River and Dan River.  When you go to this park be ready for nice vies of the rivers and some great hikes.  I was unable to do any hiking but I am sure I will go there this fall.  At the park they have great picnic areas for large groups and small.  We decided to grill hotdogs and sausage for this event. Scott was a hero during our picnic since the skies opened up and started raining on us.  I have never seen someone hang a tarp for shelter so fast.  Thanks Scott.  Besides the small amount of rain the picnic was a great time and then the water rescue class was wonderful.

Some folks kayaked down the Hyco River and met us on the Dan River.  This is a quote from an email from Pat who went down the hyco "There was quite a diversity in the bird species sighted and even a fleeting glance of a deer."  They did say there was not much of a current this time of year but they still had a great time.

Another group went down Aaron's Creek.  They said they had a blast but were really tired because of the heat and the lack of water flow.  This time of year without the rain it makes for a slow paddle.  They did enjoy the cold water when the got to the park.

Thanks again to Bank Dixon and Frog Hollow Outdoors.

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Posted by on in General

Hello Everyone,

We have joined forces to with several groups in the region to have this fun event.  Hope to see you there!

 

We will be converging on Stauton River State Park (beach area).  They have picnic tables for resting and grills for cooking.  A few of us Loons will be prviding ice and charcoal for a afternoon picnic.  We will be firing up the grills at noon.  BYOFD Bring Your Own Food Drink.  There is also camping at the park that you will have to contact the park to make reservations.  http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state_parks/cabgen.shtml

We hope many of you will join us in this paddle in event.  There are many areas to launch your canoe/kayak and paddle over to the park for lunch.  It is up to you to pick your route. Here are some ideas...

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Posted by on in General

Well this was a great way to spend a Saturday.  We gathered with about 500 other crazy people to float from Long Island to Brookneal on the Staunton River.  I was told that this trip is about 10 miles long.  I do not know much about the event since it was my first year but if you ever have this weekend free please go.  Below are some of the pictures from Scott. 

 

The next UR Loons event is July 14th.  Please join us for a good time at Stauton River State Park.  This event will be a paddle in event, meaning you choose your route and we all will meet at the park.  We will provide ice, and fire for you to grill your food and keep your drinks cold.  I will be posting more information soon.

 

Paddle Safe!

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Posted by on in General

Hello All,

Last Saturday (June 9th 2012) the UR Loons went on a very nice paddle on the Banister River.  Thank you for those who made it...those who did not make it missed a great paddle with a local star (Carl Espy) who made the trip very educational and fun.  Carl pointed out many historical landmarks along the way as well as told some great stories about the river and the town of Halifax.  Thank you Carl.  I know we all enjoyed it.

We started paddling just below the dam at the Banister Lake WMA boat ramp.  The put in was a tad bit rough to get to but with a scenic river like the Banister it is well worth it.  We paddled for 6.5 miles down to US 360.  The water was flowing slowly which made for a 4.5 hour paddle with a 45 minute stop to eat and discuss the Uranium mind that has been proposed for up river of this site.  Only benfit we came up for the Uranium mine is the fact we would not need flash lights for a night paddle cause the water and the shore line would glow.  All joking asside this is a horrible idea and we should all be against this for a number of reqasons. 

Please visit

http://keeptheban.org/

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Posted by on in General

Scott and I explored a new (to me) paddling area.  We put our boats in off 48 in Roanoke Rapids and floated/swam to the boat launch on Rockfish Drive.  This area is known for the rockfish fishing.  This time of year they are releasing water from the dam for spawning.  When the water is lower at the end of June the rapids are larger and much more fun.  Although on this trip they were fun and the last one made me swim.  Don't take a flat water sit on top kayak through whitewater and not excpect to go for a swim.

This trip took Scott and I about an hour and fifteen minutes.  With the high water the current is strong and perfect for a short ride.  You do pass the paper mill and sewage plant but they are only by yourside for a brief time.  After that you go through woods.  You do go under I95 during this trip but it is still very scenic.  We saw Osprey, river otters, gar fish, carp, turtle, and one blue heron that we followed down the river for about 2 miles. 

Please remeber our next two paddles: June 9th Bannister River and July 14 the Staunton River State Park adventure.

 

Paddle safe out there!

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Tagged in: accessible heron osprey
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First of all thank you to everyone who joined us or helped in their own way to make Lake Gaston cleaner.  This paddle was great.  We had a lot of fun picking up random trash...ofcourse we found a tire.  We also got to see two nesting Bald Eagles and may Osprey.  We started at Kerr Damn Tailrace Park and continued down to the Steel Bridge on US 1.  We had 6 people in total since I am sure the threat of rain scared many people away.  As you can see in the pictures the fog was very eerie to paddle through but man was it pretty. (the photos are under the photo tab)

A few of us got the pleasure of being interviewed by Mike Mosley with South Hill Enterprise.  Please check out our brief article and video on their website.

http://www.vancnews.com/news/article_49323186-9833-11e1-8724-0019bb2963f4.html

Our next UR Loons paddle will be on the Bannister River on June 9.  Please RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and for any information. 

 

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Posted by on in General

Hello everyone,

The UR Loons are paddling this weekend.  We will start at 10 am at the tailrace picnic shelter by Kerr Dam and travel down to the US 1 Steel Bridge.  This paddle is to help the Lake Gaston Association with their Trash Sweep.  I hope many of you are able to join us.  If so please RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Now that the weather is getting warmer rember there are more and more boats out there.  Safety is our first goal.  Please wear your life jackets and have all the necessary gear aboard your boat.  Always have fun. 

 

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Posted by on in General

Jim joined us for our April 2nd trip to Beechwood Flats and through our passage way to Miles Creek.  These are some of the pictures he shared with us.

 

Thanks Jim

 

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Posted by on in General

First off, Thanks to everyone that was able to make it to the UR Loons first group paddle.  Although it was a bit chilly we warmed up quickly.  We started at the Steel Bridge on US 1 and went down to Beechwood Flats.  In Beechwood the water was low but we toughed it out by paddling harder to get through the cut through to Miles Creek.  The paddle was great!

We saw one Bald Eagle and many Osprey.  Some of us saw dolphin sized carp in the flats swimming off the bow of our canoes/kayaks.  We had many laughs and great stories told by all.

In the future I hope many more will join in our adventures. 

Our next paddle is May 5th.  We will be starting at the Kerr Dam and floating down to Steel Bridge.  This trip is a special outing to clean up our shores.  Lake Gaston Association has asked up to help in the trash sweep.  Remember the more the merrier.  Hope see you all there.

 

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Posted by on in Kayaking

 

A few weeks ago Scott and I paddled Flat Creek in search for Yeti or other wildlife. We came across beaver, ducks, turtles, hawks, eagles, osprey, and crazy kids on motorcycles...but still no Yeti. We paddled about 4 miles up Flat Creek until we could go no further. The route we took started at Steel Bridge US1 down river to Beechwood Flats. Since I am new to the area this place was exciting. The water was calm and filled with all species of ducks. There was a two UR Loons as well.

While in Flat Creek I decided that falling out of the kayak was not a good idea since the water was still very cold. Thank goodness for fast drying clothing and the warm sun. The last few weeks have been great for paddling, hope you are getting out there to do some explporing.

 If you would like Upper Reach has started a paddling group called the UR Loons. This group will meet once a month for a paddle around the region. On April 7th we are meeting at the Steel Bridge on US 1 at 9:30 am with a 10am departure for a trip to Beechwood Flats. For more information contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Posted by on in General

I kayaked the Miles Creek mouth today for some early spring fishing.  Apparently the fish did not like my bait, but hey it was 74 degrees and sunny so I had a great time.  I did see two Bald Eagles playing around in the tree tops.  There are a ton of turtles in this area.  They were surfacing within 2 feet of my kayak.  Guess they were also enjoying the warm weather.  Hopefully this weekend I will be heading the opposite way on Miles Creek.  Word is there is a lot of wild life up there. 

This morning I went out infront of my house.  I have also attached some of the pictures from that small float.

Happy Boating!

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