by John Kirkland
Update 2/16/2015: KY Fish and Wildlife recently stocked 1000 rainbow trout in Hickman Creek in Veteran’s Park, and upstream at Belleau Woods Park (behind Tates Creek Center). This is great news for Lexington-based trout anglers, and locals who would like to try trout fishing. There is a fair amount of public access to this stream, though most of it is steep and somewhat treacherous. There is a foot bridge across the creek in Veteran’s Park, and this area might offer an easier place to access the water. I’ll try to check it out and report back after this snow subsides.
August 22, 2011
Veterans Park is a sprawling complex of meadows, ball fields, and walking trails on the south side of Lexington, near Man-o-War and Tates Creek Roads. Nestled in a residential area, there really aren’t too many clues, and definitely no signs, indicating that there is a creek, with fish, that runs through the park.
Hickman Creek drains southeast Lexington. It is filled with run-off and a fair bit of trash, as expected, but also contains a fairly healthy population of fish. I stopped by briefly this morning to check it out.
Finding the creek is a trick. It is completely obscured by woods and brush. There are dirt (mud, this morning) trails running along the floodplain adjacent to the creek. The banks are mostly steep, if not vertical, so getting to the water is difficult once located. The brush and limbs grow wild, and numerous bobbers and piles of fishing line in the trees give testament to frustrated fishing.
I threw a chartreuse rooster tail for a few minutes. I saw several decent sized-bluegill try to hit it, but nothing connected. There is about 1-2 feet of water in the section I fished, lots of logs and debris.
Others have commented on this site about successfully fishing in Veterans Park. I believe it could be done, given enough time and patience. This area has very poor access, and is a bit of a hike from the parking area. I drove to the furthest-back, dead-end parking area (signs pointed to a trail head there) to park and hike down into the creek. I didn’t get into the water–it rained last night, and the water was a bit funky. The banks and shore appear to be all clay and mud in this section. Downstream is a sewage treatment plant, gently wafting its scent over the area.
If you fish Veterans Park regularly, or know of better access, etc., please let us know in the comments below. Lexington has so little public-access to fishing; for better or worse, this is the second best location after Jacobson in Fayette County. Donalson Park, at Valley View Ferry, is the third and only other public-access fishing that I know of in Fayette, currently. Donalson is about a half acre with a steep clay bank on the Kentucky River that you (theoretically) could fish from.
Tangled woods line Hickman Creek