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Sailboats float amidst morning fog at the Scott Creek Marina as sunrise creeps over the horizon on a frigid morning.

Closing season

story by Jack Zellweger

Cave Run Lake is a crucial part of Morehead's identity. Its man-made waters extend deep into the Daniel Boone National Forest. The lake's unspoiled nature, in combination with the warm temperatures of summer, bring swells of tourists and adventurers every year.

"Our wives don't know we're here . . . We managed to escape to the lake," says Andy Dunn, a local fisherman from Mount Sterling.

At the Scott Creek Marina on the lake, though, it's the famine that follows the feast. As leaves turn a silvery golden brown and the surrounding mountains blow a chill into the warm summer waters, boaters retire and fishermen go for their final catches of the season.  Hopes for an escape on the lake just one more time before the winter dwindle as the cold sets in.  Finally, inevitably, boats come out of the water.

Remaining boating thoughts turn to new craft. "They switch boats around here faster than you can switch a baby's diaper," says Kenny McCluarg, a Scott Creek Marina night watchman.

Kenny, Andy and many others all have one thing in common: they breathe the same chilly October air while watching over, boating on or working at the lake late in the season. Cave Run is their common thread; it serves to bind them to the land and to the community.

 

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Fishermen walk on Scott Creek Marina dock just before setting off on the lake to catch some Musky. The two will drop their lines for 10 hours and have packed lunch, back-up fishing gear and a variety of equipment for their long day.

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Eric Kerns, left and his friend Andy Dunn, fish near the docks at Scott Creek Marina. "If you catch five, you done good," Eric says of his sucessful day out on Cave Run Lake.

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Warren Terry's handmade fishing lures stand upright in their storage boxes in the back of Warren's car. Warren came from Melbourne, Florida, for the world-famous Musky fishing at Cave Run Lake.

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Karen, who works at the Marina starting at 6:30 a.m., takes a moment between filing papers for a cigarette outside her floating office at Cave Run Marina.

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"We recently downsized," Diane Cox says of her houseboat docked at Scott Creek Marina. Diane and her husband, John, sold their $130,000 houseboat for this smaller model, which they take out over frequently on weekends at Cave Run Lake.

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A soft blue light blankets the docks at Scott Creek Marina.

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Steve Combs, dock hand at Scott Creek Marina, takes a break from maintenance work. Steve started work in the river valley before the dam had been put in, and the lake formed in the mid 70's. Steve also currently has a possum problem, but refuses to trap and kill, preferring to use live traps and relocation. "I don't like killing things." he says.

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Morning fog begins to clear a dock at Scott Creek Marina.

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Sunrise peeks over the ridgeline surrounding Scott Creek Marina at Cave Run Lake.

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