When my friend Matt and I get together for an outing, we tend to skip the convenient “park and fish” streams and jump right to the more difficult streams - typically require a decent hike in and out; and involve some element of risk (insane gradient changes, high density of bears / rattlesnakes, etc.). This past Thursday’s trip was no different.
The first stream we fished was one that has been on both our lists for a couple of years. As we approached the stream on a rough dirt road, the stream looked pretty decent. However, it only took about 50 yards before we realized that almost the entire stream (and banks) was choked with mountain laurel and rhododendron. When I say choked, it was worse than any stream I had ever fished.
One of the easier holes not too far from the road
It was hard to even get an unobstructed picture of the stream
Native brookie from the first stream. I also pulled in 2 of his buddies from the same hole.
A section of “open water”
We were also fishing in a gorge, so the banks of the stream were more like hill sides, which also added a degree of difficulty when trying to move upstream. We hit a lot of “dead ends” due to vegetation, which forced us to turn around to find another trail upstream. Don’t get me wrong, the habitat was pretty decent, but getting a cast into the good holding water was a different story.
The stream bank… The left side looked the same as well.
After a couple hours (and a lot of profanity later) we decided to hike back to the car and move on. I think we both came to the conclusion that this was a “one and done” stream. Check it off the list, but there is no way I’m going back.
We moved on to a second stream, which ran through a state game land. This was another stream that was on both our lists to fish. As we drove towards the drop off point, we passed quite a few trucks moving about (turkey scouting I assume). We parked the cars up and hiked down a steep hillside until we hit the stream. It was not exactly what we were expecting. It was pretty choked and the stream was fragmented into quite a bit of small channels, which made the decent holes few and far between. We definitely did more hiking than fishing on the second, but it was nice to explore a new stream, although I don’t think either of us will be heading back to this stream anytime soon.
I guess you have to fish some tough, unproductive streams to appreciate the good ones. Regardless of how many trout were caught, it was great to get out and explore some beautiful areas in NE Pennsylvania.