Tour de SC PA - The Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-26-2018, 08:34 PM Thread Starter
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Tour de SC PA

Normally, my trip to SC PA is my 3rd or 4th post of the year. However, its my first of 2018. Prior to this past week, I’ve only been fishing 4 days in 2018. This is due mostly to some new responsibilities at work, and tying up some loose in other outdoor pursuits.

I ended 2017s trout season in mid october when I started gearing up for hunting and trapping season. I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to get my first bear this year. I became seriously interested in harvesting a bear 2 years ago. I see bears and bear sign quite often when I’m out and about. I spent hours and days and months scouting a few different places for bears. Having harvested an archery buck on 10/20, I focused fully on harvesting a bear, which I did on 11/3, from the ground while still hunting. I then moved on to trapping, and recorded my best season to date. With all that momentum, I wanted to round out the triple trophy and get a spring gobbler. That is what ate up most of my early trout season. I did a lot of scouting in april, and spent the first 3 weekends of gobbler season hunting instead of fishing.
Cv2 by eric reger, on Flickr

That brings me to my annual SC PA trip. Every time I come out here, my main priority is to try new streams. This was tough this year, because I found some wonderfully productive water last year. I stuck to the plan my first day and tried what I thought was going to be a tiny little brookie steam up in the mountains. However, I was surprised at the size of this little stream, and the average size of its inhabitants. I started fishing around 2pm.
Cv1 by eric reger, on Flickr

I only caught 2 trout under 6”. They were all a solid 7-9”. Nothing over 9” though.
Cv1 by eric reger, on Flickr
Cv1 by eric reger, on Flickr

I was cruising along,fishing at a brisk pace with fish coming equally as fast, when I stopped to take a picture of what I thought looked like a picturesque spot.
Cv1 by eric reger, on Flickr

As I climbed over the log in the picture, I put my left hand on it to stabilize myself and ended up slicing my hand on a small stick protruding from it. I knew that it was a trip ending event, so I bunched up part of my shirt in that hand to apply pressure, and reversed course back to my car. For an instant, I thought about using the super glue that I carry in my fishing pack to seal the cut and keep fishing… I stopped at a drug store to get some disinfectant and was elated to find “waterproof” bandages. Now I could get back on the water.

I opted next for a limestoner that I have fished in the past since I lost some time dealing with my hand. I resolved to try and use my right hand to handle fish and keep my left hand dry. On my 2nd cast, a 17” brook trout erased all thoughts from my mind. I scooped with my left hand.
Cv1 by eric reger, on Flickr

The bandages seemed to live up to their waterproof branding, so on I went. Both wild and stocked trout were cooperative as I worked my way through meticulously maintained properties that were courteously opened to public angling.
Cv1 by eric reger, on Flickr

I spoke to a few property owners who were out and about as I was fishing. They were all very polite and genuinely interested in what I was doing and how I was doing it. Where I live, if you see a property owner while fishing, they are most likely chasing you with a shotgun.

From the moment I jumped into this stream and began wet wading, an aroma as refreshing as fabric softener filled my nostrils. It was surely the many flowers blooming along the stream. I was contemplating this exact thought as I approached a run where I caught a 19” rainbow last year. On my 2nd cast, ⅔ of the way into the run, I got a hard hit and the fish ran downstream past me. I knew that move gave him an advantage as I was now applying tension on the spinner from upstream and potentially out of his mouth. I repositioned and after a minute, the 18.5” wild brown gave up.
Cv1 by eric reger, on Flickr

Not long after the big brown, maybe a few hundred yards later, it was dark. I very very very rarely fish in the evenings, let along til dark. It was kind of neat walking back in the dark, not in any hurry, since I am on a work trip with nobody waiting for me at the hotel.

Day 1 concluded with a couple over 100 trout. Most came from the first stream.

Day 2 started early. I arrived on the stream at 5:50am. This is a new to me stream. My recon told me its a little limestoner with a decent population of wild fish. This is what I saw when I got out of the car to fish.

Cv1 by eric reger, on Flickr

Apparently, this stream always looks like this. No rain fell recently and all other streams in the area are in great shape. No road construction above this point either. I gave it a few pity casts and aimed my car toward another stream.

The second destination looked much better.
Cv1 by eric reger, on Flickr

The attitude that I have subconsciously adopted toward limestoners is that they are no more difficult to fish than freestone streams. Since I started coming out here a few years ago, I have done very well on the streams that are noted for being fickle. That all changed today, right here, at this stream. I fished about ½ mile of it without seeing a trout, getting a follow, or spooking a fish. Supposedly this stream has the highest biomass of trout per acre of watershed of any stream in the country??? I tucked my tail between my legs and left. My total for the morning was 0 trout.

In the late afternoon of day 2, I met my brother (he was at the same work event as I was) for another go at the trout on another limestoner.
Cv2 by eric reger, on Flickr

My brother didn’t bring any fishing gear with him. He only brought one pair of shoes. This would dissuade most if not all people from fishing, but not him. We waded a mile of stream together, with him wearing just socks on his feet. I don’t think even I would have done that. He kept up just fine. In fact we were moving quicker than normal since both of us were covering water faster than one person would alone. I only took one fish picture on this excursion, the biggest trout we caught together, a 10.5inch wild brown. This fish in this water were notably smaller than the previous day’s stream.
Cv1 by eric reger, on Flickr
We combined for 37 trout in 1.5 hours.

Day 3 gave me 2 hours to fish in the morning. I was planning to drive 25 minutes to a new little mountain freestoner. About 4 minutes into my drive, I crossed a large freestoner, which I know gets stocked, and has a few limestoners empty into it. I made an abrupt change in plans and wheeled into a parking lot right by the bridge I crossed. Without much recon on this stream, I jumped right in and started fishing. I happened to walk down to a nice hole. I was 3 casts in when another fisherman came down and stood 10 feet from me. He put his minnow bucket down on the bank and lit up a cigarette. There was nobody else within eyesight up or downstream from this spot. I reeled my spinner up and started walking around him and headed upstream. He asked me what was wrong, I just said “good luck”.
I hopped back in 50 yards upstream and landed a beat-up brookie on my first cast.
Cv3.1 by eric reger, on Flickr

In the lower portion of the section that I fished, there were some spots too deep to wade so I had to hop out and traverse the bank. As I was re-entering the stream here, the Dame’s Rocket blooms were cause enough to stop and take a picture.
Cv3.1 by eric reger, on Flickr

The stream was big enough for me to really let some long casts rip. There were plenty of holding spots for fish. I enjoyed the upper part of the stream where I could basically walk up the middle of the stream at a slow constant pace and cast as I walked.
Cv3.1 by eric reger, on Flickr

Fish came at a moderate pace.
Cv3.1 by eric reger, on Flickr
No large fish were caught here. I stopped at 22 trout in 2.5 hours. I was pleased with my spur of the moment decision to fish here.

On my way home this evening, I planned a stop in a part of the state where I would otherwise never consider fishing. I chose a stream that looked like it was going to be a native stream. As with the first stream on day 1, I was surprised by how big it was.
Cv3 by eric reger, on Flickr

It wound through a relatively open hemlock/fern forest that looks similar to streams I fish in northern PA.
Cv3 by eric reger, on Flickr

To my amazement, NO wild fish were present here, but stocked trout were present, in moderate numbers.
Cv3 by eric reger, on Flickr

I had my heart set on wild trout, so I only stayed here for about 2 hours. I stopped at 28 trout, which made an even 50 for the day.

When I got back on the road, and was navigating back to the highway, I took note of the prominence of the hills/mountains in this part of the state.
Cv1 by eric reger, on Flickr

Another trip to SC PA is over. 5 new streams were added to my repertoire for that part of the state. After doing this for 4 years now, I feel like I have a pretty good handle on that area. Next year, I might just fish the top streams from my previous years’ experiences.

Last edited by troutdoorsmen; 05-26-2018 at 08:41 PM.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-26-2018, 08:56 PM
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Sounds like a great time!

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-28-2018, 10:40 PM
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Looks like an outstanding trip, congrats on the triple!

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-29-2018, 09:38 AM
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This post has become quite the tradition! The annual spanking and PA's 'hardest' streams.

Your brother is an absolute savage wading in basically bare feet. You two must have run around barefoot like cavemen through your youth cause my feet could never handle it. I can't walk across my paved driveway in bare feet without safe 'OUCH' every time I hit a cinder on the ground. My feet are soft as a pillow haha.

You're story about the cut has prompted me today to setup a small first aid kit to carry in my pack. It's only a matter of time before that happens to all of us and it would be nice to be able to clear it up on the spot instead of aborting the trip when things are going well. An assortment of band-aids, disinfectant, strips, maybe even some liquid skin in the small jar.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-29-2018, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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Thats the first thing I thought... I felt stupid for not having any first aid supplies on hand. You would think an eagle scout would have those sorts of supplies with them...

My brother actually just edged me out when we fished together, even without shoes. He caught 2 more than me in the hour and a half we fished.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-08-2018, 09:41 AM
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Great post, thanks for sharing!!! :-)

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