curiosity can really get the best of me. What starts as a harmless, thin
blue line on a map rapidly turns into an obsession. There are questions
that must be answered. Will there be trout? If there are, will they be
plentiful? Will there be
size to them? Will the stream have good structure? Does the stream see
much pressure? Of course the only way to accurately answer these
questions is to journey to that thin blue line. If
all goes well the trout are present and willing to show themselves. The
stream will be more beautiful than you hoped. And if you are really
lucky, there might just be an absence, or at least minimal numbers, of human foot prints.
I was dead set on hitting a new stream last weekend. Unfortunately, obligations took over my Saturday and Sunday afternoon. I thought Monday was going to see worse weather than it did so Sunday morning was my only shot. So, Sunday morning I grabbed my gear and headed out.
After spending some time trying to find the correct unmarked forest road I finally arrived. The stream is away from the nearest road by at least a mile so it canít be viewed from the road. After departing from my Jeep and walking for a short while in what should be the right direction I finally heard running water. I was in the right area.
When you get into a hurry you can make mistakes. My mistake was not bringing a topographical map. I had a forest service map with me but that only told me where the stream was. What the service map did not tell me was that I was soon to be traveling down a nearly vertical gorge. If you are going to go searching out wild trout streams always bring a topo map. It will let you know the easiest way into an area and can save you a lot of trouble.
After making the descent I could not have been more pleased with what I found. The stream was full of deep pulls, log jams, and everything else you could ask for in a brook trout stream. The stream offered plenty of places for fish to hide. Hereís one of the photos I took while I was there. Unfortunately I was so focused on fishing I forgot to take many photos.
I hiked down to the mouth of the stream and then fished my way up into the headwaters catching numerous brookies along the way. All fish were caught using a size 14 Royal Wulff. Most of what I caught was on the small side but I did see a few nice ones. Having limited time to fish I was not proceeding nearly slowly enough and certainly did not fish the stream for all it was worth. However, I satisfied my curiosity with the stream and will be back to fish it again.
Monday I planned to catch up on some of school work for the week ahead. I woke up, looked at the textbook setting on the desk, and then proceeded gather my fishing gear and head for Neshannock Creek. The weather was far too nice to stay home. So much for the forecasted thunderstorms.
I arrived to find the water very clear but with good flow. The stream was in great shape. Although there were several types of insects coming off the water the fish were not in the rising mood. I donít think there was enough of any one type of insect to get things going, and the insects were appearing at random.
I gained a fishing buddy during the day. I first noticed the snake when I looked down and it was at my feet. The snake must have crossed in front of me 4-6 times before it stopped to sun bathe on the rocks not more than ten feet from where I was fishing.
The fish were feeding in deeper water but offerings did not need to be dragging on the rocks. I fished at approximately Ĺ - ĺ the depth of the water. I started with nymphs but moved on to streamers. Size 8 bead head olive Woolly Buggers were the hot fly of the day. I ended up catching quite a few fish in the couple hours I was there. A few nice heavy ones too. All fish caught were rainbows.
I hope you enjoyed the report. I enjoyed living it.