Commonwealth State Fishing - Part 1

After waiting 14 weeks, we’ve finally received our much anticipated camper and decided to try it out in the Commonwealth state.  I’ve fished in small creeks of Pennsylvania before but never larger streams and the Pine Creek caught my eye during my research.

The name of the river is somewhat deceiving as the river’s width ranges from 100 feet to 200 feet wide.  It is also known for it’s prolific hatches all year around but I couldn’t find any hatch information for fall season so  prior to our trip, I’ve contacted the Slate Run tackle shop and spoke to Tom who is the shop owner to find out about the hatching information.  Tom graciously went over with me all the information I will need for the trip.  I’ve also scheduled one on one lesson for Patty so she can improve her skills as well.

We got a camping site at the Pettecote Junction Campground which is located right by the Pine creek.  Driving through very scenic country road made our 4 hours driving somewhat bearable.  Foliage wasn't at it's fullest but you can see and feel the season change through the Appalachian landscape.  After a few jack-knifing of the trailer,  we were able to settle in to our spot and as soon as I was done setting up the camper, Jack the campground keeper introduced himself to us and gave us the whole run down of the place including fishing tips as Jack had been fishing close to 50 years in the area.  He is retired computer programmer who is born and raised in the area.  This place is very popular amongst fishermen for obvious reason and I was surprised to find out that we were the only visiting fishermen for the weekend.
As soon as I finished unpacking all our stuff, I made a short stroll over to the river.  Immediately, I’venoticed trout not rising but jumping out of the water.  They seem to be going after small bwos hovering above the surface. I tied smallest BWO pattern I can find in my fly box and started to cast.  After a few casts, I was able to hook a healthy looking brown which I found out later that it was one of the German Brown they stocked in the spring.
I've fished about an hour and went back to the camp site to do all the fun stuff that campers do.

Next day, we met with Jules who is Patty's instructor at the Slate Run Tackle Shop.  We also ran into the participants for Casting for Recovery who are breast cancer survivors being sponsored by Orvis and Jules also is involved as an instructor for the group.
Our introduction to the river started at the delayed harvest regulation section slightly downstream from where slate run enters the river.  The water level was very low and the sun was bright as it can be. We also saw three bald eagles either perched on tree branches or  hovering  around us cascading a huge shadow over us.  Even with these less than optimal conditions, trout were rising everywhere.


Patty and Jules found a spot to practice casting and I found a spot at nearby riffles.  Based on Jules suggestion, I tied rusty spinner pattern off of a  slate drake.  Trout were being very selective and the dead drift was absolute necessity.  After a long acclamation of water flow and seams, I was able to hook an acrobatic brown who showed it's entire body out of the water when took my spinner.  As I was releasing the trout, I heard Jules and Patty's laughter. When I looked over to see what was going on, I saw Patty's rod bent over with tight line at the end. The way Patty handled that fish was a beautiful sight.
We fished a couple of more spots and able to catch a few more trout but more than anything it was great to see Patty improving her skill. Jules did an amazing job with Patty. At around 5pm, we called it quit and headed back to the campsite.
When it was all settled at the end of the day, I was laying in the camper next to Patty thinking LIFE IS GOOD.