Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Hiking Up the Narrows

The Narrows section of Fishing Creek -- better known as Big Fishing Creek -- has the charm and feel of an old water color painting featuring a rustic cabin set back from the river bank, smoke curling out of the chimney, a lone angler standing in a pool fishing to rising trout.

If you hike to a stretch a few hundred yards from Narrows Road (which winds alongside much of the river in this section) the only sound one hears is the rush of water, the wings of a kingfisher and drumming of a distant grouse. If lucky, one can also hear the slurps of rising trout. Yellow, pink and purple wildflowers line foot paths along the bank. Deep runs push up against steep banks and giant boulders make the deep blue waters of the narrow creek perilous to waders.

In short, the Narrows is what a trout stream is supposed to be. It is a haven in a world bent on rushing past faster than the water rushing over the rocks in this Central Pennsylvania stream. The other anglers are few, far between and either silent or politely interested in your luck. One can walk for miles, fish for hours and not say a word or see another soul. A thick canopy of pines and hardwoods keep much of the river in shade. The small cabins that line the bank often show signs of wear, hinting at a more prosperous past and teasing me that perhaps I could find a way to own a piece in the future. Property owners are generous, allowing anglers to access their property as long as the cabins are unoccupied -- although fishing is prohibited on the Lord's day. If I can't own the cabin, I can still enjoy sitting in its shadow and daydreaming.

I fished it on Saturday morning and managed a few smaller browns aggressively feeding on the tail end of what reports had said was a robust grannom hatch. While the fishing wasn't great, the scenery gave me plenty of memories to cherish. My only regret is that I only have one day to spend in the Narrows.

No comments: