The arrival of spring brings with it the assurance of things new. New flowers, new buds on the trees, baby animals…and the opening day of trout season. As with most things in young boys’ lives, the anticipation of the day is often so much better than the day itself.
Matt, Tim and Johnny, were looking forward to the opening day of trout season, and they wanted to do something different this year. Being young teenagers, the boys were not yet able to drive. Where could they go that would be exciting, something new, yet that their parents did not have to be with them?
“We could go up to Camp Susque,” Matt suggested
“Too many people. You end up untying more hooked lines than fish,” Tim reminded him. “How about the bridge at Brass’s?”
“Too boring, all you do is sit there,” Johnny said. “What about Hoaglands Run?”
“What about it?” Matt asked. “Mom and Dad aren’t going to sit and wait while we fish.”
“Oh, right.” Johnny remembered.
“Ok, so what if they don’t wait for us? What if they drop us off upstream and we walk downstream and fish our way home?” Tim said.
“Yeah, we could pack lunches in our backpacks. We’d have to wear our hip boots for some of the crossings. The stream isn’t deep enough for chest waders.” Matt said.
“All right, we’ll just need to get one of our parents to drop us off. Where should we start?” Johnny asked.
“Well, we have all day, let’s start at the stone bridge.” Matt said.
“Wow, that’s a hike. Let’s do it.” Tim agreed.
The boys ran the idea past their parents and they agreed. As the day grew nearer, so did the boys’ anticipation. Oh boy, what an adventure! Fishing down a small wooded stream, just the 3 of them, backpacks loaded with food, fishing creels packed with all the fishing essentials and hip boots…green rubber hip boots!
It was the night before the opening day of trout season. The fishing gear was ready, sandwiches were in the fridge ready to be packed in the morning, clothes were laid out, the hip boots had been checked for leaks…the boys were ready to go. Matt and Tim’s mom would pick Johnny up in the morning on the way to the stone bridge. As the boys fell asleep, thoughts of taut lines with trout on the other end filled their heads…
“What is that noise?” Tim thought as he sat up in bed. It was still dark, and as he brought himself to a level of consciousness, it dawned on him. “NNNNOOOO…not rain!” “Not tonight, of all nights, not tonight.” How long had it been raining? Was the stream going to be too muddy to fish? Was the day ruined? There was little that could be done at this point so he tried to go back to sleep. He was awakened by his brother. “Hey, come on, it’s time to get up.” Matt said.
“Did you hear the rain last night?” Tim asked.
“Yes, let’s go over and see what the stream looks like and decide what to do then.” Matt suggested.
They picked Johnny up as planned and headed up over Bobst Mountain and down the other side, to the stone bridge where Bobst Mountain Road intersects Hoaglands Run Road. They got out of the car and quickly examined the condition of the stream. It was a little high, but not muddy at all. What a relief. The boys got all of their gear on and said goodbye to Mom. The boys started heading down stream trying the different pools along the way. It wasn’t until the pipe bridge that the boys took their first break. They had caught a few fish on the first stretch and were ready for a snack. They continued their adventure down stream until lunch time and took another break. By this time the effects of wearing green rubber hip boots, walking over wet rocks, boulders, logs and cold water were beginning to set in. Having not yet reached 973, they decided to pick up the pace. They reached 973 and headed over to the other side. A short distance from the road another stream emptied into Hoaglands Run from a different valley. Due to the previous night’s rain this stream was brown, dark brown. The boys made the decisions to walk back home via 973 rather than follow the stream. They made a few stops along the way and walked down to the stream where they knew of some nice fishing holes, but they didn’t have any further luck. By this time they were beat. Miles of walking in hip boots had finally set in, the sun had come out and they were taking a layer off at a time as they continued their journey back to Quiggleville. Knowing most of the people in the village, the boys though of calling their parents for a ride, but instead they decided to make the short walk up the hill to home. Before they made the trip up the hill toward the church they decided to take one last look at the stream. In Quiggleville, they headed over to the bridge (which at that time was a steel green bridge, today it is a concrete bridge). The stream was no better, still muddy, but what a day, what an adventure. This would not be the last. To remember the adventure, Tim decided to leave a reminder of the day…a pair of hip boots should work. Check the loose rocks in the center of the stone bridge (where the adventure started) on the west side where it meets the road.
Note: If you are interested in seeking the “Stonefly’s Fishing Adventures: Nymph” letterbox you will need to know the mileage that the boys walked from the Quiggleville Community Hall to the stone bridge (staying on the main roads).
Hand carved stamp, recommended color: olive green of course
***Please use discretion, zip bags and snap lid tightly, and replace securely. Box contains stamp and log; BYO ink and pen. We appreciate your comments regarding the condition of the box and its contents.***