vacation at the cabin - 2003

     Almost every year I take a trip to Clinton County, where my father-in-law is a co-owner of a cabin situated in the Sproul State forest. We go there mainly for trout fishing. We usually have at least six guys who make the trip, but this year we had only three; my son Justin, my father-in-law Ray, and myself. This page documents some of the highlights of our 2003 trip.

The Sproul State forest is situated near the middle of the state of Pennsylvania.

     Area map - click here.
  Small map - detailed - click here
  Large map - detailed - click here

     We arrived Friday, and after unpacking, we walked down to the 'bridge.' Ever since I can remember, there has been families of beavers living close to the cabin, creating huge ponds, which in some years have been brimming with trout.

     Occasionally we'd watch the beavers, as they would go about their business of feeding, patroling, and doing general dam maintenance.

     Unfortunately, this year it was not to be. The beavers have either moved or were trapped or killed, and our pond no longer existed. All that was left was a small stream. Justin took a walk up stream, and told us that there was still a dam in the meadow but nothing but chubs resided there. I never did check it out. The pictures above, or course, were taken in earlier years.

     As we have done in the past few years, we drove down to rt. 120 for dinner that evening. We had decided a few years back that after driving for 5 hours to get there, we will not cook dinner at the cabin, but eat out. As usual we went to the Sportsman, where we were delighted to find that on the 1st and 3rd Friday each month, they have a seafood buffet. Since this was the first Friday of the month, I don't have to tell you what we decided to eat! It was very good too! On the way back to the cabin that evening, we spotted a black bear about 50 yards from the road, making it's way into the forest. We stopped the vehicle, and the bear stopped every now and then to make sure he wasn't being followed!

     On Saturday we ate breakfast, and then took off to Young Woman's Creek for some fishing. Justin, Ray and I decided that since we hadn't gotten the propane freezer working properly yet, that we would only keep enough fish for breakfast the following morning, and throw the rest back. When Justin and I met up later, we each had kept 3 trout and had been throwing the rest back. We were keeping two for each of us, and one apiece for Ray, in case he hadn't caught any. When we all met up, we were surprised to find Ray with his limit of good sized trout, happy as a boy! He was doing so well, he completely forgot about our little plan! And, for the first time, I believe, he did not 'fall in!' We took all of the trout back to the cabin, and was happy to find that the freezer was working properly.

   

     We (Justin!) cleaned the trout, kept six out for breakfast the next morning, and froze the rest.

  

     Sunday we woke to a 38 degree cabin. As Ray was starting the coffee and breakfast, I started a fire in the wood burning stove. Justin, I believe, was still in dreamland.

             

    We ate breakfast, which typically consisted of eggs, bacon, trout, and either pancakes or blueberry muffins. Ray turns into Betty Crocker at the cabin, whipping up fine meals.

     We generally do not eat lunch because we are too bust fishing, so a good breakfast is important. It must last until 6 or 7 in the evening. A few snacks taken with us while fishing help us last.

     After breakfast, we headed off to Young Woman's Creek again. Once again we found some great spots, and Justin and I did well, both of us catching our limit. Ray was not so fortunate, and got skunked. At least we had another ten trout to bring back at the end of the day.

     Monday was not to be. It rained all day, and was too heavy to fish. We spent most of the day scoping out some potential new trout waters, zeroing in on the Left Branch Creek. We decided to fish it the following day, or whenever the weather decided to cooperate.

     Tuesday was cloudy and just a bit drizzly in the morning.

     It cleared slowly, but we made it out. The Left Branch was unproductive, and decided to move downstream towards the union of the Left Branch and Young Woman's. We eventually travelled down to our 'jackpot' areas in Young Woman's, but nothing was biting. It may have been due to the rain during the last 36 hours. Justin's stringer was the only one going home populated that day, with three fish.

     Wednesday morning we had our coffee and some doughnuts we had bought. We packed up all of our belongings, cleaned the cabin, and headed home. We stopped at Arby's for a sandwich on the way.

     During our stay we were fortunate to see an abundance of wildlife, including our friend the bear, deer on every outing, many grouse, and two gray foxes which we spotted one evening while we were sitting out on the deck. Of course, pictures of these sightings do not exist!

     A trip like this doesn't make the rest of the year's 'working grind' worthwhile, but it sure helps!