This post is for stream PA-1C. I won’t name streams on my site (sorry, don’t ask) to prevent them from being “spot burned” or unwanted attention drawn to them.
Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of photos of the stream itself. The image above was a nice little waterfall from a tributary dumping into the stream. Stream PA-1C is listed as a Class A wild trout stream. I’ve only fished it once, and the air/water temps weren’t ideal. Still, I managed a few decent fish.
Stream PA-1C is fortunate in that it isn’t stocked at all. Additionally, while it dumps into a larger stocked stream, it’s confluence is a significant drop over some large shale sheets that prevent upstream migration of invasive species (brown trout or rainbows). So while you won’t find browns in the stream, you might find brooks in the larger stream below. More on this later.
Stream PA-1C flows north from near the PA/MD border. It drops in elevation a fair amount over it’s course, and it has a lot of nice habitat. There are some very, very deep pools, which could hold some unicorns. I did lose a very nice fish in the 10 or 11 inch range. I plan to fish here again when the conditions are more favorable. There isn’t a lot of the stream on public land, so depending on what I find there, I may or may not pursue access on the other half on private land.
Access to the stream is extremely limited. It actually took me a while to even find an access point at all. There is essentially one access point near it’s confluence with the larger stocked stream and about 3 or 4 miles of stream to fish on public land. From what I saw, it has pretty good flows most of the year throughout the public land section.
The fish in this stream were beautiful. All of the fish I caught were very healthy and still had a lot of color. There seems to be good insect life on the stream and I moved a lot of sculpins while trekking through it’s shallows.
As I mentioned above, at it’s confluence with the larger stocked stream, there is an opportunity for fish to go down into that stream, but not the other way around. The large pool at the confluence was too tempting to fish, so before we left, I had to try fishing it. I was surprised not to pick up a holdover rainbow or brown in this pool. Still, I fished it pretty hard, and eventually it paid off. Near the tail out, a fish took. I initially thought it was a rainbow, but it fought pretty hard, and when I got it near me I realized it was a brook!
This fish is a bit of a conundrum for me. I believe it’s in the 11 inch range based on the photo. It’s colors are inline with a wild fish. Note the sparse light colored spots and their irregular size. Also note there are plenty of halo spots (a usual telltale sign of a stocked fish is the lack of halo spots). The fins are also in very good shape. I suspect this is a wild fish that escaped the Class A trib and took up residence in the big pool.
It approaches unicorn size for me, but it’s lacking some things. For one, it’s thin. This could be due to post spawn, lack of food in the big river, stress, exhaustion from fighting the strong currents in the big river or a number of other things. It’s also a female. Not to be sexist or anything, but when I’m talking about unicorn brookies, I’m talking about a big gnarly male. God that was awkward to write.
This area warrants further exploration. Catching the bigger brookie down in the big main stream has me thinking about it still. There’s a chance, albeit a slim one, that there could be unicorns in the main stream. They would have to survive an onslaught of bait fishermen, strong current and less than ideal water conditions. It’s on my list, but not high on the list to try fishing this stream after the meat fisherman get bored.