My grand plan was to spend a week camping and fly fishing in and around Potter County. The Wilds of PA, God's Country. There were quite a few streams I wanted to check out so I chose two camping spots as my home base - Little Pine State Park and Ole Bull State Park. These would put me in the Pine Creek and Kettle Creek Watersheds respectively.
I spent the most of the week at Little Pine State Park. I fished Pine Creek proper and landed some beautiful browns and some beat up rainbows (all on really small prince nymphs). I spent another few days exploring some of Pine's great tribs (Slate, Cedar, etc) and some other watersheds that run parallel to Pine through Sproul State Forest. Slate Run is a crazy stream. I drove way back Slate Run Rd. to access the stream and successfully freaked myself out after a few hours of slipping on the slate-like rocks and convincing myself I was hearing Rattlers around every bend and branch. It's streamside is covered with high grass and ferns. Beautiful to look at, but creepy to walk through when your by yourself in the middle of rattler country and far from anyone or anything. It's good to be humbled by nature on a regular basis. The only downside to fishing alone is that there is always a small voice in the back of your head reminding you that if you were to fall, get bitten, etc, no one would likely find you for a few days. Eh, it's worth it though.
The fly de jour for those freestone mountain streams was a 16 Royal Wulff. Brookies, browns, and even some old 'bows couldn't resist it. I landed this particular rainbow on a stream that hadn't be stocked for years. Look at those dark black spots. He's been in there for awhile. I left my Wulff drift between two large boulders and into a small eddy along the bank when he shot out to take the fly. He gave my 3 wt. glass rod quite a ride.
In all, I only ran into a small handful of other fly fishermen my entire trip. The water levels and temps were perfect for this time of year. It was great to have these streams to myself for the week.
A few random non-fishing thoughts - it was really great to get away by myself for a few days and to let things settle. I end up spending a lot of time alone anyway simply because of what I enjoy doing - fly fishing, biking, etc - but this was different. Most days I barely interacted with more than two people and probably only said a total of a few sentences. It was nice to get away from the ego a bit, to wake up and have nothing to do but explore remote streams and try new water, to get of routines and to get back into just being. It's all pretty simple, really - just be.