View Full Version : A little off the AT...

The Owl
05-01-2007, 17:54
but this is the only place I know with so many hikers, and I'm desperate for some help. So I hope this question about a place not on the AT is alright. If it's not, just delete it and I'll keep looking. Thanks.

In short, I'm seeing (on the topo)what appears to be a pretty flat area near the headwaters of a small stream just outside of the Shining Rock Wilderness area, in NC. Last year, a friend and I got caught out overnight just south of this area, without water or food, while fishing the lower part of this trail-less stream. I hesitate to post it anywhere on the internet, but it's not like I can ask about it without giving you the name. It's called " Dark Prong" and it's just to the north-east of Graveyard Fields. There is a ridge trail opposite the BRP, and near the top of one ridge on the northwesternly end of the trail( in the Graveyard valley) there looks to be a pretty large, rather level spot near the creek. Hopefully, someone will have needed water there, or something and can tell me about the upper end of this small creek in an email. I'd rather not have details of the area plastered all over the net, but maybe that's just a small stream anglers thing. Not many people would bother to bushwhack over a half mile down into this stream to catch 4 inch fish anyway...but if you know about the upper end of Dark Prong, and the flat spot I'm talking about and want to help, you can email me at fishlicker@gmail.com.

Thanks, and again -I hope this is alright here. It's like my 5th post, but my trip is in two weeks. If we hike in 2 miles( remember, noob hikers and not in great shape) and there's no where to set up camp, it's gonna be another mile at least until we're back at known sites.. and by that time i'm pretty sure we'll be worn out and too sore to do much fishing - at least that day.

Thanks again

SGT Rock
05-01-2007, 18:46
Tipi Walter probably knows that area.

05-01-2007, 19:43
I know that area and I also know lots of people...myself included that will hike much, much further in search of the fish that some would consider minnows....
There are trails all over in there and you will come across established ( and in some spots ) "over used" campsites. This time of year don't be surprised to find others already there. There are some signed established campsites on the Graveyard Ridge Trail. A really nice day if you can get a shuttle or take two cars is to leave one at the Big East Fork Parking Area and then drive up to Black Balsam and hike/fish your way down. FRom the junction of Greasy Cove to the parking area on 276 is:sun .
Have you tried Flat Laurel Creek ?

05-01-2007, 20:50
Hooray for wild brookies.

The Owl
05-01-2007, 20:59
Spiritwind, I haven't, but I found some pics on the net, and it looks like I need to get over to that side and try it. I got "left out" on the lower end, near the junction of Dark Prong and yellowstone prong. This time we'll be trying to camp on the upper end, near the Ivestor trail and Ridge trail junction. Again, I'm new to all this, including trying to tell when a trail turns into another trail, or when trails share a common track. :)
You're making me rethink actually posting the name of the creek though. :)

Sgt. Rock, thanks, I'll try to look that person up! But they may not want me on "their" water if that's a "home" area! oh well. In the southeast, even when you think you're the only one that knows about a "Secret Creek", you never really are. ;)

Hey, Native PA, there's no wild brookies in there...only " flanker fish!" :) ( A story for another time perhaps!)

Thanks for the info. I'll bore you with how it went....although our last trip was anything but boring...but I hope to be more prepared this time and not make the same mistakes....like listening to those skinny-dipping Swedish exchange students....( no, i'm not kidding...they sent us deeper into Shining Rock, instead of out of it...Lord, what a trip that was....)

thanks again all
have a great rest of the week and weekend.

The Owl
05-01-2007, 21:02
PS - we'll be hiking into the headwater area, and spending three days there. Fishing YSP on the way in, Dark on Sat. and YSP again on the way out on Sunday. Last year, we also found a "shooters table" complete with sandbag gun rests, an old tarp and a half full can of Coleman fuel. We were more than a mile from the BRP, and we bushwhacked in - there wasn't a trail to this table - and when I say table, I mean it - it was made like something from your home workshop. We wondered for a few miunutes how it got there, you know - how hard it must have been to get it in there, and what in the world were they shooting at that they needed the sandbag rests and all....and then we quickly moved on. although it didn't look like anyone had been there in months, if not years.

05-01-2007, 21:23
I know exactly where that is and you can see it from the top of Tennent Mountain.

Perhaps if you come back to this area you might consider Flat Laurel Creek begin at Black Balsam parking and end at NC 215. Flat Laurel Creek is excellent as is Middle Prong in the Middle Prong Wilderness (other side of NC 215)

The Owl
05-01-2007, 21:33
Thanks Spiritwind. I was thinking about taking my nearly-non-hiking wife with me into Flat Laurel, too.

We noticed a bare spot of rock...about as big as a bus maybe, on the mtn. across the way - we were thinking maybe whoever was there was sighting in a rifle, but why would you go to the trouble to do it there? It was the strangest thing. When I saw the movie ' Wrong Turn" recently, i thought about that table. haha.

btw - last year I got a 11 inch "flanker fish" in the area. Probably the largest i'll ever catch and I was on a natural high for weeks!

I appreciate the help, I really do.

05-01-2007, 21:35
I used to live in State College. I used to fish all over the place up there.
My father still spends half his year up there and has a trout stream in his backyard:D . When Jimmy Carter was pres. he used to fly up there to fish.

05-01-2007, 21:42
The upper reaches of Flat Laurel Creek are wifeable..but keep in mind that once it reaches Sam Knob it drops off and there's nothing "flat" about Flat Laurel Creek...but like Yellowstone, Dark and Greasy there's plenty to fish.
+ the scenery isn't too bad either.

The Owl
05-02-2007, 21:19
Thanks again! I've actually fished Big Spring, Yellow Breeches and several other PA streams in that area! I've made two trips to PA in search of great hatches, and I've missed them both times. :( oh well. that's why they call it "fishing" and not "catching"!

05-03-2007, 10:33
The trout fishing of central PA simply can't be beat. Spring Creek, Penn's Creek, Spruce Creek they're all great and fully of naturally reproducing trout. To keep it on topic, the AT also crosses Stony and Clark's Creeks just outside of Duncannon.

Spirit, I know former NFL coach Dick Vermeil has a cabin on Spruce Creek, it crazy how far wawy people come from to fish here.

05-03-2007, 21:34
Wow !:-?
Memories come flooding in....
Spruce Creek makes me think of the Mid State Trail and that makes me remember Shingletown Gap and all the little natives lurking back there.
Milesburg, Fisherman's Paradise, Lemont...
I thought I had good trout fishing down here...(there's a stream in my front yard)...Central PA is a trout mecca.