Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Crossing Bridges

Twin Bridges, Huntington Creek, PA          
                            Where trout live those of us who pursue them will inevitably cross bridges. They come with the package, in all shapes and sizes. Bridges have always held a special place in my heart. Maybe it's because even as a youth riding shotgun with my dad when traveling to a stream, more often then not the feeling of the truck slowing as we approached a bridge was the signal of the start of the days fishing. Or it may be  the feeling I always get when I  approach a footbridge, that somebody must have placed it "right there" for a reason. Or the big obvious covered bridges that carry with it  historic background. Yet they don't have to be historic symbols of our heritage to be important to a fisherman. They can range from beautiful covered bridges centuries old, to recently built access bridges on a popular water. Each one either holds a symbolic meaning, or a memory of the water it spanned.
Valley Creeks Knoxx Library Foot Bridge

Valley Creek Covered Bridge
      One of my favorite bridges is the Valley Forge Knoxx Library bridge over Valley Creek. A simple structure that stops me each time I cross it. Looking downstream, you can't help but wonder what history that small piece of water holds.

      Another Bridge over Valley creek is the covered bridge. A great example of how a  region can protect a piece of history against all efforts of nature and development.

Upper Letort Heritage Waters Foot bridge


        Heritage waters always offer a bridge of some sort. Most often because folks always want to leave behind something lasting and appreciated with donations. The fist two that come to mind are the Upper Letort Heritage water foot bridge, and the modern Little Lehigh Heritage water bridge.
Little Lehigh Heritage Waters Bridge
                                                                                                                               Both hold memories worth holding on to.  One was a long awaited pilgrimage.  The other for a visit to a fly shop that I had read about for years but never seen. On that visit a  fat 18" Palomino  took my Golden Retriever, placing its inevitable stamp on the trip.

  Then there are the bridges that take a back seat to the water itself. The ugliest of them all is the Benner Springs steel bridge. An ugly relic of something that needs to disappear, yet I have landed so many nice fish during some awesome hatches only to look up and see that old friend casting a shadow at dusk.
Benner Springs Bridge, Spring Creek State College

   One of the most insignificant bridges encountered is one that I came upon after a long trek upstream on a hot summer morning. It was both a welcome sight, and a meeting place with my friends as well. Sometimes its not just the bridge that matters.

Falling Spings Foot Bridge

    Yet admittedly, those big red covered bridges draw me in like no other. Whether in a painting or a real setting. They are trout streams, accompanied by history. I feel a bit of sadness whenever the news reports an old red girl burning down or being destroyed by flood waters.  They are the environment in which trout are found, and they go hand-in-hand with bugs in the air and rise-forms on the surface.

Loyalsock Covered Bridge, Forksville PA

So next time you stand on a bridge, leaning over the rail with your sunglasses on to check out water. Or stop for a break to wipe sweat and prop up your rod for a minute. Look around....take a picture, or take it all in just looking, and make sure you see everything.

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