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Snakes

Joined:
2007/1/26 11:26
From Horseheads, NY
Posts: 20
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I'll admit it. I'm scared to death of them. Have been for as long as I can remember. I vaguely remember being chased (at least that's how I saw it) by them as a child while camping. Maybe they were dreams, but whatever. The thought of a coiled rattlesnake is almost always in my head when creeping around streams.

Has anyone here ever been bitten? Any close calls?

I almost stepped on a small snake with a diamond shaped head last year along a tributary to Snake Creek (I guess I should have expected it) in NE PA. I don't think it was a rattler. Maybe a copper head (if they're even around). I think I read once that if it has a diamond shaped head, it's poisonous.

Some streams seem to have a reputation for rattlers. Rock Run (Lycoming trib) and Lick Run (WB Susq trib) are two streams I have been warned about. Any other streams like this you've heard of? Are they everywhere? ARE THEY AFTER ME?

Posted on: 2007/2/13 9:42


Re: Snakes

Joined:
2006/9/11 13:05
From Lewistown
Posts: 3627
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I believe Slate and Cedar have a largeg population of rattlers. However, my good freind catches a ton of them every year, especially up Pine Creek and Rock run. He rarely ever sees them near the water. Apparently Rattlers like it dry and hot, and only come to the stream a couple times of the year--one of those times is mating season.

Besides, i have seem those test on TV where the guys streps on the rattler and all it tries to do is slither away.

If you are afriad, this is what I do: I either shake my rod of a walking stick infront of me when hiking alone a small mountian stream.

Posted on: 2007/2/13 9:59
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Re: Snakes

Joined:
2006/9/9 20:09
From Harrisburg
Posts: 2194
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Dear Twin Tier,

Yes, snakes are everywhere and I have trained many of them to target out of State anglers.

Seriously, there hasn't been a snake bite death in Pennsylvania for probably 100 years. Snakes aren't stupid and recognize that they can't easily defeat a human so if you are in snake country just make some noise and snap some twigs as you walk along and they will usually move away.

Where you need to careful is stepping over deadfalls or scrambling around rocks that are exposed to the warmth of the sun, but even given that I have seen 2 live and 2 dead rattlesnakes in my lifetime. Just pay attention to where you put your hands and feet and you will be fine.

Regards,
Tim Murphy

Posted on: 2007/2/13 10:02


Re: Snakes

Joined:
2006/9/10 21:13
From Westminster, MD
Posts: 51
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They are everywhere. They are after you. You must give up fishing, stay at home and never go out again.


Years ago when my son was about 12 - 14 or so we were fishing Penns Creek in that long pool below the tunnel. He was downstream of me and decided to go back to camp and was hiking back to the railbed when I heard the allful scream. He came running out of the woods and half way across the creek on top of the water. I expected to see a bear chasing him. I yelled what was wrong. He replyed "Ra ra ra ra ra rattlesnake!!!!!!" He had stepped on a coiled one. Never saw the boy run so fast.

Dan

Posted on: 2007/2/13 10:11


Re: Snakes

Joined:
2006/9/10 16:07
From Pine Grove
Posts: 2421
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I've seen a few more than Tim has(we used to catch them), but he's right, they definitely aren't everywhere. I'm also relatively sure they aren't out to get you. I spent 10 years fishing a minimum of 200 days a year, some years closer to 300, and have never had a close call. One thing I would recommend, though, if you are going to continue spending time in the woods, is to learn your snakes. You seemed a bit unsure of the copperhead. There is absolutely no mistaking a copperhead, and they are around. More people are bitten by them in PA than rattlers as they are a bit more common than a rattler. Besides that, nothing quells fear more than understanding, and I hate to see a harmless snake squished or shot because someone was threatened by it in it's home. Not saying you would squish one, but fear is a powerful thing. Save the reptiles!




Boyer

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jpg  August 2006 025.JPG (0.00 KB)


Posted on: 2007/2/13 10:13


Re: Snakes

Joined:
2007/1/27 21:12
Posts: 83
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Once i was chasing a lizerd a while back( im only 12 ) and it went into a sewer and i looked in it and there was a rattle snake staring at me about an inch away in striking position but thankfully i dident git bit.

Posted on: 2007/2/13 10:14


Re: Snakes

Joined:
2006/9/10 21:53
From Greensburg, PA
Posts: 13629
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I see lots of water snakes when fishing but not too many rattlers. We had to kill 2 4-foot plus rattlers a few years back at camp as they were right in the yard. We had 5 kids between 1 and 8 at camp at the time. We tried moving them down the road the night before but they were back at camp on the road warming themselves the next evening. sickle and ax were effective. One had 15 rattles the other 13. Shame to have to do that but...

On the south fork of the Boise river, rattle snakes were everywhere. We used to stomp hard on the ground when starting down a trail from the road to the river. Saw many but they were usually heading the other way. Snakes don't really scare me. I've been startled by them but not afraid. Now, large spiders...I'm not even going there.

Posted on: 2007/2/13 10:26


Re: Snakes

Joined:
2007/1/2 11:55
From Bozeman
Posts: 19931
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I've come close... never anything death defying, but close nonetheless.

1.
I was standing on a partially fallen tree and the roots were sticking out in every direction along the bank. Turns out one of the 'roots' about a foot away was a dead still snake. Once i stepped in that direction, he bolted into the creek.


2.
bass fishing a farm pond, I stepped on one along the bank. All of the sudden, the grass came alive and there was a loud splash right next to me. He took off faster than I did.

3.
Fishing a trout stream when I was about 13 (about 9 years ago). I looked right and my friend was standing there, white as a ghost with a 35lb rock lifted over his head. He told me not to move.... so I moved, of course. He proceeded to smash the copperhead, which was in a strike pose.

I felt bad for his killing it, but he insisted upon it. I've probably had MUCH closer calls (as have all of you) but I don't know about it.

Posted on: 2007/2/13 10:39


Re: Snakes

Joined:
2007/1/26 11:26
From Horseheads, NY
Posts: 20
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Tim,

Was that rattler that almost got buggerfly's son one of your trainees? Can't anglers from border states get some kind on an exception?

I really don't worry too much about it. I almost always have waders on and venom would have a long trip around my frame.
My cabin fever is causing excessive day dreaming about all aspects of fishing. I thought this would be an interesting topic.

Boyer,

You're right. I should be able to identify them. Is it true that diamond shaped head = poisonous? Also, I've always wondered why people catch them. Is it just exciting? Population control? Can you sell their skins? I've seen rattlesnake roundup festivals and always wondered, why?

Posted on: 2007/2/13 10:44


Re: Snakes

Joined:
2006/9/16 10:36
Posts: 6962
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They are fun to catch and pretty easy too, Just throw your fly over the swimming snake, pull it up close and STRIKE

Posted on: 2007/2/13 10:47


Re: Snakes

Joined:
2006/9/9 16:33
Posts: 681
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Dude, give me bears and wolves any day. They are a bigger target. Thank God I have never had any fishing close calls with poisionous snakes. One stream in Cali had watersnakes everywhere. I mean these mofos were literally everywhere. It gave me the hebegebe's.

I went to junior college at the hallowed Mont Alto. Just off campus and in the state forest is what we called white rock. About a 200 foot sheer ediface of stone with a nice flat outcrop on top that was formed by tectonic forces for the purpose of college kids getting drunk on while contemplating the valley below, failing grades and falling off of while taking a leak.

The easiest way to get to the bench was through this verticle cave like shaft. I later found out that that cave is a breeding ground for rattlers and is a spot of an annual rattle snake hunt. From that day foreward I took the long way home.

Posted on: 2007/2/13 10:56


Re: Snakes

Joined:
2007/1/2 11:55
From Bozeman
Posts: 19931
Offline
TTTH,

The triangle head statement is mostly true.

If it DOES have a triangle head, it IS poisonous.

There are, however, a few species without the triangle head which are poisonous as well.... the coral snake comes to mind. I don't know if any of these types live in PA though.

Even non venomous snakes can bite though... and i'd imagine it hurts. In that spirit, I let them all alone.

[disclaimer.. this is all 'from what i've heard and deemed true' type knowledge. i welcome someone to say otherwise if i'm wrong]

Posted on: 2007/2/13 10:57


Re: Snakes

Joined:
2006/9/9 16:33
Posts: 681
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Non poisionous snakes have a round iris. Poisionous ones have slitted iris like a cat's eyes. From what I can determine, the only time you would get close enough to verify this in the bush is to hold up your hand while he is biting you and get a good look.

Posted on: 2007/2/13 11:15


Re: Snakes

Joined:
2006/9/21 0:02
From Pittsburgh
Posts: 4299
Offline
My 25 years of hard flyfishing have taken me to just about every area of the state. I've only come across 2 rattlesnakes in all that time - one in the pine creek canyon, the other along penns creek.
I really don't even think about them when I'm out

Posted on: 2007/2/13 12:46


Re: Snakes

Joined:
2006/9/9 20:09
From Harrisburg
Posts: 2194
Offline
Quote:

TwinTierTroutHunter wrote:
Tim,

Was that rattler that almost got buggerfly's son one of your trainees? Can't anglers from border states get some kind on an exception?

I really don't worry too much about it. I almost always have waders on and venom would have a long trip around my frame.
My cabin fever is causing excessive day dreaming about all aspects of fishing. I thought this would be an interesting topic.

Boyer,

You're right. I should be able to identify them. Is it true that diamond shaped head = poisonous? Also, I've always wondered why people catch them. Is it just exciting? Population control? Can you sell their skins? I've seen rattlesnake roundup festivals and always wondered, why?


Dear TwinTier,

If you bring me 50 hot wings from Bernie Murray's and a case of Genny I'll call off the dogs, so to speak!

Rattlesnakes and copperheads are subject to seasons and possession limits, that limit is one. I hope nobody goes around killing them just because, that's just a waste.

http://sites.state.pa.us/PA_Exec/Fish ... shpub/summary/repamp.html

Regards,
Tim Murphy

Posted on: 2007/2/13 13:29



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