I remember many conversations with Charlie about the days before I-81 and his lamenting over the removal of the "switchback" bend that was there before they straightened the creek to build the I-81 Bridge. It was also quiet before the bridge…
Dave's geography is correct. Here are a few other landmarks and named locations we referred to back when I was a regular visitor, coincidentally for eons on this very weekend:
As Dave said, “Fox’s Meadow” or “Charlie’s” as we called it was from Foxcrest Drive or “The Pump” upstream to I-81. Just upstream of Foxcrest Drive on the creek is where there is a plaque on a bench in dedication to Charlie and other Letort Regulars.
The “Barnyard Stretch” or “Laudenschlager’s Farm” was upstream from Fox’s up to what is now referred to as “Vince’s Meadow,” (where the monuments are). Laudenschlager’s was where the old Angler’s Log Book used to reside in an old mailbox.
BTW - Laudenschlager’s is becoming a B&B next year so hopefully CVTU gets some sort of easement in place so that stretch doesn’t become a paradise for rock throwing guest’s kids or another Allenberry zoo. I spent countless hours & days fishing that stretch and I would hate to lose access…
The first bend in the creek upstream from the trail from Vince’s Meadow is the “Little S”. The next big bend about 100 yards upstream from the “Little S” is the “Big S.” Not far above the “Big S” is “Otto’s Meadow” with Ottos’ old house still standing above the creek on your left as you face upstream, like Dave said, it is right below the 2nd old RR trestle that crosses the Letort.
Above that 2nd RR trestle is the “Quarry Meadow” until you pass the trailer park & quarry, then folks called it the “Bonnybrook Meadow” up to the split in the creek and including the RIGHT branch to Bonnybrook Road.
The left branch beyond the 3rd RR trestle upstream was always closed during my lifetime, but open to fishing way back when. The left branch was referred to as the “Left Branch” if you didn’t want people to know you went above the 3rd RR trestle or the “Cress Farm “if you didn’t care.
If you continue up the RIGHT branch after you cross Bonnybrook Road, you are in “Trego’s Meadow.”
Back in the 1980’s there was a devastating fish kill which originated in the cress farm that wiped out just about every fish from the junction of the left branch downstream. During those years, if you wanted to catch something, you were limited to the short stretch of the right branch from the split to Bonnybrook Road and Trego’s.
Trego’s in those days wasn’t the “manicured” meadow it is today. Back then, it was a jungle of weeds & picker bushes with more mosquitos than Guam. It was also all backhand casting on your knees if you were a right-hander with TONS of brush just waiting to snag your fly!
It was tough fishing the Letort back in those days!!
As long as I can remember, there was never access issues, property-wise or geographic all the way from Letort Park up to Trego’s & beyond. Effectively fishing the Letort has always been essentially limited to the bank OPPOSITE of the old RR bed, but fishing from that bank was relatively easy which is a good thing because crossing is about impossible and limited to a few select places.
The “Letort Regulars” did a lot of work putting in “stepping stones,” small footbridges and other things to make crossing flooded or muddy areas easy so moving along that bank wasn’t a big hassle. There were also more than a few spots to park and trails leading to the creek in several locations so you could pick a stretch without having to fish all the way up to it.
Back in the late 1990’s and into the 2000’s things changed DRAMATICALLY. Most of the trails have grown in so getting TO the creek is limited to a few spots unless you have a machete. What is left of the stepping-stones & small footbridges are now ineffective, and NO work has been done in that regard in 50 years.
The bank from the trail at the pavilion at Vince’s Meadow to the “Small S” is a flooded muddy morass. Fishing it is a major challenge and moving upstream (if you don’t want to spook every fish in sight) involves wading through the old millrace and slogging through standing water above the “Little S” to get to terra-firma in the stretch below the “Big S.”
The old cattle fencing at Otto’s now is right smack against the water’s edge so walking up along that stretch between the house and the 2nd RR trestle is about impossible, and you CAN’T wade the creek.
The Quarry Meadow is a sinkhole paradise so walk through but carry a BIG STICK (a rope & a cellphone) and I don’t know how hospitable the quarry folks are these days about walking through.
Trego’s has improved though…
I have a million great memories of fishing there and how it was, but it’s been about 3 years since I fished there last.