SOUTH DAKOTA

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Good People - Good Water - Good Fish


The South Dakota Trout is part of the 2016 Banff Trip.  After having success in Nebraska, my hopes were high for South Dakota.  I pick a primitive campsite, French Creek, my first problem.

I choose French Creek as my stream of choice, but I would have to hike three miles to set up my tent.  I got to Custer Stake Park in the late afternoon and the campground via my GPS.  Well, what I didn't know there is a West & East French Creek Campground.  By the time I got to the West Campground, the sun was setting; oops, it was the wrong campground.  All the campgrounds were full!  

I had no choice, so I decided to drive to the east campground.  I arrived around 9:00 pm, and it was totally black outside.  It was too dark to see if I was even at the campground.  I was tired, cranky, and hungry.  I decide to put up my tent where I was anyways; no one else was around.  I eat my dehydrated dinner and fell asleep until about 11:00 pm.  At 11:00 pm, I hear breathing, snorting coming louder and louder.  Shit!  It is a buffalo, and it can be unpredictable.  I have dealt with them before.  He finally left at midnight.  At 1:00 am, it started up again, huff, huff, huff....closer and closer.  Brooke would start to growl, and I would get up and couldn't see it.  It went away and then came back at 3:00 am. Same thing, huff, huff, and huff!  

The sun rose at 5:00 am, and it was over.  I was not going to hike three miles with the lack asleep, plus I was behind schedule.  So, I decided to circle the park and find a risky stream to fish as I had done no research.
I found a small stream that fed a small pond,  Grace Coolidge Creek,  I looked in the water and saw what could be small trout, but it turned out to be shad.  I walked up the small creek and made a few casts and landed a trout!  What a pleasant surprise!

South Dakota Done!