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, as my first problem.
I chose French Creek as my stream, but I would have to hike three miles to set up my tent. I got to Custer State Park in the late afternoon and the campground via GPS. I didn't know there was 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 campground sites were full!
I had no choice, so I drove to the east campground. I arrived around 9:00 pm, and it was black outside. It was too dark to see if I was even at the campground. I was tired, cranky, and hungry. I decided to put up my tent where I was anyways; no one else was around. I ate my dehydrated dinner and fell asleep until about 11:00 pm. At 11:00 pm, I hear breathing and snorting coming louder and louder. Shit! It is a buffalo, and it can be unpredictable. I have dealt with them before. He/she 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 of sleep, 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, made a few casts, and landed a trout! What a pleasant surprise!
South Dakota Done!