01/21/11
Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.    Blue-winged Olives
2  .  Sculpin, baitfish and small crayfish (Imitate with streamers)
3.    Midges



Down and Dirty  (some are clean) Tips and Recommendations for Fly
Fishing Destinations - Part 7

Just keep in mind that it is strictly one opinion that happens to be mine. The intent is to hopefully
give those interested a general idea of what to expect. Most likely every guide, affiliated business
entity and local angler will have a different opinion. These streams also have full coverage on our
Perfect Fly Stream Section.

The state of Pennsylvania probably has more trout anglers than any state in the
nation. That's strictly a guess on my part, not something I have proof of. One
reason is that there's not many places in the state where a trout stream isn't fairly
close by. Another reason is its huge number of springs from which fertile limestone
water flows. The list of these seems endless. Although plenty of good arguments
could be made for many streams we are not listing, the following streams are the
ones we consider the best the state has to offer, with the exception of a couple we
mentioned only to clarify our feelings about them.

Please keep in mind there are many spring creeks that are small and have limited
public access that are first class trout streams with all wild, stream-bred trout that we
are not including. The reason is that we don't feel right in listing a small stream with
limited access as a top destination when excessive fishing pressure could  
adversely affect it. In all fairness, I should also point out the state of Pennsylvania is
on the border of the West Fork and the main stem of the Delaware River as much
as the state of New York, so it's also a Pennsylvania trout stream.

Penns Creek Pennsylvania
There's no question about Penns Creek being one of the state's best. It's large, with
plenty of public access and plenty of large wild brown trout. It not only has a huge
Green Drake hatch that it's famous for, it also has as many other aquatic insects as
any stream in the nation. The state insist on stocking the upper part of the creek
above the little town of Colburn, even though I would be willing to bet it contains
plenty of wild trout capable of sustaining the population. The fact it is stocked makes
the overall fishing quality of Penn Creek deceptive. At Colburn, Penns Creek
receives the cold water of both Elk and Pine Creeks, both great wild trout streams
themselves. From Colburn downstream for miles, Penns Creek provides some of the
best wild brown trout fishing in the state. The state rates it a class A stream and
doesn't stock it. I'll give Penns Creek an "A minus" and the minus is only there
because of the stocking of trout in its upper section.

Spring Creek Pennsylvania
This is another very good trout stream located near Penn State and a very
populated area. It's also proof of the fact a stream can receive heavy pollution for
years and be cleaned up to the point most all of its aquatic insects return and wild
trout are plentiful. Like Penns Creek, Spring Creek has some parts of the stream
that are stocked but the vast majority of it isn't stocked. The majority of this stream
has superb wild brown trout fishing. Although parts of the upper sections have quite
a bit of private property along the stream, much of the stream is open to the public.
There's plenty of water to fish and plenty of wild trout. I'll give it an "A minus" and put
the minus there only because much of it is in a populated area and some of the
lower section of the stream is stocked.

Fishing Creek Pennsylvania
Without question, Fishing Creek is one of the top streams in the state of
Pennsylvania and some anglers rate it the top trout stream. Since there are several
Spring Creeks in the state, let me qualify it by saying it's the one in Chilton County.
Like the other fine trout streams, this one is a spring creek with tons of aquatic
insect life which converts to plenty of big trout. Its lower end receives stocked trout
but only past the point it's cool water can become too warm during the hot Summer.
Cedar Run and Long Run are two spring creek tributaries that add cool water.
Because of the fish hatchery located on Long Run, which fouls up the water, and
because the lower section is stocked (even though miles of it isn't), I'll have to give it
an "A minus".

Big Springs Creek Pennsylvania
This is a beautiful spring creek that's full of large, wild trout. For many years it was
well known for its large brook trout. Although it still has plenty of them, it also has
plenty of wild rainbows and brown trout. It too is stocked but only downstream of
where the stream begins to loose its cool water to the summer heat. Catching a
trout from its upper section is a big challenge but the fish are there and they can be
caught. Catching one of its huge trout is a small feat but truly worth the time and
effort of those anglers good enough to catch them. I'll give it an "A minus" not at all
because it is difficult to fish, but only because it's relatively small and trout are
stocked in its lower section.

Letort Spring Run Pennsylvania
This is one of the most gorgeous limestone trout streams in the state even though it
is located near an Interstate highway and for the most part, located in an urban
area. It's also well maintained and protected. It is well known for its fly fishing history
because some of its anglers were writers and well know for their terrestrial fly
patterns. It has some nice size wild brown trout and isn't stocked until its spring
water loses its cool water to heat far downstream in the town of Carlisle. Like most
true spring creeks, Letrot Spring Run requires good fishing techniques to fool its
trout. Although this is a great little spring creek, it is small, overrated in terms of fish
population and is basically limited to brown trout. I'll still give it a "B plus".

Spruce Creek Pennsylvania
Spruce Creek is a another fine limestone spring creek with plenty of wild brown trout
but lots of privately held property. It has very little public access. Even though spring
creeks are almost always small, it's very small to be named a top destination stream
especially when most of it cannot be accessed by the public. Local private clubs
hold some of its waters along with rights held by some fly shops, and so I am told,
the clubs stock the stream in areas. I won't condemn them for that. They have every
right to do what they want as long as it is legal, but if it's true they stock this fine little
spring creek, I don't care to fish there again even though we have not knowing any
better. How this stream made the Trout Unlimited's top 100 Stream Book is beyond
me. I'll give it a "B minus".


Copyright 2011 James Marsh