Eating Humble Pie on Penns Creek

Fly fishing is a pursuit that provides endless opportunities to learn. You can learn about the subtleties of the way a fly rod moves, the lifecycle of mayflies, the feeding habits of fish, and characteristics of a body of water. Just when you think you’ve figured it all out, you discover a new layer to peel back. And so it was for me this past weekend on Penns Creek (“Penns”) when this amazing trout fishery served me a big piece of humble pie. This wasn’t the first time Penns Creek served me. I still remember my first several visits to Penns Creek during my time at Penn State. I remember hearing about how amazing the trout fishing was, how large the brown trout were, and how prolific the hatches could be. On my first three trips, I didn’t catch a fish, let alone hook up with one. Penns has a funny way of either giving you the greatest day on the water, or grounding you and reminding you that even the most experienced fly fisherman can’t tame it.

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Old Friend, Wintertime on Spring Creek

Ask any serious Pennsylvania fly fisherman what the best trout stream in the state is and they are likely to answer Penns Creek or Spring Creek. I was fortunate enough to spend a lot of time fly fishing both of these bodies of water while attending college at Penn State University. I spent considerably more time on Spring Creek because of its proximity to the campus. I have many memories spending spring evenings and weekends on a limestone riffle of Spring Creek trying to fool a rising wild brown trout with a Sulphur Dun. Spring Creek has one of the highest densities of wild brown trout per square mile of any stream in the state. And it al has miles of fishable water that is accessible to the public. It is truly a fly fishing gem of the east and probably the entire country.

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