This is the second year that we put together a little fly fishing trip with my brother and my dad and we were fortunate to have my son along this year which isn't an easy task seeing everyone has busy schedules and we live in three different states, but we pulled it off. Last year we fished locally around my dad's house in the Poconos of PA but this year I talked everyone into a trip out to Central PA to fish the famed Penns Creek.
Green Drake hatch in late May and early June when people come from all over the world to fish this hatch. Penns Creek runs through three counties in Pennsylvania (Centre, Mifflin and Union) and divided into 3 main fishing zones which comprise almost 35 miles of fishing. Our plan was to fish the Middle zone which is home to a 3.9 mile Catch & Release section that is accessible only on foot or by bike. This middle section of the creek runs through some incredible mountains and through Bald Eagle State forest making for some breath taking scenery, lots of wildlife and some interesting fishing.
This was our first trip to Penns Creek and as any trip to a new spot it required stops into the local fly shops for some first hand information and expertise. In researching the local fly shops I noticed most of them provide some type of lodging so I booked a small apartment on top of Penns Creek Angler fly shop which is owned and operated by Bruce Fisher. Upon our arrival Thursday morning we stopped in to see Bruce and pick his brain for some starting points to fish and some suggestions on what to use. Bruce gave us the low down and marked up the map with a few spots to park and we were on our way. Bruce mentioned that the water is low and clear and the fish had been hammered over the past couple weeks due to the Green Drake hatch so fishing was going to be tough and tough was an understatement.
hatches (big stone flies, large black caddis, sulfurs, some left over drakes, blue wing olives small tan caddis to name a few that we had seen) it makes your head spin and makes it even more difficult to figure out what the heck the trout want. You could sit there and watch 10 - 12 fish rise to the surface taking bugs in a 100 foot stretch of water but with the low and clear water conditions and the bright sun you just couldn't get close enough to see what the heck they were taking and many times you put them down and have to wait them out again. I know for my brother and son this had to be really frustrating as it was frustrating me and I had done enough research to know what to expect. Honestly i think we ended day one with one lost trout and one or two creek chubs. I can tell you this much, I took more crap from the crew over this stellar trip that I had talked them into so I knew I had to get this figured out quick.
We continued to work down stream as we headed back to the car. At one point I set the hook on what I new was a big fish and I yelled out that we were going to need a bigger net. After a short fight I finally got the fish up where we could get a look at it and wouldn't you know it was the biggest creek chub any of us had ever seen. He was all of 20 inches and thick and that should give you some idea of the food that Penns Creek has to offer up to the fish that call it home. My son had one more trout on and lost it and it was time to call it quits and start the trip home to my dad's house.
We only landed two trout, about 18 creek chubs and 4 bass but we had loads of laughs, some incredible sites and best of all time spent with family. There are two things for certain, this was not our last trip to Penns Creek and we have created a new fly fishing monster, my son in the process. We are already talking about next years trip and were to go so if you have any suggestions please share them.