Since I learned the sport of fly fishing about 15 months ago, I had heard throughout the region, Pennsylvania was the place to go. As a die-hard Cleveland Browns fan I wasn’t sure what good the Keystone state could offer.
But back in March I attended a streamer seminar at a local Cleveland fly shop where I heard George Daniel (who is a God in the fly fishing world) talk about streamers and trout fishing in his home state of Pennsylvania. From Lamar, PA, George discussed the various limestone creeks throughout the State College area that produce great trout almost year round!
With the rivers high, muddy and nothing really biting other than carp here in Northeast Ohio, my dad and I headed out to State College to fish Spring Creek 4th of July Weekend.
We didn’t have luck on our side the morning of the 4th. Heavy rains throughout the area dumped down staining Spring Creek. Starting the day with nymphing we thought we could catch a break before the water became unfishable. The rain stopped but the runoff raised the water levels and stained it ever farther.
Throwing sort of a pity party, I went to the streamer patterns I heard George Daniel talk about three months before. Dad and I both figured, we’re here, we paid for a hotel, we have to fish. Dreading the thought of traveling four hours each way and getting skunked I put my fly back in the water and started stripping, praying for a bite.
Minutes after switching to streamers I began getting some bites. While nothing was a sure hookup, getting some activity kept spirits high.
I moved upstream a bit and started working the far bank and slowing down my retrieve. After one tug, I got a hard grab and the fish got airborne. Fighting it over by the bank, this beautiful brown trout got a nice run on me and definitely made me work. In the midst of high, muddy water, I wasn’t so much worried about safely landing the fish, but not losing my footing in the current.
Reaching out I landed the fish after a very hard fight for about a 12″ fish.
While many have caught bigger and I know I will catch bigger in the future, the effort, time and energy put forth into catching this wild brown from Central Pennsylvania is something I’ll remember forever.
Roughly, 45 minutes later I caught another one of these beautiful fish about the same size and marveled at it’s colors. There is truly no better looking fish than Brown Trout.
Watching me fight these two fish was my father who was spending the Holiday weekend with me in what was his first real weekend of fly fishing. I got him into it just about a month ago. While I’m not sure he truly appreciates it yet, he’s definitely anxious to get back out particularly in Central PA where wild trout fill these peaceful creeks.
I know I’ll be back soon, and if it were up to me, I’d live there and fish these streams daily. Now if only I can make a living writing about that….