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Fly Fishing

Fly Tying


Home > Stream Reports > Spring Creek Stream Report
It has rained often over the last ten days, but the total accumulation has been inadequate to increase stream flow in Central PA. Central PA streams are still low and clear. There is a misting drizzle as I update this report, and once again, there will probably be little change in the way Spring Creek looks or fishes. Yesterday, I made the mistake of passing up a perfectly good cloudy morning to tie. I should have fished when the cloud cover was on hand. When I hit the stream below the Paradise around 12:30, the bright sun made the fish spooky. I took three fish on wet ants, but I spooked many more The long, successful Penn State football season is over, at least the part that impacts on fishing in, travel to, and lodging around the area. Who would have guessed in September that the Nittany Lions would be heading to the Big Ten championship game in Indianapolis? But proud PSU alum or not, I digress.

Rainfall has continued to be intermittent and sparse this autumn. The bottom line is that stream levels are still as low as they have been in recent (or for that matter, not so recent) memory. Trout are spawning in places they usually do not utilize, and spawning has to this time at least been much less prominent than in normal falls. Conditions have been far less than ideal for trout, and they have not improved. What we need is a abundance of precipitation in the remaining warm days of the year and a good deal of snow this winter if we are to rebuild the water table. Having gotten that out of the way, fishing has been better than the conditions would seem to dictate.

I have spent much of the fall at Fisherman's Paradise, both for my own fishing and while bringing PSU students out to the stream. As long as I have fished small (#16-20) nymphs, fishing has been at least good. It is challenging, but it is rewarding. I have also caught a few very good fish while fishing streamers when the fish were getting ready to spawn. Rising fish have been almost nonexistent, however. A few midgers have been observed here and there, but certainly not enough to deter me from nymphing. The last BWOs seemed to have hatched weeks ago, and there were not many of those.

Best patterns include sowbugs and shrimp in #16 and #18. These tiny crustaceans, of course, are 24-7-365 trout food on Spring Creek and other limestoners in the area. If you like to fish tandem rigs, trail a #20 or #22 Zebra Midge or Spring Creek Midge behind the bigger fly. 5X tippet should be fine enough for the point fly, while the trailer can be tied to a short section of 6X. Because of the lack of water, add weight in the form of #6, 8, or #10 shot and be prepared to change weight often. This kind of nymphing is "technical fishing" at its best. In low water such as we have, sight fishing is fun, too.

Another fly to try is sucker spawn in gold or pale yellow. Try tying and fishing it in #18 to suggest trout eggs that have not adhered to the redd. Surprisingly, trout that ignore most bright flies will often take a pass at a spawn fly, since there are quite a few eggs in the water. Fishing any fly to actively spawning trout, however, is truly unsporting and counterproductive. If you see fish on spawning beds (redds), let them be! That's one of the reasons that I do fish the Paradise. Since wading is not allowed, it is tough to disturb spawning activity.

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Tan Elk Hair Caddis
Elk Hair Caddis, Tan
Our Price: $1.80

Sowbug (Cress Bug)
Our Price: $1.75

One of those simple yet highly effective trout patterns.  Works particluarly well on the local limestone streams of central Pennsylvania.  One of the must have patterns.
Scud (shrimp), Olive
Our Price: $1.75

One of the best all around patterns for fishing Spring Creek.  Works 12 months out of the year, fish smaller sizes when water is low and clear, larger sizes when the water is up. ** Check out the video on how to tie!**
Ray Charles fly pattern
Ray Charles
Our Price: $1.70

Walt's Worm
Walt's Worm
Our Price: $1.70

One of our favorite go to patterns.  We tie them in a variety of sizes and fish them according to water levels.  Small sizes when water is low and larger sizes when the water is up.  Great for searching pattern for trout and bass.  Simplicity at it's finest.
Pheasant Tail
Our Price: $1.70

A must have pattern for all trout fishermen.  Pheasant tail nymphs are effective on trout streams anywhere in the country.
Bead Head Walt's Worm
Bead Head Walt's Worm
Our Price: $1.70

The bead headed version of our very own local creation.  Simplicity at it's best to tie and fish love them too.  Best used in sizing according to water levels.  Size 10 and 12 when water is high and 16 and 18 when water is low.  Year in and year out this is one of our best trout flies for fishing our local limestone streams.
Bead Head Pheasant Tail
Our Price: $1.70

Maybe the most universal trout fly.  If there are trout, then a bead head pheasant tail is never out of the question.
Never leave home without them.
Zebra Midge, Black
Our Price: $1.70

Zebra midges of all colors work well on Spring Creek.  This is the original and is a must have trout pattern.