by Levi Opsatnic
Fisherman’s Paradise was one of the first areas of stream in the United States to only permit fly fishing with barbless hooks. At Fisherman’s Paradise, Spring Creek meanders through a section filled with grass lawns that make for some easy casting. The fish that are found in this stretch do receive a bit of pressure; however, with some skill they can usually be fooled year-round with sowbug imitations or in the warmer months with blue winged olives, sulphurs, caddis, craneflies, and most terrestrial insects.
Upstream from the Paradise stretch of water one can find the portion of Spring Creek known as Benner Springs. Benner Springs is situated almost immediately below a fish hatchery, so it is common for large fish to escape and find their way into this part of the stream. This provides anglers with a chance at catching some really large hatchery fish, as well as some wild fish. Like the fish in the Paradise section, these trout can also be finicky at times; however, Benner Springs is literally teaming with sowbugs, and fishing their imitations can lend itself to a wealth of success. Aside from sowbugs, Benner Springs boast some wonderful hatches of various mayflies, caddisflies, and craneflies in the mild seasons. When any of these insects are hatching, fishing their replications can usually result in days of fishing to be remembered. You might want to bring a camera along to capture some of your catches.
Spring Creek is no stranger to a spot on most fly fisher’s bucket list. For it to be located so close to State College is a complete blessing to the town’s inhabitants. Since it possesses a magnitude of fishing and sightseeing opportunities that can be matched by few, it makes for any section of this stream to be a delightful way to pass a day. The next time you find yourself in State College with some spare free-time, check out an area of Spring Creek’s watershed, and you will surely be glad that you did.