Enjoying a day at Pennsylvania’s Spring Creek

By: Levi Opsatnic

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Whether you’re a State College, Pennsylvanian, or western fly fisherman, you’ve probably heard about Spring Creek. Arguably one of Pennsylvania’s finest pieces of wild trout water, Spring Creek offers Pennsylvanians an opportunity at some wonderful year-round fishing. Spending my entire life in Pennsylvania and the last several years in State College, I’ve grown a certain soft spot for Spring Creek.

Last week, I was granted a free day. It probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that this day was spent at the Fisherman’s Paradise stretch of Spring Creek. As I made my way towards the town of Bellefonte, I noticed that the sun was beginning to creep over the mountains, and I could only assume that this day would be about as good as any day on the creek.

Upon arrival, I donned my waders and began the trek upstream. As I made my way up the stream, I noticed an abundance of wildlife: fish tucked away outside of the current, a large heron patiently stalking a pool, a few ducks lazily floating down the creek, and a wonderful assortment of songbirds. I took this as a sign of some good fishing to come, but also as a sign that spring and all of its splendor was in full force.

I strung up my rod and began chucking a generic nymph pattern into every riffle I could find. It didn’t take long to hook up with a beautiful Spring Creek brown trout. As the afternoon progressed, however, I noticed a few fish along the side of the stream slurping down an assortment of terrestrial insects. With this opportunity presenting itself, I quickly tied on one of my favorite beetle patterns. Although this pattern was almost an immediate success, I would say that my reaction timing was far from stellar—this resulted in missing more fish than I’d like before I was able to get a solid hookset.

With my beetle still tied onto my tippet and the dinner bell soon to ring, I began walking back to my car. However, along the walk, I was able to pick up a few trout simply by casting my fly into likely looking spots. Not only was this a solid confidence booster, but it also serves as a reminder that your fishing adventure doesn’t need to end whenever you begin the walk back.

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