They jacked up the price of the 3 day license in PA, at least best I can tell. I don’t remember it being $40 just to fish 3 days. I’ll not be doing that again, at least not during this annual conference I go to in State College. I was able to fish for a grand total of one hour on Monday. I’m not used to fishing spring creeks or for that matter water that gets pounded. Keying in on fish that will only take a size 32 1/2 trico with exactly 13mm tails, not 12mm or 14mm mind you, is not my thing. They can have it. It isn’t a matter of being up to the challenge and some have said snidely that it must mean that I’m just not a very good fisherman, it is just that I don’t enjoy it much. And for those with the latter comment I’d be willing to either challenge the angler to a day’s fishing or a fistfight, whatever works best.
At any rate, I’ve now fished Spring Creek and Fishing Creek in Pennsylvania for two years in a row and I’m pretty much not sold on it. I’m sure if the fish were boiling the water and I had it dialed in it may be slightly different, but still. On Monday I fished the famed Fisherman’s Paradise section and in that one hour I caught three and moved about the same number more. I saw a ton of fish, but they were all pretty much sitting on the bottom. If I found a rising fish I was able to catch it without much fuss, but rising fish were hard to come by despite the clouds of tricos hanging in the air.
On Tuesday morning the skies opened up and the rain came down in buckets. After my conference let out at 4:15 I made my way back up to the Benner Springs Hatchery section of Spring Creek anticipating colored water and a good brown trout bite. I found the former but not the latter. There were literally thousands of BWO’s and other misc. insects on the surface of the water that evening and not one fish rising. I stripped streamers and did most of my magic tricks and only illicited one or two strikes and no fish. I had about given up when I went back to the bridge at the parking area and tried to fish the clear spring head that came out just downstream of the bridge. I noticed a couple of nice browns hugging the bank in the clear water and I made a cast just over one of the fish with a copper john. The fish moved a little like it came to look at the fly so I set the hook and hooked it right in the tail. The day before (on Monday) I took an asshooked rainbow as well (see photo). I suppose that the positive side of this is that if the fish isn’t big at least make it fun and tailhook it.
Next time I’m in PA it is either native brook trout freestoners or sitting around the Penn State campus ogling the young ladies.