CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA: Trout in the Bull's-Eye

Fishing Destiny

Field & Stream Online Editors

CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA: Trout in the Bull's-Eye
If someone like Norman Maclean were to write a novel about the trout fishing in central Pennsylvania, its title might well be A Highway Runs Through It. More than a dozen high-quality waters lie within a few minutes' drive of U.S. 220 between Altoona and Jersey Shore.

Most of them are at their best from late April to early June, when mayfly hatches peak. Anglers in the Altoona area can catch the prolific mid-May sulfur emergences on Bald Eagle Creek, Spruce Creek, and Logan Branch. Or they can tease the Little Juniata River's browns into arm-jolting strikes during early June's slate drake hatch.

Farther up the road near State College, Spring Creek's rich limestone waters harbor sulfurs tinged with orange and olive. The stream's fussy trout demand precise imitations. Even when the trout in nearby Penns Creek are gorging themselves on green drakes, chances are Elk Creek's trout are taking blue-winged olives and Fishing Creek's trout are sipping tiny blue quills.

Near Jersey Shore, Pine Creek's broad waters pass under the highway. Its early-June hatches of brown and green drakes attract hordes of anglers. Two Pine Creek tributaries, Slate and Cedar Runs, have become equally famous for early-May hatches of March browns and Hendricksons, respectively. For more information, contact the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (717-705-7800; www.fish.state.pa.us).