Regional Reports-East

Penns Creek

Penns Creek in central Pennsylvania is known for its trout, but there are vast public-land holdings around this stream that offer some of the state's best gobbler hunting. Get as far off the beaten path as possible on the region's numerous roadless tracts to better your shot at a bird. In particular, target the drainages of the 3,600-acre White Mountain Wild Area and the 5,100-acre Hook Natural Area. The creek itself flows though a large section of the Bald Eagle State Forest. You can get back into this area by following the abandoned railroad grade paralleling the creek between Coburn and Weikert. After wrapping up a turkey hunt at noon, swap the shotgun for a trout rod and get after Penns' big wild browns. Steady hatches of olives, tan caddis March browns and especially sulphurs occur on the limestone water through the warming days of May. Despite being closely associated with flyfishing, the best stretches of the creek are open to bait-fishermen, though size and creel limits are stringent. There is a special regulations area upstream from Poe Paddy State Park where some big fish lurk. Poe Paddy is a good base of operations for a Penns Creek turkey/trout adventure, offering rustic camping for around $12 a night. Contact: Pennsylvania Game Commission, Northcentral Region (877-877-7674); Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, Northcentral Region (814-359-5250); Poe Paddy State Park (717-667-3622).