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FLY FISHING SPRING CREEK IN PENNSYLVANIA

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Located in the Northern part of Central Pennsylvania, Spring Creek is a large, limestone spring creek that is making a strong recovery after years of pollution almost destroyed it completely. Running through Centre County, Spring Creek has attracted many fishermen from all over.

In the early days, it was known for its brook trout population, which diminished after the introduction of brown trout. Spring Creek became well known for its large browns and great hatches. Fisherman's Paradise is a well-known section of this stream that once drew enormous numbers of anglers because it was heavily stocked with large trout and was easy to access. This stream was one of the first to use special regulations. Today, it is regulated by the guidelines of Heritage Trout Angling.This section runs for 1 Mile; Lower boundry of Spring Creek Fish Culture station to a point adjacent to the Stackhouse School Pistol Range.

During the mid 1950's, Spring Creek was heavily polluted by sewage, chemical and gasoline spills, along with Kepone and Mirex releases. By the late 1950's, most insect hatches were lost. Stocking was stopped in 1981 and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) designated the entire stream as a No-Kill Zone This was due to health concerns for humans from the persistent problems with fish that were contaminated by chemicals that spilled into the stream.
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Today, there are still water quality problems and Spring Creek remains a No-Kill zone. Even with its current water quality problems, this stream has made a tremendous comeback with large amounts of wild brown trout reproducing. The average size of fish found here range up to 14 inches, and some up to 20 inches have also been caught. The larger fish can be found near the hatchery at Fisherman's Paradise and the hatchery at Bennar Springs. It is most likely that these large fish found their way out of the hatcheries and into the creek. Insect hatches also are making a strong comeback throughout different sections of the river.
Hatch Chart
From its source to where it merges with Cedar Run downstream by Oak Hall, Spring Creek is a small stream that widens to about 15 feet and is heavily posted against trespassing. Continuing from the HRI Quarry at Oak Hall, past Route 26 to Houserville, you will find good hatches of Olives, Sulfurs, and Tricos. The flow from the Houserville area to the Benner Springs Hatchery, through to the upper portion of Fisherman's Paradise, has experienced most of the chemical problems and has the lowest population of trout on the stream. Almost all of the hatches in this area were lost, but in recent years, they have been rebounding. Access to this area of the creek is not as easy as others, so it receives the least fishing pressure. Additional springs flow into Spring Creek near Benner Hatchery, and improve the fishing throughout Fisherman's Paradise, down to the junction with Bald Eagle Creek at Milesburg. This stretch of Spring Creek runs past businesses, houses, patchy tree and wooded areas. Here, you'll find some posted sections and an exhibition area that is closed to trout fishing in Bellefonte (from just above Talleyrand Park to the Lamb Street Bridge). Two productive, limestone tributaries add cold water to Spring Creek near Bellefonte. Logan Branch is one of them and is an important addition. This tributary holds large trout and helps maintain good fishing in Spring Creek, to where it joins Bald Eagle Creek.

Despite the problems Spring Creek experienced in the past, the fishing is getting better by the year. You will no longer see the old Drake hatches or the more classic Mayfly hatches, as they have disappeared. What you will see is a stream that's making a tremendous comeback, with good Sulphur, Trico, Caddis and Olive hatches in spots. Spring Creek is not fished as heavily as it was in the past, but it is still considered one of the best, large trout streams in Pennsylvania. So, why not give it a try? Just call ahead to the local shops for local water conditions and hatches.