Penns Creek May 2013 Outing Report

I have inserted Ken, Art, Lou and Dennis' reports after mine. I will include what I know of Bob Muehlenkamp's experience with mine.

I left Laurel on Tuesday morning, the 14th of May at 11:30. With only 1 stop for a quick out of the cooler lunch, I arrived at Poe Paddy at 4:15. The weather was mild, not hot, and I remember being impressed by the quick drop of the mountains around Lewistown into the Juniata river below. I took Decker Valley Road from 322 to Poe Paddy. Ken had left me a message that he and Art were going to station themselves by the suspension bridge over the river that leads to the railroad tunnel through Paddy Mountain. The tunnel as Bob Dietz has mentioned in a previous post is closed because of falling rocks. I spotted Ken's car parked near the trail to the suspension bridge, and walked down the trail to say hi. When I got to the bridge, Ken was fishing the riffles above he bridge, and Art was below the bridge fishing the pool. I called out to Ken, and then took the stairway down towards Art. Ken eventually walked down to join us, and mentioned catching a few fish nymphing. Art was casting a 10 foot bamboo rod he had purchased in Korea. There were sulfurs coming up in the faster water at the head of the pool, and Art was casting to them with a sulfur dry and a wet fly dropper. The water was running a bit murky and high. With bugs in the air and friendly conversation buzzing I was glad to be at the banks of Penns. Compared with my wife and I's trip in October last year, the water was moving and off color. We continued talking, I made a few casts with Art's rod, and Ken and Art told me they'd stop in at site 147 in the morning after breakfast. They were both staying at the Feathered Hook Bed, Breakfast and Fly Shop in Coburn, about a 30 minute drive on dirt roads to the campground. They continued fishing while I went back to the car to drive to the campsite, to set up, and cook dinner. After heating up some chili, I cleaned up, geared up and walked down to the big pool where Big Poe Creek empties into Penns. The creek at the pool is about 70 feet across, upstream of it is slow fairly deep water, downstream of it the river takes a quick turn to the right moving into shallow rapids. There are usually fish midging in the pool, making big slow rings on the water. On the far side of the pool there is some quick water that continues its current through the pool. When the caddis are hatching fish make quick slashing takes on this water. Sulfurs were coming off this evening, occasional fish rising. One fellow fishing at the lower end of the pool. I slogged into the water, realizing even with the fading light that it was high. Penns is known for its surprisingly uneven bottom in places. This pool has its share of big, oddly shaped rocks that are either invisible in the deeper water, or at best vaguely visible. The bottom is silty as you walk in from the path that leads to a bench and the pool. I did my usual, oh this is getting deep routine, as I felt around with my legs and boots to get over, or around the ledges and sides of rocks. I always like to fish a Griffith's Gnat in this water. I've usually had success fishing gnats in this water, and so its my first choice. I tied on a size 22, cast upstream and let the fly drift down in the slow current. Now it's around 8:15 and the light is beginning to fail, and I can't see the gnat at all. After about a dozen drifts with no takes, failing light, and a light rain beginning to fall I decide on a different tactic. Logic would call for a sulfur wet, an emerger or a dun. But my excitement at having tied some big march duns with hackle tied around a wood duck wing makes me tie on one of these. For me, it's the prospect of seeing the fly, and the desire to see how it floats that guides my action. The fly floats sometimes with its wing up and sometimes on its side, and I can't consistently get it to land with the wing laying neatly in the air. When it does land this way I am happy, and it makes the drift a joy to look at. It continues to rain, a bit more heavily now, the water is just under the lettering on my waders, I turn my light on. The drifting goes on for 20 minutes or so with no strikes, the cloudy sky continues to offer its welcome, and I realize that this is the way my first fishing is going to go. I walk slowly back to the campsite, and head to my sleeping bag.

March Brown's

Wenesday, May 15th
It had rained lightly through the night. There was rain on the tent fly. As is my custom at Poe Paddy, I usually drive over early to Poe Valley, 3 miles down the road to take a shower. It definitely cuts down on my time on the water, but it wakes me up. The showers are hot and the bathroom clean. After coffee, I headed out for the showers, but instead of taking a direct path. I drove around the loop for the sites that sit closest to the river. I wanted to look at the lean-to sites (2 of them) and also at the pavilions (2 of them). The lean to's are all wooden structures that you could put a small card table in and four chairs. Nice for playing poker in with a lantern hung up in the rafters. The pavilions have 4 picnic tables, one has a stone fireplace, one has 2 grills (the other one). A nice place for a family get together. Anyway, the pavilions led me to realize I'd never fished the water directly downstream of the big pool, so I walked the path through the campground and along the river. The river takes a straight course by the campground and below it. A nice series of riffles leads to good run water and then flatter water. Having just arrived, and seeing this new water like the beginning of an adventure, I convinced Art and Ken that they should head down there, after they came to the camp site when I returned from the showers. They went down while I waited for Bob Muehlenkamp to arrive. While I waited I tied some more March Brown duns.

Bob Muehlenkamp

Jed's Group

Jed's Fish

Bob arrived after I tied the duns, and we went down to join Art and Ken. Art was playing a nice 14 inch brown in the run water below the riffles. Bob went to fish the riffle water downstream. I went down to fish the slower water below where I had seen fish rising. Before we broke up to go our separate ways we took a group shot. I continued downstream to where I'd seen fish rising. I had watched big March Browns coming off sporadically with no fish pursuing them. I tied on a large March Brown thorax dun (10) with a trailing March Brown wet (12). I fished a large pool adjacent to the Mohawk Rod and Gun Club from 3-5 p.m. with fish rising occasionally to make big rings. I had 2 or 3 takes with fish on and then come off. Finally, one inhaled the dun near the far bank and I netted a nice 14 inch fish.

The netting of this fish brought cheers from the men at the rod and gun club who had been drinking beer, but stealing glances at me in the big pool. I crossed over to the other side of the pool. The water was high and threatened to go into my waders. Getting myself up on the bank, I walked downstream to water running at a nice clip and bordered by trees on the opposite bank. I made repeated casts to the far bank letting the dry move against bank, and then swinging the wet. This produced another fish that swirled at both flies and was caught in two places by the dun and the wet. Gradually the light was failing so I headed upstream, back to the pool beside the club. The young men were no longer there, but they had been replaced by a smaller group of 3 older men sitting around a picnic table. As I waded across one fellow hailed me up to the picnic table. He insisted that I stay for a drink of Canadian Mist. As the men talked they told me of the history of the club, and the strange fact that they all shared the same birthday, May 15th. I had happened on their birthday celebration. Five drinks later, I excused myself to head back down the road to the campground. I managed to heat up some chili, get my gear off, eat and crawl into bed. It had been a good day.



Thursday, May 16th
The next day I showered, breakfasted, and tied some more flies. This time tying some March Brown duns size 8 based on the bugs I saw coming off. Art, Ken and Bob arrived around 9:30. Art and Ken decided they were going to Spring Creek. Bob decided he would stay and fish with me at the big pool. He had done well the day before fishing nymphs, but he wanted to try dry fly fishing. I told him I was going to tie some more flies and wait for Dennis and Lou to arrive. I gave Bob a March Brown Dun and Wet and told him I'd be down after Ken and Bob arrived. He headed down to the same water he had fished before. Dennis and Lou arrived around 11:30, having gotten a bit lost. I suited up and went down to meet Bob. Bob had just about given up on me, but the two of us walked down to the slow pool by the rod and gun club. Bob wanted me to try the dry/wet rig on his rod and evaluate his rod as a dry fly rod. I told him it was fine, fast for my tastes but a good rod. I started casting to rising fish at the pool while Bob tried crossing the pool. Meanwhile Dennis and Lou came down the path. I encouraged all of them to cross at the big pool though initially none of them were too keen on the prospect. They did fine and the three of them went down to the faster water below. I continued to fish to risers, though the only hook up I had was to a 9 inch smallmouth. I eventually crossed the pool and headed down to the faster water below. Lou and Dennis were down there, though Bob had disappeared further downstream.

Both Dennis and I managed to fall in. Dennis 3 times. Me once. As I dried off I decided to eat my lunch. I got a first hand feel of what it was like for trout to eat as I chewed on my pudding like sandwich. After around 45 minutes of drying off in the sun, I decided I would hike to where the tunnel came out on the other side of the mountain. I really wasn't sure how far that would be. It took me about 3 hours of walking and fishing. I only managed one small 9 inch brown caught along a seam with a traditional Catskill type March Dun dry. Along the way I saw 3 camps. One appropriately titled "Trails End". At Trails End I caught sight of a blue object quite a ways above the river. It turned out to be one of the barrels the Penns Chapter of T.U. puts out for people to throw their trash in. After climbing to the barrel I realized I was at the tunnel entrance on the other side of the mountain from the suspension bridge where I had met Ken and Art on Tuesday afternoon. Now I could take the 15 minute walk to the long pool where I had caught a 16 inch Rainbow last spring. As fate would have it I was going to meet with another fellow before I'd ever get to the "broad pool". Just downstream of the tunnel and stationed along the old railroad grade is a small white camp. Every time I have walked past this camp it is boarded up. This time there was a truck parked on the railroad grade and a man sitting on the porch drinking a beer and reading. Of course I couldn't pass up asking him about the camp. This was one of those encounters that was going to last awhile. He told me of the camps origins in the 1920's, his father-in-laws purchase of the camp in 1966 for $800., all the fishing they had done, and the story behind the new vinyl siding on the camp. He invited me to go inside and have a look. Inside it was dark; I could just make out lanterns hanging from the ceiling, and wading staffs lined up and hanging from pegs on the wall. When I came back out, the man's friend came walking down the trail. He told me his tale about the broad pool. Fish rising, but none to his fly. I made my way down to the pool around 7:30 as the light was getting low. Fish were rising all over the pool. I had one good rise to my #8 March Brown and caught one chub before I headed back with little daylight for the Mohawk Rod and Gun Club. My friend at the little white camp, Bob Runk, instructed me about an old logging path that would take me directly back to the rod and gun club pool. I never found it, but managed to make my way back to the pool, but not before coming to the faster water below the pool. Fish were rising to sulphurs within 3 feet of the bank. A couple passes with my big dry brought a nice 14 inch brown to hand. I crossed the pool with the moon in position, and again walked down the road to the campground satisfied that I had found the "broad pool" though it had taken me a good part of the day.

Friday May 17
Friday was a no fishing day for me. I bought ice at Burkholder's Market in Millheim, visited the Feathered Hook fly shop in Coburn, and took a look at the Green Drake Art Gallery in Millheim, along with a couple other shops. While Lou and Dennis were fishing I was able to make a meal that we could all sit down and eat.

Cherry Run

Jed's Fish

Saturday May 17
On Saturday, I helped Lou and Dennis pack their stuff. After they left I tied some more March Browns and then decided to head down to the Cherry Run section of Penns Creek. It was 1:37. This is the downstream end of the fly fishing only section. By the time I got there it was 2:38. I left the car all ready to fish at 3:05. The parking lot was packed. I managed to find a spot, but people had parked outside of the parking area along the road. I walked upstream about a quarter mile until I came to a long slow pool. I fished from the bank casting to the just downstream of the big rock in the picture. I had 3 fish on right away, but lost them. Then a surprise; a 12 inch brook trout netted. I got in the pool and headed across it where I saw a bigger fish showing his back in shallow water. I cast to this fish from upstream and when I netted him I found him to be a very fat 13 inch smallmouth. Sulphurs were coming off from time to time. I got out and walked further upstream probably about 1/3 of a mile until I got to some nicely moving flat water that had four or five guys fishing along its length. I found a spot amongst them and quickly found a fish rising close to the opposite bank in a small bit of slack water behind a rock. I shot everything I had at him: the March Brown, a Sulfur Parachute, an Adams Parachute all to no avail. I left him still feeding voraciously behind the rock. By this time March Brown Spinners were flying in the air and occasionally hitting the water. I tied on a large spinner and quickly caught 3 or 4 more bass, one around 14 inches, and then 3 chubs, one about 15 inches. I found it strange that I couldn't connect with any trout, and left the water around 8:15 as the light was failing.

Jed's Brown

Sunday May 18
Sunday was a day in the mid 60's and overcast. I went to church west of Millheim, then headed west on 45 bound for Spring Creek. The clouds were hanging low in the sky, and were textured and colored in different shades of grey. Hanging low over the valley, they completely hid the surrounding mountains. I got to the Shiloh Road entrance to Spring Creek at 1:00 p.m. and started fishing at 1:40. As usual there were fish rising to small bugs in the flat water just downstream from the parking lot. This is fairly shallow water that is quite dense with vegetation. Fish were rising to midges and the occasional small caddis. I tied on a size 20 green deer hair caddis on 7x and skittered this along the flat water. This fly brought a couple browns to my hand and hooked a few more and lost them before I abandoned the fly and the water. The rest of the time I fished a couple of unweighted wets, one partridge and yellow and one a small caddis wet. I fished these right below the surface, and many time fish came up to strike them just like a dry fly. The Spring Creek browns were beautifully colored, none much bigger than 11 inches. It was a good day of light tackle fishing. I netted about 10 to a dozen fish in this manner before I left at 8:30 to drive into State College for something to eat.

Monday May 19
Monday, I woke up to a very bright, clear day in the mid 70's. I started by tying 4 Griffiths Gnats, 2 with grizzly hackle, and 2 with black and gold hackle. Then I tied 3 parachute sulphurs and 5 or 6 sulphur wets with dubbed and flossed bodies and partridge hackle around the thorax. I hadn't fished the big pool by the campground much, so I started just upstream of where Big Poe Creek comes into Penns. I fished a brace of wets, first with no weight, then gradually adding weight. My March Brown was my first fly, followed by the sulphur. Just one strong take the whole time I fished them. I noticed the fellow below me net 2 fish while nymphing with an indicator. I walked upstream to some riffle water, and ate my lunch as I contemplated what to do. I decided to put on an indicator with my sulphur wet and a prince nymph trailing. I was going to have to stretch myself and nymph the fast water. I did this over the next hour, thoroughly enjoying making short casts in fast water as the sun glinted off the rocks. It was exhilarating fishing the fast water, looking for fish alongside he rocks. As I fished downstream and angler came up near me from downstream. He introduced himself as Pete Lebengood, a retired firefighter from the Reading area who had relocated to Milford, Delaware. I told him about my nymphing experiment. He promptly gave me 3 nymphs to try; a march brown, a grey fox, and a pheasant tail. I replaced the prince nymph with the march brown and began working my way downstream again. Within 15 minutes I was hooked up with a 9 inch brown. Another 70 feet downstream and was fast onto a 13 inch brown that pulled some drag.

Jed's Last Fish

To make things even better I spotted fish delicately rising in the water just upstream of the big campground pool. I tied one of my Griffiths gnats on 7x and fished to the upstream riser. In 2 drifts I was fast to him, but he broke off the 7x tippet. I quickly tied on another Griffiths gnat to 6x tippet and fished to a riser downstream of the first. Two or three drifts later I netted a nice 13 inch fish. I did manage to fish for about an hour in the campground pool that evening. I could get no takers from my march brown duns, or from Griffiths gnats or sulphur duns. There were a couple splashy rises to a deer hair caddis with a sparkly body, but no takes. I left content that I had fish a variety of water over the week, talked to some interesting people, and caught some fish. Penns continues to be a destination worth travelling to.

Monday May 19
The next morning I headed out, stopping at a local winery for some wine, and then heading down to Reedsville to take a look at Honey Creek. Honey is a very pretty stream that flows through farm and residential land. It has fairly good access, a beautiful green tinge to the water, and a nice mix of water types. I saw only one person fishing on the 5 miles of stream I looked at. One note, Bob Muehlenkamp had a great time on Penns. He probably caught more trout than all of us put together nymphing Penns' fast water. I left him on Friday fishing some riffles just downstream of the Coburn bridge across the river. He couldn't get over how much fun he was having catching 6 or more fish in one small section of riffle. He repeated this practice in different sections of the stream. I hope we can have some kind of outing to Penns next year. Cheers, Jed

I have included Dennis', Lou's, Ken's, and Art's reports below.

Jed Feffer


March Brown Spinner

Thanks again for putting the outing together. Twice before I had planned to fish Penns Creek and both times got weathered out. Saturday after setting up camp and getting on the water the wind came up making casting somewhat of a challenge. That afternoon I saw a few risers, but only one steady riser and he was coming up tight against the far bank under a branch. It was along cast across current and I don't think I ever got a fly through his window. That evening we fished the pool below the camp ground and found some fish rising to caddis a really nice 16'' brown falling to a Henryville, later a fantastic spinner fall of March Browns and Sulphers that really brought the fish up, the MB's the dominant fly.


Friday we fished up from the campground to the tunnel which is now closed. We got into a couple fish but the action was slow, the fish probably being stuffed from the night before. We did talk to a old fella at on of the camps who gave us some history of he place. That night we hit the pool below camp again and had maybe even a better spinner fall than the night before but a few less fish coming after them.

As I said the tunnel was closed so Lou and I drove to Cherry Run at the bottom of the C&R section to try and fish up, but the parking lot was completely full. We explored the area which we both found to be quite beautiful and even saw a large Porcupine. Nice time. We heard reports while there that Spring Creek was fishing really well but this being me and Lou's first trip to Penns we opted to stay there. It's a nice big crick that in places can be tough to wade. I fell in three times, or maybe to be more accurate my boot got tangled up in a root climbing off the bank and I went into the river in sort of a arms first dive getting pretty wet, once the bank caved away and I slid, and once I was just turning around getting my feet tangled up and sort of crumpled in, so I guess two fall ins and a crumple in. Anyway wading can be challenging.

Dennis Covert


Dennis and Lou arrived together at Poe Paddy State Park campground in afternoon of Thursday May 18th. The roads are small unpaved county roads getting to Poe Paddy State Park and got lost a few times. The countryside is beautiful with Amish farms and valleys. Met Jed already at the campsite tying flies (#147). This being my first time at Penns Creek I would say the creek was Full but not overflowing, the water a little off-color and the water temperature was cold.

After setting up tents, Dennis and Lou started fishing in the afternoon, with sunny skies and temperatures in the 70’s, starting slightly downstream from the campsite. Some March Browns and Sulfurs were sporadically hatching. Did see a March Brown spinner under a leaf of a tree. The river is a combination of riffles, pocket water and slow water. At the first Fishing Camp building downstream, needed to cross the river for to the nice path on other side (north side). The water was slow but contained deep holes that reached to top of waders on tip toes. On the other bank with trail, went downstream as far as the next Fishing Camp, I think before Swift Run and the start of the Catch and Release section. Lou did not have any hits all afternoon using tandem dry March Brown or Sulfur with dropper either wet fly or nymph. Noticed two fisherman catching one trout a piece, nice size, in riffles by nymphing.

That evening around 6-6:30 pm, Lou and Dennis fished at the State park campground where Little Poe Run enters Penn Creek. A large hatch of March Brown spinners plus Sulfurs, Grey Wolfs, Caddis and Midges were flying around in swarms until dark. The flies were hitting your face, getting behind eye glasses and going down neck. There were trout rising, more than in afternoon, but not as many as I would expect with such a hatch. Dennis caught a few nice trout while Lou had no action. Lou used multiple emergers, hares ear and pheasant tail nymphs, Walts worm, dry flies – including Sulfurs, March Browns, Grey Fox, in parachute and catskill and comparadun and sparkle dun styles, multiple spinners of different sizes, Midges, orange and partridge wet fly, March Brown winged wet fly, elk hair Caddis, X-Caddis, deer hair Caddis, Henryville Caddis and one ant – all with no hits. Left the stream when it became dark around 8-8:30 pm. Went back to camp for dinner of hot dogs.

Friday morning visited the The Feathered Hook Fly Shop in Coburn. A very good fly shop. Afterwards in early afternoon, went upstream from Poe Paddy camp following nice path to Tunnel. Without stopping it would take about 15 minutes to Tunnel. Penns Creek was a combination of riffles, pocket water and slow water. The day was warm and already other fisherman in the creek. Tried high stick nymphing in some riffle/pocket water with a heavy pheasant tail nymph and Lou got big hit that bent his 5 wt rod and the fish went downstream and lost it.

Visited the old RR Tunnel which was blocked off for repair with a orange plastic fencing which already had a cut in it. It was very dark in tunnel and Lou decided not to pass thru the tunnel to the other side which started the Catch and Release section of Penns Creek. At the bridge and tunnel we sat on benches on the side of the creek which are part of a Fishing Camp. A very nice fishing camp member joined us and told us everything we wanted to know about Penns Creek. He also told us about bears in the area. The day was sunny and hot with no fish activity so we decided to eat an early dinner and wait for evening.

Again at 6-6:30 pm at Little Poe Run, a massive March Brown spinner hatch showed with sulfurs, caddis, and midges. Lou caught nothing again using all his flies plus news ones bought at The Feathered Hook Fly Shop, while Dennis caught about 2 trout. Lou quit at dark while Dennis continued to cast into the darkness. Dinner consisted of ravioli and pesto cooked by master chief Jed. Also noted at campsite small sulfur spinners (#20) with egg sacks, Blue Winged Olive and MicroCaddis (#20) flying around the latern.

Other wild animals seen where snakes, a pair of Baltimore Orioles, Pileated Woodpeckers, a porcupine and cows.

On Saturday, packed up camp and drove to the end of the Catch and Release section at Cherry Run, about a 30-45 min drive from Poe Paddy. At 10:30-11:00 am the parking lot at Cherry Run was full, which could hold at least a dozen cars or more. No other parking or pull-off was found so Lou and Dennis drove back home.

Lou Reichel


A Penns Creek brookie

One of Ken's brown trout at Penns Creek

Art Friedlander and I arrived at Poe Paddy on Tuesday, May 14 around 11 AM. We parked in the boat launch lot and walked to the stream there where we talked to two locals who hadn't fished yet but said they didn't see much activity there. We then drove east on Havice Valley Road to check out the "Catch and Release" section. There's a Rod and Gun Club next to what I assumed was Swift Run (this was incorrect and I should have driven further to reach Swift Run where the Catch and Release section starts). At that point, the road starts going up the mountain and away from Penns Creek. We found a pull off that could probably handle parking for 3 cars with a short hike back down the road to get to the river next to the rod and gun club. We then went to the other end of Poe Paddy and parked at the pull off for the Penns Creek Path that leads to the closed Tunnel. We decided to fish there because of the easy access to the river both upstream and downstream from the path bridge and observed some sulphurs in the air. We fished there from about 12:30 until about 7:30 with a fair number of sulphurs, some march browns, and caddis coming off but only sporadic rises of fish. I also observed a few "sulphur orange" crane flies, a couple of gray foxes (I think), a brown stonefly, and a few light green midges. Art caught 2 on dries [sulfur] with takes to an emerger and wets. I ended up catching 3 and losing one other. I caught two browns, one on a partridge and orange and the other on a sulphur emerger. I caught a brookie on a gray fox. The one I lost also took the gray fox and was the biggest (of course) and broke my 5x tippet (I assume it was weakened from abrasion on the rocks as it was a clean break). We quit because I didn't want to drive to Coburn in the dark.

A brown Stonefly on Penns Creek

Wednesday, we arrived at Poe Paddy about 9:30 and fished the long pool that spans from the campground down to the rod and gun club near the start of the Catch and Release section. Jed and Bob Muehlenkamp joined us a little later. There were fewer insects coming off on this section compared with Tuesday and again only sporadic rises of fish. Art caught four strong 13-14" fish, all on a pheasant tail. Stomach with wide and narrow nymphs and one large Green Drake nymph. I fished several parts of the pool nymphing, dry fly fishing, and fishing with a combo dry fly and nymph without a strike and only one swipe at my dry fly. Bob caught several fish in two sections where I got nada! I hiked down past the rod and gun club to see about accessing the catch and release section. The campground side of the river doesn't provide access to the catch and release section because of the steep banks along that side of the river. While the other side of the river provides easy access, I did not feel safe trying to cross the river at any place along this section. If I had more patience, I might have found a place to cross the river up stream. After a break around 1 PM, Bob, Art, and I went to the closed tunnel where Art and I fished the previous day. Bob fished the riffles just upstream from the walking bridge while Art and I hiked downstream on different sides of the river. I found a small slick in the faster water where 3 fish were rising but only got one swipe at a partridge and orange and nada with several other sulphur patterns. I think Art had a little action on a pheasant tail and Bob caught several above the bridge. The 3 of us then drove back to Coburn and fished to dusk at the end of Tunnel Road downstream from Coburn. Bob again caught several upstream from the walking bridge, Art caught one downstream from the walking bridge, and I lost one on a parachute sulphur. There wasn't much of a hatch at dusk and only a few rising fish.

Thursday and Friday, Art and I went to the Fisherman's Paradise section of Spring Creek and fished most of the time near the bridge upstream from the upper parking lot. Both days, were similar in that there were some sulphurs and caddis hatching during the day with very few rising fish. Both evenings from about 8 to 8:45, there were impressive hatches of sulphur duns with lots of rising fish, few fish caught and no spinner fall. Walking out Thursday evening, another fisherman reported a spinner fall up near the ponds by the old hatchery. Art caught about 5 on bh pheasant tails and bh prince nymphs and ~ 20 on sulphur dries, mainly a yellow comparadun and some on an emerger. I caught 2 on a bh prince nymph and hooked 24 on dries, mostly a yellow parachute sulphur but only brought 19 of them to the net. Five of those were in the 13-15" range (Art's photo of me is with the 15 incher). According to an email from Jim Keil, he was also there on Thursday and we tried to hook up with him on Friday but he was unable to make it. We thought it would be more crowded on Friday but that was not the case.

Saturday, we arrived at Poe Paddy about 10 AM and checked the campground and up past the rod and gun club for Jed, Dennis, and Lou but didn't see any of there vehicles so we went to the tunnel and fished up stream from the bridge. With the overcast sky and cooler weather, we were hoping for a better hatch but that was not to be. We fished until about 4 PM working our way upstream from the walking bridge about a half mile. Very few caddis were coming off and only an occasional sulphur was observed along with very sporadic rising fish. I think Art caught 2 before losing a 20" brown after a long fight on a #20 RS-2 like gray/green nymph. I had no strikes nymphing with bh brassies, bh pheasant tails, bh hare's ear, pink, chartreuse, and red san juan worms, and the chamois worm. At two different places in the pocket water where I observed a rising fish and a few caddis, I tried a couple different caddis patterns without any success. For the evening, we went back to the end of Tunnel Road downstream from Coburn and didn't catch anything. For at least an hour, there was a massive hatch of March Brown and Gray Fox Spinners, Sulphur Duns and Sulphur Spinners, and Caddis with virtually no rising fish. At one point, one fish was rising consistently for several minutes but I couldn't interest it with a rusty spinner or a yellow sulphur spinner.

Sunday morning, on the way home, we fished the Little Juniata up stream from the Quarry off route 452 for about 2 hours. A friend of Art's had reported 2 great days of fishing with a parachute sulphur near Spruce Creek earlier last week. A few sulphurs and caddis were coming off but no rising fish were observed. Art caught a 15" and 12" fish on a bh pheasant tail. I had one swipe at a parachute sulphur and nada nymphing with a bh pheasant tail and bh prince nymph. This was the first time for me at this section of the Little J and it was very nice looking water. I wish we had more time to fish it.

This was a great trip and we have to do it again.

Thanks again Jed for setting it up.

Ken Bowyer


Poe Paddy

Poe Paddy

Poe Paddy

Spring Creek

Ken Spring Creek

March Brown

Stomach Contents


Spring Creek

Bob and Jed

Little Juniata

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This document last modified 01/20/18