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Welcome back to the new NEFF. Take a break from Twitter and Facebook. You don't go to Dicks for your fly fishing gear, you go to your local fly fishing store. Enjoy!

Bugs bugs and more bugs!


New member
Howdy gang,

Last week I spent 4 days (well really 3 1/2) out in central PA limestone country. Fished Penns, Elk and Spring Creek with a fishing buddy whom I met a few years back through ROFF (newsgroup rec.outdoors.fishing.fly). THis is my third season going out there and I really love it. My fishing pal, Dave, is a great guy and one helluva fly fishermen and knows those waters as well as anyone.

Anyway, I am just amazed not only at the number of bugs on those streams but also the diversity and size. March Browns, Sulphurs (yellow and orange variety), a couple variations of caddis, spinners at night (both March Brown and Sulphurs). One night just after dark we were getting ready to leave the water and when we looked over one section of Penns it was an absolute cloud of March Brown spinners. We had both fished pretty much the whole day and were getting bushed so we just admired the scenery for a few and headed back to the trucks.

The weather could have been better but then again it could have been worse. My most successful time astream was the first night I was there. Rolled into town mid afternoon and headed out onto Elk about 6:00 pm. Managed to land 7 browns....4 on March Browns and 3 on Sulphurs. I had a few more hits but was a bit too slow on the draw to hook em'. One thing about those fish is that they almost never give you a second chance. Unlike the stockies here in NJ where if you miss the strike often times you can place the fly right back on the spot and the fish will take it.

The rest of the time the fishing was fine but the catchin' was spotty. 4 more one day way upstream on Penns then only two then only one. Maybe (big maybe) could have nabbed a couple more if I fished nymphs more often but I'm kinda hardheaded that way.

As always I learned a bit from time spent astream. Most notably I learned that you need GOOD rain gear! Also, if your rain coat has a hood that doesn't roll up or detach you better use it instead of a hat. Ya see, with that hood settin' back behind your neck in the pouring rain it fills with water then the first time you lean over to release a fish or anything other reason, all that water runs down your back:( .

Anyway, just wanted to drop by and say hello and report that the bug life on PAs limestoners is doing quite well, as are the trout.

I may stop by the FB on the 8th to say hello. I may even be able to wet a line for an hour or so before I have to go to my sons little league game. All depends on how much I get done around the house on Saturday.


I have not fished Penns Creek or Spring Creek in two or three years. The fish really key on the Sulphurs big time up there.
Penns Creek is either active or just shuts down. A very fishy looking place. Spring Creek is packed with Brownies that just slam Woolly Buggers and shrimp patterns, among other flies. Elk Creek sounds really interesting, however, I have never wet a line at this feeder of Penns Creek.

Lucky Dog
The only time I've been on Penns was last July for a couple of hours right where the Elk feeds into Penns. Penns was running chocolate when I got there about 6:30AM but Elk was running crystal clear. At first, there were no fish rising, and I was nymphing across the murky water (the clear water on the far side), gradually working across. About 7:15 or so, fish started rising, all in the "Elk" water. Tried swinging some emergers and finally moved down to fish up and across with size 20 bwo's and managed to catch 2 really nice browns about 14" each. missed a couple of others as well.

Had to go about 9, but also checked out the cave at the headwaters and saw some really nice fish up in the very cold water.

Great place...hope to go back some time.
I hope you didn't try to fish up near the cave. That is all private property. I.E. Penns Caves. It's amazing how much we enjoy streams like Penns and Spring, but go on the paflyfish site and people are always complaining about Penns and PAFBC stocking. Enjoy what you have is what I can say. I grew up in central PA and everytime I am at home you can bet I will be on of these two streams including the Little Juniata.
I think some folks have permission to fish just below the cave. I was on the cave tour with the family (after fishing downstream in the morning...see above), and saw the huge trout in the artificial lake they've built there, and also saw someone flyfishing just below the lake's egress. Looked private, but there were no signs that *I* saw <big grin>.