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Spring Creek Report

It has been a hot, dry summer in Central PA, a summer that has had major impact on the fishing.  Air temperatures were often in the 80s and 90s, and there was little cooling since many evenings bottomed out in the mid-upper 60s.  Combined with the very hot days was a dry trend that left a rainfall deficit of 5.2 inches by the end of August.  The upshot of this was that two of our best streams, Penn's Creek and the Little Juniata River, were unfishable due to excessively warm water.  Although things are beginning to moderate a bit, it would be best to stay off these two waters until mid-September.  On Fishing Creek and Spring Creek water temperature was not an issue, but low, clear water was.  The best fishing was very early in the morning.  When the sun hit the water strongly in the late morning, the fish became spooky and tough to approach.

Spring Creek fished well in the morning for the whole summer.  By 6 AM fish were ready to rise to ants and beetles, and it was one of the best terrestrial summers in recent memory.  Tricos began on June 28 (one of the earliest starts in my 45 years of record keeping), and most mornings have seen groups of fish rising well.  Terrestrial fishing for an hour or two after the spinner fall has been solid, and nymphing in riffled areas with wet black ants and small sowbugs and shrimp has been very productive.  If you were willing to sacrifice your morning's sleep, it was a great summer.

I expect the summer fishing pattern to continue on Spring Creek for at least the next month. What should change as the weather cools, however, will be timing.  September usually witnesses a real change to midday fishing.  Even the Tricos begin to take place later in the day.  It is not unusual to see good hatches of duns with spinner falls later and later in the day. I have seen Trico spinner falls in October between one and two in the afternoon.  Until the first heavy frost, terrestrial fishing is excellent.  Fall hatches of note on Spring Creek can include #20 BWOs and #16 Tan Caddis.

September also sees the return of Penn State football on seven autumn weekends.  Veteran visitors to Central PA know that travel to and around the area will be congested on a football Saturday, and lodging and restaurants will be crowded at best.  It is better to plan fishing weekends around the football schedule or, of course, visit during the week.  Penn State plays at home the following days:

3 September--------Kent State
17 September------Temple
1 October------------Minnesota
8 October------------Maryland
22 October----------Ohio State
5 November---------Iowa
26 November-------Michigan State



Spring Creek Stream Gauge