James Marsh fishing Elk Creek Pennsylvania
Elk Creek Pennsylvania
Copyright 2018 James Marsh
Fly Fishing Elk Creek, Pennsylvania
Elk Creek is a small limestone spring creek that starts
from a cave in Bush Valley in central Pennsylvania. It's a
tributary to the popular Penns Creek. It has a good
population of stream-bred brown trout. This stream has
some very nice brown trout.

The upper end of the stream flows through a cut
through Bush and Shriner Mountains called the narrows.
About two miles of this section flows through a privately
held club's property called the Elk Creek Fishing
Association.  The lower end is still open to the public.
There are several small springs that add cold limestone
spring water along this part of the stream.

PA #445, called the Narrows Road, parallels the upper
end of the stream above Millheim. SR #2011 parallels
the stream from Millheim downstream to Colburn where it
enters Penns Creek.

Pine Creek, another small limestone spring creek,
enters Elk Creek just above Colburn. The stream
averages from twenty to thirty feet wide and overall is
about six miles long.
Type of Stream
Limestone Spring Creek

Brown Trout (Wild)


Central Pennsylvania

Nearest Towns
Coburn, Pennsylvania

Middle of April through February


Special Regulations

Non-Resident License
State of Pennsylvania

National Weather Service Link

Hatch Chart
Perfect Fly Hatch Chart

Fly Fishing Gear, Tackle and
Trout Flies
Elk Creek
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Thumbnail Images: Property of Dennis McCarthy.
Elk Creek can be fished year-round.
Springtime is the best time for fly fishing Elk
Creek because of all the aquatic insect
The water stays cool all summer long and
the fishing remains fairly good.
Fly Fishing Guide to Elk Creek
This is a typical small, limestone spring creek that
requires a good deal of stealth and well placed
If you can fish during a hatch, you will be far better off.
This reduces the caution the wild browns seem to have
and fooling them is much easier. The sulphur hatch is
one of the better ones although there are several
hatches as you can see from reading our hatch section.
When they trout are not feeding on emerging insects or
spinners, they will be hidden and you will usually have to
fish during low light conditions or in or under heavy
cover such as undercut banks. We don't want to make it
sound to difficult, because it isn't as long as you use
some proven tactics and methods of fishing clear, spring

Streamers work well anytime heavy rains dingy the
water. They also work much better when it is cloudy and
overcast. Otherwise, you should fish them very early in
the morning or late in the afternoons just prior to dark.
Well placed presentations that present the streamers in
and under the heavy cover can be very effective.

When the water is cold, meaning fifty degrees or less,
imitations of midge larvae and pupae work best. These
should be fished on very light, long tippets of 6X or 7X
sizes. They can be very effective.

Imitations of scuds and sowbugs work great at times.
Fish them without an indicator. It is best to spot individual
trout and fish to them as opposed to blind casting. You
will find the trout are somewhat easier to catch from the
few riffles and runs but rarely do they hold the larger
brown trout. The larger fish stay in deep water in the
pools or well hidden under something.

The best way to catch trout from Elk Creek is to get our
hatch chart and fish the major hatches. The Blue-winged
Olives, consisting of several species, last over a longer
period of time than any and is always a good hatch to
fish. The Tricos hang around for a long period of time
but are in general, more difficult to fish. Probably the
easiest time to catch trout is during the Green Drake or
Sulphur hatch. If you stay well hidden, make good drag
free presentations, you will be able to fool your share of
Elk Creek's fine wild trout.
Elk Creek Hatches and Trout Flies:
Our information on aquatic insects is based
on our stream samples of larvae and
nymphs, not guess work. We base fly
suggestions on imitating the most plentiful
and most available insects and other foods
at the particular time you are fishing. Unlike
the generic fly shop trout flies, we have
specific imitations of all the insects in Elk
Creek and in all stages of life that are
applicable to fishing. If you want to fish
better, more realistic trout flies, have a
much higher degree of success, give us a
call.  We not only will help you with
selections, you will learn why, after trying
Perfect Flies, 92% of the thousands of our
customers will use nothing else.

Don't let the size of Elk Creek fool you. It
has some very large aquatic insect hatches.
From near the end of March through the
middle of May, hatches of different species
of Blue-winged Olives hatch. These hatch
again from about the last week or two of
August until mid October.

From about the last week of March through
the first three weeks of April, you will find a
few Quill Gordon mayflies hatches in the
fast water areas of the stream. At almost the
same time, hatches of Blue Quills will be
coming off. The hatch can last until the first
week or two of May. The Hendrickson
mayflies start about the second or third
week of April and last about a month.

March Browns will also be found hatching in
the fast water areas from the first of May
throughout the month. Eastern Pale
Evening Duns, called Sulfurs by many, start
hatching by the middle of May and continue
on through June. Sulphurs start about the
first of June and hatch through most of July.

Green Sedges hatch from the middle of
April through the middle of June. The Green
Sedge larvae are called Green Rock
Worms. Imitations of them will work
year-round. Cinnamon Sedges, net spinning
caddis of several species will hatch from
about the first of June through August.
There are other species of caddisflies but
these are the most important ones.
Hatches, continued:
From about the last week of May, through
the first two or three weeks of June,
Eastern Green Drakes hatch. You will find a
few LIght Cahills hatching during the month
of June. You will also find some hatches of
Yellow Drakes during the month of July.
Slate Drakes hatch from about the first of
August all the way through the month of
October. Mahogany Duns, called Blue
Quills by many locals, hatch from about the
middle of July through September. There's
more than one species of these little
mayflies. Tricos, or the little White Winged
Curses, hatch from about the first of July
through September.

Don't overlook midges, especially during
the early or late season when the water is
Streamers are very important flies on this
creek because the large brown trout eat
small baitfish, sculpin and even small
crayfish. Make sure you have a good

Starting about the middle of June through
September, imitations of terrestrial insects
work on Elk Creek. Imitations of grass
hoppers, ants and beetles are popular flies.

One of the main parts of the diet of the
trout are scuds and sowbugs. The creek
has a good population of these
crustaceans. Make sure you have
imitations of both.

We recommend our Perfect Flies for Elk
Creek. They have been tested and proven
effective on this stream many times. Our
imitations of the Green Drake nymph, dun
and spinners are the most realistic and
effective flies you can purchase. If you
haven't tried them already, please do so.
You will be very glad you did.
The browns spawn in the fall and some
large ones are usually caught during the
migration upstream.
Midge imitations work good during the
Elk Creek Fishing Report - Archive:
03/21/14 We will start the Elk Creek fishing
report prior to the beginning of the fishing
season in April. Please check back then.  
Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (sales@perfectflystore.com)
with the dates you will be fishing this
stream and we will send you a list of our
fly suggestions. Please allow up to 24
hours for a response.

2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will help
you decide which flies you need.

3. Email us (sales@perfectflystore.com)
with a budget for flies and we will select
them to match the budget and get them to
you in time for your fly fishing trip.

All orders are shipped free in the
U. S. Orders over $100 are shipped via
Priority Mail.  
he caught several browns from Elk Creek
this past week using
BWO's nymphs.
06/24/14 Customer ordering flies reported
he has been catching some nice brown
trout from Elk Creek during the past week.
Lost of hatching insects and great dry fly
10/18/14 We don't report on Elk Creek
often but this deserves it. A customer
reporting catching several browns including
one that measured 22 inches on ou
r Brown