Pine Creek Brown Trout
Copyright 2016 James Marsh
Fly Fishing Pine Creek Pennsylvania
Pine Creek is one Pennsylvania stream that differs
greatly from the typical one, if there's such a thing as
typical. First of all, it's sixty miles long and has more
tributary stream than any creek in the United States. I
don't really know that for a fact, but it has a lot of them. It
can be as wide as 100 feet and even double that. It has
riffles that are a mile long. It also has had some
problems with some of its tributary stream, especially
Babb Creek, which is thought to add some mine acid to
the stream. It has a limestone grinder in it, to help with
the acid problem.

The basic problem with Pine Creek is water temperature.
It gets into the low seventies at certain times of the year
and this is too warm to support trout. Most all of its
numerous tributaries have cooler water and offer an
alternative to fishing the main stem during hot weather.
They also help keep the main stem cool. Without them,
the stream would really have problems. Fly fishing Pine
Creek in the hot part of the Summer just about dictates
moving into one of these feeder streams.

Some Pennsylvania rivers should be called creeks and
some creeks would be better described as a river. This
is one of the later. It is a large as many rivers. Now that I
have pointed out most of its negative points, let me give
some good ones. It has a huge diversity and good
quantities of aquatic insects. Above Galeton, Pine creek
is about forty or fifty feet wide and the water is much
cooler. It also has a good population of stream-bred
brown and brook trout. It damed at Galeton and this
contributes to the warm water problem below. At
Ansonia, Pine Creek receives water from Marsh Creek
and flows through a deep gorge or canyon that's about
15 miles long. Below Slate Run, a tributary we have a
complete section on, the stream has lots of riffles and
provides some good trout fishing.

The first hatches of the year are usually the Little Black
Early Stoneflies that hatch in March. There will also be
some Little Brown Early Stoneflies. They hatch for about
a month. Also in March, you will find the first Blue-winged
Olives starting to hatch. The many different species will
hatch off and on until early Fall. There will be a peak in
the hatch again in June and then again in late
September and October.  

April starts the hatches of Blue Quills and Quill Gordons.
The Quill Gordon hatch last for about a month but the
Blue Quills can continue to come off for up to two
months. The first three weeks of May, you will usually
find the Hendricksons hatching. These include the Red
Quill, of course. About the same time the American
March Browns will begin to hatch. They will continue
through the first week or two of June. Sulphurs will also
start hatching about the middle of May. The hatch can
last until the middle of June.

Light Cahills and Pale Evening Duns both start to hatch
around the first of June and continue until the second
week of July. You will also find the Slate Drakes starting
to hatch about the first of June. This hatch can last for a
long time but not in any large quantities. Tricos will hatch
in July and last on into August. These are found in the
slower to moderate water.

Caddisflies are also very plentiful. The most abundant
species are the Spotted Sedges and Cinnamon
Sedges.The different species start hatching around the
first of May and continue until early Fall. Green Sedges
are also found in the riffles and runs.

Terrestrial insects become important about the middle of
June and remain a source of food for the trout through
the month of September. Ants and beetles are the most
plentiful but inch worms and grasshoppers can also be
important.

Depending on when you fish Pine Creek and depending
on exactly where you fish it, you may decide its the best
stream in the state and you may well decide its the
worst. These two things swing the success anglers have
drastically. Fly fishing Pine Creek can be a real
challenge at times or it can be very easy to fish.

Seasons:
The season is the standard Pennsylvania trout season.
Spring:
Springtime is the best time for fly fishing Pine Creek due
to the hatches.
Summer:
Summertime can be okay if during the hottest days you
fish a tributary stream
Fall:
Fall is the best time to catch the larger brown trout
Winter:
Wintertime can be tough and the water can even be
frozen in places

Fly Fishing Gear, Tackle and Trout Flies
Type of Stream
Freestone

Species
Brown Trout (Wild and stocked with
holdovers)
Brook Trout (native and stocked with
holdovers)
Rainbow Trout (stocked with some
holdovers in tributaries)

Size
Large

Location
Northcentral Pennsylvania

Nearest Town
Ansonia
Rexford

Season
Middle of April through February

Access:
Easy to Difficult

Non-Resident License
State of Pennsylvania

Weather
National Weather Service Link

Fly Fishing Gear, Tackle and
Trout Flies
Pine Creek Pennsylvania
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Photo Courtesy Steven Lamb
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