Time: 8:00AM – 11:00AM; 12:00PM – 1:00PM; 5:00PM – 8:30PM
Location: Swinging bridge, Bingaman Lane, Glen Iron
Thursday began as an overcast day and remained that way throughout, as temperatures reached the upper sixties and low seventies. These conditions seemed ideal to two eager fishermen such as Jeff and me. Flows were another key variable, and the creek was now down to 500 CFS with reasonable clarity. Everything seemed to point to ideal conditions for a solid day on Penns Creek.
We departed from the Schafer cabins and ate a quick breakfast while in transit, before we arrived at the swinging bridge area along Penns Creek. Jeff introduced me to this stretch on Wednesday morning, after we departed from Jolly Grove. In a bit of a surprise we never witnessed any significant green drake dun emergence or surface feeding to the large mayflies despite our early arrival and overcast skies. I began fishing above the swinging bridge with a grey fox and focused my efforts on a small side channel, but the fish ignored my drifts. I began to experiment with different flies and cycled through a female green drake dun and a green drake spinner. I hypothesized that the trout were aware of the large mayflies recently present in strong numbers, but the fish harbored different thoughts, and no significant green drake hatching activity materialized.
When I reached a beautiful arced pool, I converted to a dry/dropper configuration with a yellow fat Albert, hares ear nymph and a prince leadwing coachman. Early on during this phase of my Thursday fishing I lost the prince leadwing coachman and replaced it with another version that Jeff tied and provided during my last visit to Penns Creek. The replacement coachman immediately attracted attention, as I landed two suckers and a tiny trout. I persisted and tossed the trio of flies to the top of a run and allowed the fat Albert to drift along a seam. The unimpeded float did not last long, before the fat Albert dipped, and I raised my arm to set the hook in a sixteen inch brown trout. What a surprise and thrill!
My confidence in the coachman soared, and I approached a very alluring run along the left bank. A pair of fish revealed their presence, so I tossed the three fly combination to a small eddy. The Albert immediately paused, and I set the hook and felt temporary contact with a moving object. Unfortunately the fish escaped, and I paused to assess my next move. As I scanned the run and eddy, I was amazed to notice that the rising fish resumed their steady feeding activity. I rested the area some more, while I switched to a single dry fly approach, and then I cast the usual array of Penns Creek imitations, but none pleased the occupants of the run and eddy. Jeff joined me, and he tossed another assortment their way, but we eventually walked away after an hour of futile casting. We were chastened by the wily Penns Creek trout in this location.
While we dwelled on our recent rebuke from Pennsylvania trout, we retreated to the minivan and once again drove to the Sportsman’s Club, where we ate our lunches. After lunch we traveled downstream to Bingaman Lane, where we fished from 12:00PM until 1:00PM, but the long pool and water upstream were unproductive. Another move was in order, and this time we journeyed to Glen Iron. We spotted some isonychia duns during the morning above the swinging bridge, and Jeff theorized that they would be more prolific farther downstream.
We spent the remainder of our day in the Glen Iron area, after we ate our dinners. Just before returning to the van for dinner and in a location above the bridge, I landed a thirteen inch brown trout that smacked the parachute isonychia. This bit of success transpired while Jeff chatted with a passing motorist named Bill Webber.
After dinner I returned to the dry/dropper method and worked some nice runs above the bridge, but my determined efforts were thwarted. Next we hiked up the road a bit to a point where the creek forked, and I spent most of the evening above the split. I threw mostly a parachute isonychia and iso comparadun, and I experienced two brief hook ups along with one fish that leaped and shed the hook. Quite a few fish rose regularly in the wide riffle section above the split in the creek, and I was frustrated by my inability to bring one to my net.
We chose to remain in Glen Iron to avoid the hordes that undoubtedly chased the green drake spinner fall in the No Kill area, and we encountered some moderate isonychia activity. We had the place to ourselves and cast to rising fish on a pleasant evening in central Pennsylvania. No complaints from this Colorado based fly fisherman.
Fish Landed: 2