Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Fly Fishing Pennsylvania's Valley Creek

A small limestone spring-fed creek flows through the Valley Forge National Historical Park. While Americans generally head to the park to learn about General Washington and the winter of 1777-1778, I went for the wild brown trout that live in Valley Creek. I fished upstream of the dam/waterfall and caught three wild browns, two on a spinner and one on a wooly bugger streamer. I lost a decent-sized fish just upstream of the covered bridge. It wasn't an easy day, however.

When I first arrived in the park, I drove along as much of the river as I could. I do this in order to scout out potential fishing spots. I saw a few nice runs, and decided to try downstream of the covered bridge. I had a tough time, although I saw a few nice fish. This middle section of the river is dotted with long, glassy pools. I could move the trout, but I couldn't make them take the fly in the cold November water. In the summer, terrestrial patterns will probably be effective in that type of water. I caught my three fish once I moved to the area above the covered bridge. All three were under six inches, but they were all beautiful wild browns. In the end, it was a nice day on a new wild trout stream.

If you are interested in heading to Valley Creek keep a few things in mind. The river is catch-and-release because of historical pollution problems. It also gets very mucky/muddy in the lower stretches, so make sure you wear proper foot-wear. Valley Creek isn't a river you want to go to if you're seeking isolation. Its proximity to Philadelphia (its the finest wild trout stream in that part of Pennsylvania) makes it heavily populated with other anglers. In addition, many other types of people use the river. For example, I ran into a wildlife photographer who was photographing warblers. She was so quiet and blended into the surroundings that I didn't see her until it was too late. Now she has photos of warblers...and one fly fisherman. Oh well.

Image #1 - Valley Creek and the covered bridge
Image #2 - Wild brown trout (I specialize in catching the smallest trout in the river, apparently)
Image #3 - Covered bridge from below

Overall Total: 147

River Breakdown:

Teetertown Brook - 18 (18 Wild Brook)
Spring Creek - 16 (13 Wild Rainbow, 3 Wild Brown)
Marshalls Creek - 14 (14 Wild Brook)
Raritan River, South Branch - 12 (8 Stocked Rainbow, 3 Stocked Brown, 1 Wild Brown)
Bushkill Creek - 8 (6 Stocked Brown, 2 Stocked Rainbow)
Wissahickon Creek - 7 (6 Stocked Rainbow, 1 Stocked Brown)
Swift River - 6 (3 Stocked Rainbow, 2 Stocked Brown, 1 Stocked Brook)
Elk Creek - 5 (5 Wild Brown)
Elk River - 5 (3 Stocked Rainbow, 1 Stocked Brook, 1 Wild Brown)
Penns Creek - 5 (5 Wild Brown)
Paulinskill River - 4 (2 Stocked Brook, 2 Stocked Rainbow)
Pennypack Creek - 4 (4 Stocked Rainbow)
Rockaway Creek - 4 (4 Wild Brown)
Stony Brook - 4 (4 Stocked Rainbow)
Clear Fork of the Mohican River - 3 (3 Stocked Brown Trout)
Fishing Creek - 3 (3 Wild Brown)
Lost Cove Creek - 3 (2 Wild Rainbow, 1 Wild Brook)
Old Town Run - 3 (2 Stocked Brown, 1 Stocked Rainbow)
Valley Creek - 3 (3 Wild Brown)
Yellow Breeches Creek - 3 (1 Stocked Brook, 1 Stocked Brown, 1 Stocked Rainbow)
Brodhead Creek - 2 (1 Stocked Brown, 1 Wild Brown)
Hickory Run - 2 (2 Wild Brook)
Little Brook - 2 (2 Wild Brook)
Roaring Run - 2 (2 Wild Brook)
Big Gunpowder Falls River - 1 (1 Wild Brown)
Little Glade Creek - 1 (1 Wild Brook)
Meadow Run - 1 (1 Stocked Brook)
Mill Creek - 1 (1 Wild Brook)
Mud Run - 1 (1 Wild Brook)
Poplar Run - 1 (1 Wild Brook)
Schooley's Mountain Brook - 1 (1 Wild Brook)
Trout Brook - 1 (1 Wild Brook)
White Deer Creek - 1 (1 Stocked Brook)


Species Breakdown:

Brook Trout - 51
Wild - 44
Stocked - 7

Brown Trout - 48
Wild - 28
Stocked - 20

Rainbow Trout - 48
Stocked - 33
Wild - 15


Wild Trout - 87
Stocked Trout - 60


Trout 15+ Inches: 11


Fly Breakdown:
Olive Wooly Bugger, size 14 - 25 (23 Wild Brook, 2 Wild Brown)
Bead-head Pheasant Tail Nymph, size 14 - 10 (8 Stocked Rainbow, 2 Stocked Brown)
Gummy Stonefly, size 14 - 9 (7 Stocked Rainbow, 2 Wild Brown)
Green Weenie, size 14 - 8 (4 Wild Rainbow, 2 Stocked Brown, 2 Wild Brown)
Brown Wooly Bugger, size 14 - 6 (5 Wild Brook, 1 Wild Brown)
Green Weenie, size 12 - 6 (3 Stocked Rainbow, 2 Stocked Brown, 1 Stocked Brook)
Light Cahill, size 16 - 6 (5 Stocked Brown, 1 Wild Brown)
San Juan Worm, size 12 - 6 (3 Stocked Brown, 2 Stocked Rainbow, 1 Stocked Brook)
Tan Caddis, size 14 - 5 (5 Wild Brown)
Pink Shrimp, size 14 - 4 (4 Wild Rainbow)
Sulphur dun, size 16 - 4 (2 Wild Rainbow, 1 Wild Brook, 1 Stocked Rainbow)
Bead-head Copper John Nymph, size 16 - 3 (3 Wild Brook)
Black Caddis, size 14 - 3 (2 Wild Brown, 1 Stocked Brown)
Bead-head Black Stonefly Nymph, size 10 - 2 (1 Stocked Brown, 1 Stocked Rainbow)
Black Streamer, size 10 - 2 (2 Stocked Rainbow)
Brown Stonefly nymph, size 10 - 2 (1 Stocked Brook, 1 Stocked Rainbow)
Ladybug, size 16 - 2 (2 Wild Rainbow)
Wet Ant, size 14 - 2 (1 Stocked Brown, 1 Wild Rainbow)
Bead-head Green Weenie, size 14 - 1 (1 Stocked Brook)
Bead-head Hare's Ear Nymph, size 14 - 1 (1 Stocked Rainbow)
Blue Quill, size 16 - 1 (1 Wild Brown)
Blue Winged Olive, size 18 - 1 (1 Wild Rainbow)
Golden Stonefly, size 8 - 1 (1 Wild Brown)
Scud, size 16 - 1 (1 Wild Rainbow)
Sulphur dun, size 14 - 1 (1 Wild Brown)
Walts Worm, size 14 - 1 (1 Stocked Brook)


Angling Breakdown:

Fly Fishing Rod - 115 (32 Wild Brook, 26 Stocked Rainbow, 17 Stocked Brown, 17 Wild Brown, 15 Wild Rainbow, 5 Stocked Brook)
Spinning Rod - 32 (12 Wild Brook, 8 Wild Brown, 7 Stocked Rainbow, 3 Stocked Brown, 2 Stocked Brook)


State Breakdown:
Pennsylvania - 78
New Jersey - 48
North Carolina - 9
Massachusetts - 6
Ohio - 3
Virginia - 2
Maryland - 1

2 comments:

vesna said...

Take a look and see what category it fits in!
best places to go fishing...

Kevin Clark said...

do you live around Valley Creek? its my home creek and i fish it a few times a week, if your ever in the area, give me a shout, send me an email dont laugh its an email i had since i was like 10 danger22269@yahoo.com kevin