Lyman Run/West Branch Pine Creek

The Lyman Run "hog"

The Lyman Run “hog”

One of the great things about fly fishing is the versatility. You have the flexibility of fishing larger streams (or rivers) with open casting or smaller “runs” or brooks with tighter casts.

Using the “Trout Streams of Pennsylvania” guide by Dwight Landis, Ron Hill and I like to explore different streams during our Pine Creek vacation giving us more options when thunderstorms stain Pine Creek. Last year we added Lyman Run to our list and the West Branch of Pine Creek this year… in the wild trout sections.. Both of these streams are in the Susquehannock State Forest.

Tim Brookens, Ron Hill and I decided to fish Lyman Run on our last day of vacation to go after Wild Browns and Brookies in the 8-10″ range as Landis’ guide refers to. But, every now and then you get surprised with a fish or two you just do not expect.  After several fish caught or lost in the 13-14″ category and a 17″ Brown (see picture above) landed, Lyman Run is officially on out “hot spot” list. We won’t be surprised about the quality of fish the next time!

Pine Creek – Tioga and Potter Counties

Took Coder on Pine

Took Coder on Pine

Ron Hill - 19" Brown

Ron Hill – 19″ Brown

Took Coder, Ron Hill son and grandson

Took Coder, Ron Hill, son and Grandson

Colby Hill - Pine Creek Brown

Colby Hill – Pine Creek Brown

Every June for the past 11 years, our family takes a vacation to the Pine Creek area. We stay at the Rough Cut Lodge which overlooks Pine Creek, along Route 6 near Gaines, PA. There are 3 generations of family who enjoy the outdoors, the scenery, rafting, cooking out and just being together. Some of us enjoy fly fishing Pine Creek and other local streams like Kettle Creek, Cross Fork, Allegheny River headwaters, Slate Run and Cedar Run. 

Pine Creek Hatches: You can see many different hatches while fishing Pine Creek -Over the last 10 days there have been Green Drakes, Brown Drakes, Caddis, Grey Foxes, Sulphurs, Slate Drakes and Blue Winged Olives. On some evenings, there were a blizzard of Drakes but the fish keyed were keyed in on the smaller variety of flies, which always makes Pine interesting and somewhat frustrating at times.

Blue Winged Olives in the rain: One of the most fun and productive days fishing was during a steady rain which lasted most of the day…Blue Winged Olives were the ticket!  My brother-in law (fishing partner) and I caught 18 nice fish during the rain in the morning and early afternoon. We were the only ones goofy enough to go in that kind of weather.

Fly Fishing generations: Another “cool” day was fishing with my brother-in-law, his son and grandson. Rises were sporadic but both his son and grandson caught several fish on Parachute Adams while spot casting for the occasional rise.

This year, like others, Pine Creek and the other local streams have rewarded us with some lunkers, some beautiful wild fish, and even some frustration….but a vacation our family always look forward to. If your fly fishing interests are larger streams, small or medium sizes streams, you can find it all here in Tioga and Potter County, PA. Put in on your “to do” list.

Tomorrow we are off to another adventure – Hammersley Fork in Potter County- a tributary to Kettle Creek. The weather is showing rain all day, but we are going anyway….only because we haven’t fished it before.

Cross Fork Creek

Cross Fork Brown

Cross Fork Brown

Cross Fork Wild Brookie

Cross Fork Wild Brookie

Cross Fork Wild BrookieSometimes a day on the creek is not about the quantity but the quality of the fish caught. Today was one of those days.

Cross Fork is a small free stone stream which empties into Kettle Creek in the village of Cross Fork. Ron Hill and I fished in the Catch and Release section in the morning with little action (a few small brookies) until……..Ron hooked into a 16″ Brown followed up by each of us catching another wild brown and 2 wild brookies in the 12-13″ range…all quality fish. We used and attractor fly and the Crackle Back to bring them to the surface,

The nice thing about Cross Fork Creek is that you rarely run into a fisherman. On the way back to the Rough Cut Lodge, we pass the more popular Kettle Creek with at least 20 vehicles parked along the project area. Ron and I had Cross Fork all to ourselves.