Penns Creek

Penns Creek is Pennsylvania’s largest, and longest limestone stream. Bubbling from a cave located about 15 miles east of State College, the stream stays modest in size until it reaches Spring Mills where it is joined by Sinking Creek. At this point, Penns Creek becomes larger in size, and an excellent trout stream for wild and stocked brown trout, as well as stocked rainbows.

To many anglers, Penns Creek means Green Drakes. The big, floppy mayflies appear in tremendous numbers in late May and early June and attract crowds of anglers to the stream.

Canoeing on Penns Creek is possible in early spring, but becomes more difficult as water levels decrease during the summer months.

Penn's Creek is Pennsylvania's longest limestone stream, flowing easterly from its headwaters at Penn's Cave, several miles north of Spring Mills on PA Rte 45, to Selinsgrove, where it is tributary to the Susquehanna. The focus of most trout anglers is the portion of the stream from Coburn, where Elk Creek provides a significant dose of cold water, to Cherry Run near Weikert. The entirety of this eleven mile stretch is under special regulation, with trophy trout rules applying in the upper seven miles and catch-and-release in the lower 3.9 miles.

Penn's Creek is as close to a wilderness limestone stream as exists in the Keystone State. Vehicular access is very limited; significant hiking is necessary to sample the entire length of the special regulations area. A wide array of hatches can be enjoyed on Penn's Creek, with Grannom Caddis being the first to appear in April. This magnificent and truly scenic stream also boasts great March Brown and Sulphur hatches, and the Green Drake, appearing in early June, is a beacon for anglers from all over the country. A strong population of stonefly nymphs provides year round fodder for its trout as well.

Regrettably, there is a downside to Penn's Creek. Because of the extensive agriculture along its upper reaches, Penn's Creek muddies quickly and can take a long time to clear. Due to its size and bottom characteristics, Penn's Creek can be difficult to wade when flow levels are good. Felts and a wading staff are highly recommended. The trout on this stream are notoriously finicky and fickle [also true of Spring Creek fishes], probably because of the wealth of food available to them.

 

Access

Penns Creek

Coburn (PFBC)

  • Upstream of Coburn along Penns Creek Road.
  • Hours of operation: 24/7
  • Un-powered boats only
  • Shore fishing
  • Parking - no formal lot
  • Beach-type or unpaved ramp
  • Primary boating - canoes and other hand-carried boats

 

Penns Creek

Ingleby (PA Forestry)

  • About four miles on Ingleby Road from SR 2018, accessible from Woodward.
  • Hours of operation: 24/7
  • Un-powered boats only
  • Shore fishing
  • Parking - small lot (fewer than 10 spaces)
  • Primary boating - canoes and other hand-carried boats

 

Penns Creek

Poe Paddy (State Parks)

  • From Potters Mills, drive one mile east on U.S. Route 322. Turn left toward Poe Valley State Park. Pass Poe Lake after about 10 miles. Travel about two miles farther.
  • Hours of operation: 24/7
  • Un-powered boats only
  • Shore fishing
  • Parking - small lot (fewer than 10 spaces)
  • Primary boating - canoes and other hand-carried boats

 

Regulations & Licenses:

  • All Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Regulations apply.  To review Pennsylvania fishing and boating regulations, visit www.fishandboat.com and click on “Regulations & Laws” on the left side of the page.
  • All motorboats must be registered.
  • Registrations are renewed on a two-year cycle and expire on March 31 of the second year. Registrations are valid on issuance from the Commission’s Licensing and Registration Section. Registration forms may be obtained from the Fish & Boat Commission’s web site, regional offices, Licensing and Registration Section, most county treasurers, certified issuing agents and from many marine dealers.
  • Owners of unpowered boats (canoes, kayaks, rowboats, etc.) can launch their boats at Commission lakes and access areas or Pennsylvania state parks if their boats display a Commission launch permit, boat registration, or PA State Parks launch permit or mooring permit. Pennsylvania State Parks recognizes Commission boat registrations and launch permits.
  • The Commission does NOT recognize launch permits from other states.

View general fishing and boating regulatory information.

 

Activities

  • Paddle Power
  • Fly Fishing

 

Fish Species

  • Wild & Stocked Trout
  • Smallmouth Bass

 

Information courtesy of Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Centre County/Penn State
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State College, PA. 16803

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