State College Fishing Guide
View our full-color State College PA Fishing Guide.
If you like to fish for trout and you're in State College, Pennsylvania - well, then the "Happy Valley" couldn't get much happier. You're only a short drive from some of the best trout fishing in Central Pennsylvania, and one lesson away from enjoying it as fully as possible. Read on, take notes, and do pay attention - though they like to bite, the trout here may flunk the uneducated angler.
Whether you're from Pennsylvania or just visiting, the first order of business is introductions. Our waters are home to four types of trout - Lake, Rainbow, Brown and Brook (commonly called Brookies). Near State College you'll find wild and stocked populations of rainbow, brown and brook.
There are some notable differences between brook and brown trout: the latter get much larger (the state record for brown is 19 lb. 10 oz, and only 7 lb. for brook), tend to feed at night, can tolerate higher temperatures than brook trout, and are considered trickier to catch. Brookies, on the other hand, are the Pennsylvania state fish and the only trout native to our streams. However, due to impacts on their environment, you'll find abundant numbers of hatchery-raised Brook trout biting your line.
The other trout you'll encounter when fishing Centre County streams, creeks and lakes are the famed rainbow trout. A few creeks support wild populations of rainbow, but many rainbows are hatchery-raised and stocked. They prefer cold, fast-moving water, and put on a showy fight when hooked. The state record is 15 lb. 6.25 oz. If you happen to reel in one that appears "golden", don't be surprised - it's the result of artificial selective breeding and is stocked along with traditional rainbow trout.
These three types of trout - brown, brook and rainbow - are what you'll be fishing for near State College. The next big question is simply where should you go? Your choice of fishing spots is vast, so let's narrow it down to some well-loved and easily accessible locations.
If you're fly fishing, Spring Creek is a mere fifteen minutes away and a top-notch place for catching wild brown trout. Benner Springs and Fisherman's Paradise on Spring Creek are popular stretches, the latter actually restricted to fly fishing only. The great thing about Spring Creek is that it's brimming with healthy, wild populations of brown trout and is conveniently close to State College with easy access to fishing spots. With all creeks in the region, pay attention to where you're fishing and make sure it's open to the public - please respect all private property.
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