It’s never too early to start thinking about spring in Happy Valley.
One of the best spring activities in Central Pennsylvania is to fish at area lakes, rivers and streams and arguably, the biggest draw to the region is trout season.
For many, the State College area is a fishing paradise because there’s plenty of great fishing spots,including some that are stocked,but others that feature wild populations. The local streams and small rivers are the bigger draws, but plenty of anglers frequently visit the stocked waters such as Whipple Dam and Poe Valley State Park.
When fishing in Happy Valley, there are three types of trout that are common, Rainbow, Brown and Brook. You’re most likely to find Brook trout as they are native to the area, but these other types of trout are common in the locations below.
Penns Creek (Map)
Featuring 35 miles of trout water, fishermen will be delighted by the quality of fishing and surrounding beauty of Penns Creek. The beginning of the stream starts at local attraction, Penns Cave just north of Spring Mills and about 30 minutes from State College.
From there the creek flows to Selinsgrove where it becomes a tributary to the Susquehanna River. The fisheries on Penns Creek are wild and anglers are encouraged to practice catch-and-release. To view a map of Penns Creek and learn about the primary fishing spots, click here.
Spring Creek (Map)
Just 15 minutes from town, Spring Creek is the closest fishing location to State College. The base of the creek starts at Tussey Mountain and flows north towards Milesburg. According to the book “Trout Streams of Pennsylvania” by Dwight Lewis, Spring Creek has shown to be the most densely populated trout stream in the Keystone State. Popular stretches to fish include Benner Springs and Fisherman’s Paradise.
Due to special regulations in the region, fishing at Spring Creek is allowed all year. It is also allowed at Penns Creek year round, but only at select locations.
Whipple Dam State Park (Map)
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission stocks the 22-acre lake with trout in the spring and winter months. Located in nearby Petersburg, about 20 minutes from town, Whipple Dam has plenty of great spots to settle down and enjoy a long relaxing day of fishing.
Poe Valley State Park (Map)
Poe Valley State Park is one of the top spots in Centre County for lake anglers. It is stocked with trout several times during the season and is not far from Penns Creek and Big Poe Creek. Located in Milroy, Poe Valley State Park is about 50 minutes from State College.
Fishing Supply Stores
There’s no shortage of fishing stores in the area that can provide any last minute items you need for your fishing excursion. The staff at these stores can provide important information including the best spots and how to get there if you’re unfamiliar with the region.
TCO Fly Fishing (Map)
TCO Fly Fishing sells men’s and women’s clothing in addition to the standard equipment such as fly rods, reels and wading gear.
Flyfishers Paradise (Map)
Get the latest fishing reports along with the best fishing gear at Flyfishers Paradise. They offer custom fly tying and intimate knowledge of the local fishing areas.
The Feathered Hook (Map)
The Feathered Hook is located on the banks of Penn’s Creek in the tiny town of Coburn, about 45 minutes from State College. Their shop features handcrafted rods from prominent makers as well as vintage reels. They also sell quality pre-owned tackle.
Hire a Guide
If you’re new to the area or to fly fishing, check out what Lance Wilt’s Outcast Anglers can to do help.
They provide fishing services all across the state. To learn more, click here.
The statewide start to trout season is April 13. Don’t forget, a license is required to fish in Pennsylvania.
For more information, including pricing and Pennsylvania’s fishing laws and regulations visit the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission’s Web site here.
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