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Headwaters

Musky
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Reply with quote  #1 
I will be spending the weekend of November 9th visiting friends near Howard, PA and Bald Eagle Creek.  I will be introducing a non-fisherman to fishing and I am looking for a few suggestions of where to fish.  I will fly fish if I have time but he will have spinning gear and I'll probably rig it with a Panther Martin or similar spinner.  I always prefer wild trout but in this instance something that increases the chances for a newcomer to the sport to catch fish would be ideal.  It will need to be walkable and without waders as I don't have more than my own pair.  I prefer stream to lake fishing and will gladly pursue smallmouth or stocked trout.  I would like to stay within an hour of Howard if possible.  I know I'm in the middle of PA's best in this area.  Any suggestions?  Does Bald Eagle Creek - which is right there - support any type of fishery?  I've never heard it mentioned when all of the famous streams in the area are mentioned.  I've thought about driving up to the Slate Run area and perhaps trying Pine Creek, though I know it is a big river in that area.
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Canoetripper

Brookie
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Reply with quote  #2 
There are two fly shops in State College. One of them is TCO Outfitters. I forget the name of the other one, but I am sure you can easily find it on the internet. I would give them a call. They will be glad to help you.
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Lititz, PA
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Canoetripper

Brookie
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Reply with quote  #3 
http://www.tcoflyfishing.com

http://www.flyfishersparadise.com

I was in a hurry to get to work this morning when I originally posted. These people will know all about Howard, PA. I hope you have a great time in Pennsylvania.

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Headwaters

Musky
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Reply with quote  #4 
Thanks!
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Slo

Rainbow Trout
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Reply with quote  #5 
Spring Creek near Bellefonte is an awesome wild trout stream.
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Reverend_Sasquatch

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Redbelly Dace
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Reply with quote  #6 

Not wading is a good idea this time of year. Fish are actively spawning right now. In fact, I recommend staying OUT of the stream as much as possible. PA guys don't take too kindly to folks trampling their redds, or fishing over actively spawning trout. To be sure, fish! Fall fly fishing in PA is amazing. Just respect the wild resources. 

As far as Bald Eagle, you don't need to drive the whole way to Slate Run (where you WILL get skunked, especially in the low water). Just about every small stream in the Bald Eagle State Park area has wild trout.  Also, Bald Eagle has trout-wild and stocked. Especially below Milesburg where Spring Creek (one of the famous PA limestoners) flows in. 

 

PS-I see you mentioned fishing Pine at Slate Run. It's well stocked in the Fall by Slate Run Tackle, so odd are, you'd do quite well. But again, there's so much wild fishing around, no need to drive that far to fish for stockies. 

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Headwaters

Musky
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Reply with quote  #7 
I appreciate the information.  My trip was two weekends ago so I will bank your information for future reference.  I didn't end up fishing.  Instead we explored a little.  My hosts are big Penn State fans and they wanted to be at the local sports bar for the noon kickoff against Minnesota and I wanted to watch the WVU Texas Tech game.  I hadn't been to the Pine Creek/Slate Run area for over 20 years so I suggested we just take a drive.  It took about 50 minutes to get there over good roads.  The place is much like I remember.  Slate Run tackle and Wolf's General Store is worth the trip alone.  The store is the old "country store" type with narrow isles and wood floors.  The tackle shop is down a level and while not terribly big it is immaculately kept with all the expected things a good shop would carry.  Rods, reels, flies, and all the other things a fly fisherman would need.  My host is interested in taking up fly fishing when he retires and the shop gave me the means to explain what he might be getting into.  We drove across Pine Creek and parked behind the bar and lodge at the confluence of Slate Run and Pine Creek.  I didn't buy a license as a one-day license for a non-resident was $26.  Heck the full-year non-resident license was around twice that.  I didn't want to pay that much to fish for an hour or two.  We walked up Slate Run a few hundred yards to the first pretty hole.  It was running clear and just a smidge high I think - very fishable.  I must go back to fish that stream, even if you say not to waste my time.  I presume you mean the fishing is difficult due to the pressure that stream receives?  That's OK as I'm use to the Elk kicking my backside on a regular basis.  The fly shop had a map that identified all major holes by name.  That stream is neat in that you can drive the road which is a considerable distance above the stream and park at designated areas that have trails leading down to the stream.  I have to think those trails are either steep or they switchback to get down to the stream?  I asked the fly shop guy how far it was to Cedar Creek and he said about 6 minutes so we drove over there too.  It appears to be a bit smaller than Slate Run and he said you have to drive up the side road two miles before you see the stream again.  You could walk in near the confluence with Pine Creek I guess if that isn't private property?  It was a bit steep down to the stream where the road crossed it.  Not all that far away is Kettle Creek which I also visited many years ago.  I think a trip to that area for a couple of days is in my future where I might try all three streams.  As you mentioned most of the tributaries hold native brookies or wild brown trout so I think I could find some fish.
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Canoetripper

Brookie
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Reply with quote  #8 
I am glad to read that you had a good time in Pennsylvania even though you didn't get to fish like you wanted to. Hopefully your next visit works out better for you,
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Reverend_Sasquatch

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Redbelly Dace
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Reply with quote  #9 

Two weeks ago!? Well, as you can see, I am not so diligent in checking the boards haha! 

Cedar fishes better than Slate, and in general, is easier access. But ultimately, the problem w/ both of them is they get pounded. If you fish behind someone, expect to get skunked. And I mean, if someone fishes it 12 hours or so before you, you'll get skunked. The best times on Cedar and Slate are after rains and the streams are up and murky.

 

And the best way to access Slate is at the mouth haha! The hike down to the stream is ok from Slate Run Rd. The hike OUT is the bear!!!! Stick to the trails, you'll do ok. 

But again, there are literally hundreds of wild trout streams all throughout that area that DON'T get the pressure Slate and Cedar do.

Kettle is a great watershed, and a wild trout paradise. So is the Sinnemahoning watershed. And again, they're watersheds where every puddle will have native brookies. Kettle is best fished, though, upstream of Ole Bull State Park. Below that, Kettle Creek is mostly stockies. But don't neglect some of the streams downstream of Ole Bull that flow into Kettle (I'm talking some of the 'larger' tributaries, which I won't name here, but follow Rt 144 south of Ole Bull and you'll find the streams I mean!)

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Reverend_Sasquatch

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Redbelly Dace
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Reply with quote  #10 
PS-yes, non-residential licenses are ridiculous in PA. Sorry about that. I was fortunate enough to be a resident up til March, so when I head north, I'm still fishing on my residential license. Next year though....sigh. 
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