100 Best: Spruce Creek
Location: Central Pennsylvania
Type of stream: Limestone creek
Angling methods: Fly, Spinning
Species: Browns, Rainbows
Supporting Services: Spruce Creek, Huntingdon
Short take: Bucks for behemoths, but you can fish it for free
Handicapped Access: No
Closest TU Chapter: Blair County
Want to wrestle with hogs, I mean truly gargantuan browns and rainbows? You’ll find them on Spruce Creek, fed by doting landowners who stuff them with pails of fish pellets. Doesn’t mean that these behemoths aren’t fun. Fighting and landing a six pound ‘bow or brown is a blast in anyone’s book. But it’ll cost you; most of the stream is privately owned. When available, daily rod fees run about $150, about the same as a round of golf at Augusta National.
You can fish for free on the .6 mile of water owned by Penn State about a mile upstream from the village of Spruce Creek on State Route 45. This section is named in honor of George M. Harvey, Jr. Pennsylvania’s historic dean of fly fishing. Here Spruce braids into two channels. The western is narrow, seldom wider than 10 feet. Tendrils of shrub kiss the surface and leafy canopy shades the water. Often overlooked, the knee-deep runs of the west braid hold respectable trout. The better fishing, and relatively easier, is found in the pools and chute-like rapids of the eastern channel. Browns taken here are generally not large, but they are wild and stream bred.