Written by: A.L. Swanson
As a Montanan exposed to some of the finest trout waters on earth, why is it that I venture to central Pennsylvania annually to fish for trout? Because it is truly a special place, with a robust abundance of large trout and hatches that are rivaled by few. Spruce Creek, Penn’s Creek, and the Little Juniata are all nestled into the rolling green hills outside of State College, and these are among the finest waters in the Keystone State.
A cold and rainy Sunday morning welcomed us to a unique stretch of water, surrounded with freshly leafed-out walnut trees, blooming dogwood,s and very spooky fish. I delicately cast a Soft-Hackle Sulphur into the shadows of an overhanging dogwood. The water is so clear that you often get just one shot at these fish. It was a successful cast, and after a long fight–in which I saw my backing and the rainbow leaped over a dam–the fight ended with this beautiful monster. Its weight was in the middle double digits, and it was at least 30 inches long.
A.L. Swanson lives in Helena, Montana, where he handcrafts some of the wooden fly boxes, cigar boxes, and landing nets that we sell at Orvis.