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Fishing Pennsylvania's trout streams - part II

Fly-fishing trout streams near Gettysburg, PA


Conococheague brown trout

As an avid fly angler residing in Northern Virginia, my go to destination is Shenandoah National Park to fly fish for trout.  Recently, I have decided to cast the net wider and have spent more time exploring the trout waters in Pennsylvania.  This blog post will highlight three destinations within shouting distance of Gettysburg, PA, among them Conewago Creek, East Branch of Antietam Creek and Conococheague Creek.  All three are about 90 minutes from where I live in Northern Virginia and provide great experiences fly-fishing for trout.

 

Conewago Creek near Biglerville, PA

 

My local chapter of Trout Unlimited (NVATU) has a partnership with the Adams County chapter of TU in Pennsylvania.  Our support extends to several activities on the Conewago, including reclamation and stocking.  These waters do not harbor native trout – the stocking is to encourage recreational fishing opportunities.  The Adams County chapter stocks a ton of fish, including many over 20”, providing for sublime fishing.


anglers fishing a section of the Conewago Creek

The Adams County TU chapter has secured grant funds to improve the fishery, including upgrading of habitat and improvements to parking.  The Ziegler Mill Road access point west of Biglerville Road affords the best direct approach to Conewago Creek with parking for ten cars. I admit that this water has challenged me the few times I have visited it, but under good conditions my compatriots have landed a decent number of trout.

 


East Branch of Antietam Creek at Renfrow Park

 

A great spot to explore the East Branch of Antietam Creek is at Renfrow Park near to Waynesboro, PA. There is ample parking and picnic areas, as well as well-marked trails along the creek.  The PA Fish and Wildlife stock not only rainbow and brown trout, but also palomino (or golden) trout.  It is not unusual to spot these orange behemoths meandering around the big pools near the picnic area.  There is a reason they stick around a long time – they are wily creatures!


East Branch of Antietam Creek brown trout

I found the trails along the creek to be gentle for ambling and afford easy access to the water.  My trusty squirmy worm helped me hook a few fish, but a hopper pattern also attracted a number of strikes.

 

Conococheague Creek at Caledonia State Park

 

Our chapter first fished the Conococheague at Caledonia State Park in the Fall of 2022 and it was a classic autumn day.  The Fall colors were robust and the weather very accommodating.  If you are inclined to attempt a three species challenge (rainbow, brown and brook trout), then this is a place to do that.  Here the Conococheague affords easy wading and plenty of water to cover with not much pressure.  The drawback is that you will have to meander among numerous hikers, picnickers and dog walkers.


fall foliage on the Conococheague Creek

 But if you venture about a mile downstream, you will escape the pressure and find yourself alone to fish some interesting runs and riffles.  There is also quite a bit of structure in the water formed by stumps, root balls and downed trees that trout like to use as cover.  On this day, a neversink caddis trailing a green weenie was the most productive tandem.  Other anglers reported that cricket patterns and ants (congruent with the season) produced strikes.

 

Tight Lines!

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