Penns Creek Fishing Report

Nestled in a picturesque section of the Appalachian Mountains, Penns Creek, a tributary of the Susquehanna, starts at Penns Cave. This limestone cave, a frequented tourist attraction, releases an estimated 1 million gallons of cold water each day. Historically home to mills and used for transport by the logging industry, the creek was spoiled by dams and the demands of commerce. 

Thankfully, today only one dam remains and it’s for the sole purpose of accommodating people who want to tour Penns Cave by boat. The first 5 miles down from the cave are privately held and hard to access. Access improves from Spring Mills down to Coburn although the water here tends to warm due to heavy farming. Most favored is the run below Coburn, where the Penn gathers energy from the cold waters of Elk and Pine Creeks.

Below the confluence of the three creeks, the Penn doubles in volume and size and widens out to 40+ feet. This 7 mile run through to the Poe Caddy Campgrounds is designated as an All Tackle Trophy Trout Project Area where the fish count is 2,300 per mile. Near Poe Paddy the Swift Run Creek enters and not long after that, Cherry Run. This 3.9 mile known locally as the as the Project, is designated as catch-and-release only and is considered some of the best water in the state. Wild browns here range from 12-16 inches and are found much larger.

Remote and enveloped by an Appalachian range, this scenic area is full of thick growth and teems with wildlife. The water is filled with deep pools, broad rifles and large boulders. Here a mile long hike is required to get to the creek but that means the pressure tends to be modest. Night hatches are voluminous and provide some of the best times to fish.
Additional Information
Elk Creek, Pine Creek, Swift Run Creek
Penns Cave
Susquehanna River
65 miles
Seasonal Conditions
SpringGrannom, quill gordon, green drake, black caddis, gray fox, brown stone, Shadflies, craneflies
SummerGreen and tan caddis, slate drake, light cahill, BWO, crustaceans
FallSlate drake, green and tan caddis, trico, terrestrials
WinterMidges, blackflies
Game Fish Opportunities
Current Forecast
Water Flow
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Large browns of penns
They’re everywhere
Fishing Quality
Water quality

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