Central Pennsylvania Still Has Trout

By: James Swearingen

While fishing pressure has fallen off there’s still plenty of trout to be found in Central Pennsylvania. The good news is there’s fewer anglers out there targeting them. There were deer tracks on the shoreline last week, not boot prints, meaning you’ll be able to get your favorite hole to yourself, which doesn’t happen in the first two months of trout season.

A buddy and I spent a day on various sections of Standing Stone Creek and found willing rainbows and browns everywhere. I even saw a golden rainbow still left in the system. Those are tough to find this late in the season in PA. The creek was loaded with trout. In fact, we caught more 30 in one hole and released them all. Trout stocking is over, but plenty of fish remain.


Recent rains sent the creek and muddy, but as it falls good fishing resumes. The creek should be clearing up by now, but likely wasn’t in great shape over the weekend. When the water is high the fish are going to migrate to the edges of the creek and stay out of the main current. As the water drops the fish are going to go back into the deeper holes, which is where I would target them. The water is warming, but was still at roughly 58 degrees when I was here a few days ago. That’s going to remain the same with the recent rains. I think these trout will be fine for a while.


There’s no secret spot when fishing on Standing Stone. Everyone knows where the PA Fish & Boat Commission stocks trout. Meanwhile, I’m focusing on where cover is available and deep pools. The same spots that were holding trout during the stocking season have them now. Personally, I caught 17 or so rainbows and about 10 browns and my buddy was only catching rainbows. Clearly there are more rainbows in the system, but browns are available.

I fished with Chartreuse Fire Dye fathead minnows on four-pound Berkeley Vanish fluorocarbon and a size 10 wide gap hook. I use a wide gap for the fatheads because they have a large head and the wide gap makes for better hook sets because more of the hook is exposed. I fished them all under a small float. We also caught a couple trout on Pink Shrimp and Natural Deluxe eggs once the trout got conditions to the minnows. Meanwhile, only the rainbows ate the eggs. All the browns were caught on the chartreuse minnows.


*Pautzke’s new Fire Dye is available at FishUSA.com, Bass Pro Shops and the following Walmart locations: Bradford, Clarion, Erie (West), Exton, Greensburg, Harborcreek, Harleysville, Johnstown, Latrobe, Mechanicsburg, Montoursville, Pittston, Reading (North), Somerset, Belfonte, State College, Tunkhannock, Washington, Waynesburg, Whitehall, Wilkes-Barre and York.


Editor’s Note: James Swearingen is the founder of Steel City Anglers. For more information on his page please visit https://www.facebook.com/SteelCityAngler412.