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Spring Creek Allegheny NF Fishing Info

Joined:
2013/1/9 8:51
From Farmington, NM
Posts: 12
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Hey guys,

I recently posted about coming to PA in April and doing some fishing. My family has an annual King Trout contest on opening trout weekend. All of them are bait and spin casters. I would like to go out and fly fish the river, and beat the breaks off of them. Our trip is going to be in the Allegheny National Forest on Spring Creek. I have fished it once before with lures, but now I am super into fly fishing having moved to NM. Any useful Knowledge is appreciated when it comes to flys and other techniques that could come in handy. Thank you all in advance.

Tight Lines everyone,

Buddy

Posted on: 2013/2/14 11:31


Re: Spring Creek Allegheny NF Fishing Info

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2006/9/21 0:02
From Pittsburgh
Posts: 4331
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I've fished it a little bit at the lower end where it runs into the clarion river at hallton. Caught mainly stocked fish there there, but it's supposed to have wild fish in it's upper reaches. The summer months are when I did most of my fishing - and caught them on caddis and terrestrials.

If you really want to see something unique - stop into the hallton hilton, which is right below the creek mouth

Posted on: 2013/2/14 11:47


Re: Spring Creek Allegheny NF Fishing Info

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2012/2/15 16:35
From Butler, Pa
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I'm pretty sure that around the Pigeon Area, the stream is stocked by the Marienville rod and gun club. Should be some nice fish in there

Posted on: 2013/2/14 11:52


Re: Spring Creek Allegheny NF Fishing Info

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2006/9/13 10:18
From LV
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I fished it once in May, when it should have been prime time. We were in the National Forest in the upper reaches, I caught one brown that was fairly small. I didn't think much of the experience. The other thing is, I go to NC PA every year for opening day, and for the last several years have not done well at all. It's a bit early for flies that time of the year, but it depends on the stream. Some streams do get going fairly early as long as hatches have started.

Posted on: 2013/2/14 11:57
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Re: Spring Creek Allegheny NF Fishing Info

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2010/12/6 18:21
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Where do you plan on fishing? Keep in mind that the bridge at the confluence with the Clarion is closed. Water level will be a major determining factor in what to fish with. Spring creek does have a tendency to blow out with not much rain.

Not sure what Dryflyguy's definition of unique is, but if filthy, disgusting bars are your thing, The Halton Hilton is your place! I wouldn't even drink bottled beer from that place!

Posted on: 2013/2/14 19:44


Re: Spring Creek Allegheny NF Fishing Info

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2010/6/23 21:57
From Butler County
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The Hilton is one of those places that everyone should experience at least once.

Spring has gone downhill in the last decade or so. It used to be one of my favorites creeks since our camp is very close, but the fishing has been very poor. It has an acid problem and fish just don't seem to hold very well, as is true of most of the streams in that area. It used to hold a ton of wild brownies from the entire length, but those have seemingly disappeared in the last few years.

I would love to see this creek taken off the stocking list entirely, and a fingerling stocking program started here. Fish that grow up in the stream might stay a little longer - might be an interesting experiment for streams that have an acid problem.

Posted on: 2013/2/14 19:53


Re: Spring Creek Allegheny NF Fishing Info

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2007/6/19 21:49
From Lancaster County
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Quote:

bearfisherman wrote:
The Hilton is one of those places that everyone should experience at least once.

Spring has gone downhill in the last decade or so. It used to be one of my favorites creeks since our camp is very close, but the fishing has been very poor. It has an acid problem and fish just don't seem to hold very well, as is true of most of the streams in that area. It used to hold a ton of wild brownies from the entire length, but those have seemingly disappeared in the last few years.

I would love to see this creek taken off the stocking list entirely, and a fingerling stocking program started here. Fish that grow up in the stream might stay a little longer - might be an interesting experiment for streams that have an acid problem.


I see many posts that such and such a stream has an acid problem. Have you taken a pH reading from the stream, or read literature that indicates this is the case? I'm not saying it doesn't have an acid problem - just that I see this issue cited a lot with X stream and wonder what the factual basis is for it. My experience with ANF streams over the past decade (but mostly farther north than Spring Creek) parallels yours, in that I've seen a decline in the fisheries there. I can't draw a 100% linkage to the explosion of the oil and gas industry there but the amount of roads that now honeycomb the hillsides, the increase in well sites, and the huge sediment loads in otherwise high quality, cold water tribs leads me to believe that the industry has at least some part to do with the decline. And these were my observations pre-Marcellus.

Posted on: 2013/2/14 20:04


Re: Spring Creek Allegheny NF Fishing Info

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2006/11/2 8:50
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Quote:

salmonoid wrote:
Quote:

bearfisherman wrote:
The Hilton is one of those places that everyone should experience at least once.

Spring has gone downhill in the last decade or so. It used to be one of my favorites creeks since our camp is very close, but the fishing has been very poor. It has an acid problem and fish just don't seem to hold very well, as is true of most of the streams in that area. It used to hold a ton of wild brownies from the entire length, but those have seemingly disappeared in the last few years.

I would love to see this creek taken off the stocking list entirely, and a fingerling stocking program started here. Fish that grow up in the stream might stay a little longer - might be an interesting experiment for streams that have an acid problem.


I see many posts that such and such a stream has an acid problem. Have you taken a pH reading from the stream, or read literature that indicates this is the case? I'm not saying it doesn't have an acid problem - just that I see this issue cited a lot with X stream and wonder what the factual basis is for it. My experience with ANF streams over the past decade (but mostly farther north than Spring Creek) parallels yours, in that I've seen a decline in the fisheries there. I can't draw a 100% linkage to the explosion of the oil and gas industry there but the amount of roads that now honeycomb the hillsides, the increase in well sites, and the huge sediment loads in otherwise high quality, cold water tribs leads me to believe that the industry has at least some part to do with the decline. And these were my observations pre-Marcellus.


This website has water quality data from Spring Creek and a few other area streams.

http://ironfurnacetu.net/

It gives the Spring Creek pH as 6.85. That's not bad.

Also, there are stream stretches in the headwaters that hold wild brown trout. So it's unlikely that stretches downstream from there are "acid rain victims."


Posted on: 2013/2/15 12:51


Re: Spring Creek Allegheny NF Fishing Info

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From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
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That area of the state is funny like that. There's no signifant AMD or anything of that nature. But some streams are just bad, despite consistently cold water and what appears to my untrained eye to be excellent habitat. And some of these, once fish are stocked, have very low residency, while other one's they stay in. And it's common for streams to have fish in their headwaters, down to a point of a "dead" tributary. Definitely leads me towards water chemistry questions.

And it's definitely location specific. There lots of systems where the streams which flow from one direction are pretty bad, but the ones coming from another are generally good. I've gone as far as collecting some geologic maps and trying to correlate it to certain features/surface layers. And there's enough there that I think there's something to it. I think it's geologic, not point pollution. But I need to do more work, I certainly have no proof or smoking gun. Need to get more specific with it and maybe run some stats or something.

And when I say geologic, that doesn't mean man doesn't play a part. Acid rain deposition, for instance, is something that would be pretty similar over a large area, and other pollutants could be the same. But perhaps something natural and more location specific could make a stream more or less resistant.

And with acid rain, you're not gonna learn much by taking pH measurements at random times. It's not a constant measurement. It's seasonal, and even within a season, pretty inconsistent with spikes and so forth. A high water, snowmelt event in the spring will likely give you the most acidic conditions. Or better yet, take alkalinity, not pH. Would be a decent measure of how wildly the pH will swing with a runoff event.

Posted on: 2013/2/15 15:18


Re: Spring Creek Allegheny NF Fishing Info

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2010/6/23 21:57
From Butler County
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I have taken pH readings on lower Spring and its tribs for years now. As a science teacher, I have access to some pretty good equipment for testing, and have been wondering for years why the trout don't stay in many of the creeks in that area. I have readings on some of the tribs coming in at 5 to 6, these streams have natives, and this is pretty constant. The main stem has been pretty consistent for me between 6 and 7. I think that most of the buffering ability of the soils, which was low to begin with, has been exhausted. And the increase in gas drilling does not help.

Some of the issues with stocking these streams is that the fish come from high pH hatcheries and are then placed into lower pH waterways. I helped stock on one of the streams near Spring Creek, and we watched as trout ran downstream as fast as we could dump them in. Coop hatchery stockings are a lot different - those fish are used to living in the water up there, so it isn't a shock to their system.

I have been watching those stream gauges with great interest - it will be interesting to analyze some long term data.

Posted on: 2013/2/15 16:47


Re: Spring Creek Allegheny NF Fishing Info

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2006/9/9 19:37
From aliquippa
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I fish it a few times in the spring , forest rd 130 from lamonaville rd out of marienville will take you to game lands 28 , you can`t go any further from there,but it gets a lot of bait fisherman in early season,

Posted on: 2013/2/16 16:26
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Re: Spring Creek Allegheny NF Fishing Info

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2010/3/10 9:38
From Brookville, PA
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Glad to see you guys are following the gauges.

Mark Hanes
IFTU President

Posted on: 2013/2/20 14:32


Re: Spring Creek Allegheny NF Fishing Info

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2010/3/10 9:38
From Brookville, PA
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Side not many of the streams in the area are nutrient poor and lack a good food base to support trout. The head waters do hold brookies.

Posted on: 2013/2/20 14:36


Re: Spring Creek Allegheny NF Fishing Info

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2006/9/18 8:28
From Attitudinally, one mile south of Lake LeBoeuf
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I think Pat has a pretty good handle on the situation, although I'd question whether any more statistics gathering or analysis is going to additionally clarify things to any significant degree. It simply is what it is..

If you break the ANF up into three watersheds (Clarion, Tionesta and direct tribs to the river or reservoir within the boundaries of the Forest) the Clarion basin overall has always been the weak sister in terms of being able to produce wild trout as well as in its ability to retain and support stocked fish.

The largest factor in this, from what I understand, is geology. More so than the other ANF watersheds, the Clarion basin is supposedly mostly capped with sandstone with basically no buffering capacity. And while the 1980's and 1990's high visibility of the threats posed by acid deposition has lead to legislation and Clean Air Act enhancements that have to some degree halted or even reversed additional acidification of smaller freestone streams along the Appalachian spine, this doesn't mean that streams that were probably never very good trout habitat anyway are now going to become good trout streams. I tend to think this is the case with a lot of the Clarion basin.

Still, because the main problem is likely geological and because the prevailing geology in a given area is often more like quilt of variable conditions than a solid uniform state, there are always exceptions and as some others have pointed out, they exist in the Clarion watershed as well. There are always a number of streams in the drainage that (if other conditions like scour, sedimentation, summer drought and acid shocks from snow melt, etc. are not too severe) support decent numbers of wild fish and will hold stocked fish fairly well. The upper section of the main stem of Spring Creek and the stream's East Br. have a history of being among these exceptions when other conditions are right. But generally, ANF streams seem to be more prone to boom and bust cycles than the streams in just about any other area of the state when taken as a group. So, often their status as exceptions doesn't last very long. All PA small freestone trout populations wax and wane in response to conditions, but these highs and lows seem to be more abrupt and ephemeral in ANF streams for some reason.

But again, sort of back to Pat's points, you can see the effects of this geological patchwork in all the watersheds of the ANF. In the Tionesta drainage from say Lynch to the Reservoir for example, the streams that enter the creek from the north have historically been better wild trout producers than the ones that enter from the south. And as a group, the north to south flowing tribs of the WB Tionesta, at least those that enter below Chapman Dam, are probably in the top tier of the best wild trout streams in the ANF. Yet the WB itself and its tribs above Chapman Dam are pretty poor and pretty acidic.

So, its all kind of a crap shoot and highly variable. Spring Creek may well be one of the better streams in the Clarion drainage, but it still historically hasn't been a very good trout stream, even by ANF standards.

One last thing.. I tend to think another factor, albeit it of lesser importance than prevailing geology, that hampers trout recruitment in portions of the Clarion watershed is the presence of a fairly dense sand substrate in the middle and upper portions of some of the streams. Bear Creek and Spring Creek both have extensive sections of this substrate, which isn't much good for spawning or supporting a forage base. The once highly acidified (and last I heard, now limestone treated) Mill Creek (near Ridgeway) is another with a lot of sand in the streambed as is, over the hill, much of the South Br. of Tionesta Creek, another mediocre trout stream.

All this, IMO of course...:)

Posted on: 2013/2/21 9:51


Re: Spring Creek Allegheny NF Fishing Info

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2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
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Here's a snapshot of the geology of the region. This is zoomed out and low resolution for the sake of this forum, but the pdf file is zoomable and high def, with a legend to tell you what the colors mean.

As a general rule, the yellow, greens, and blues of SW PA are Pennsylvanian formations. shale, sandstone, coal, etc. And if this color makes up much of your watershed, it's probably not a very good trout stream. And yes, this is aside from coal mining activities, it holds even in unmined areas.

The pinks and purples in that area are Mississipian formations. These are also sandstone and shale. They tend to be nutrient poor streams, but often have good wild trout fishing. I don't know if it's the lack of coal, or the fact that the sandstone and shale are a little different in character. The hotter pinks seem to be better, and the pinks gets hotter as you go E/NE from this region.

The orangish brown and browns to the NW and to the east are Devonian, the venango formation and the girard shale. Siltstone and shale. Comparatively, these streams tend to be pretty rich. They also coincide with the extent of glaciation during the last ice age.

As you can see, the Clarion drainage has a high degree of blues and greens. Bad. The south to north flowing tribs of the Tionesta come from the same area. But the north to south flowing tribs of the Tionesta, and the River tribs north of about Oil City, have a lot of purples. Better. As you get up into Kinzua country, which includes the Brokenstraw, upper Allegheny, north of the W Br Tionesta, etc., now you're getting more pinks, and orangish browns. Better yet.

And of course this affects stream chem. Characteristics such as gradient, temperature, structure, etc. have to be there too, and aren't shown by this map.

Attach file:



jpg  NW PA Geology.JPG (206.83 KB)
1353_51264ccbd641f.jpg 1152X864 px

Posted on: 2013/2/21 11:35



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