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FLY FISHING CLARKS CREEK IN PENNSYLVANIA

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Clarks Creek is located along Route 325, just outside Pennsylvania's capital city of Harrisburg. It is a small stream with gin-clear waters and fussy trout. A thick canopy of foliage keeps this stream cool all season, and provides great terrestrial fishing during the summer months.

Originating near Tower City, Clarks Creek flows southwest for approximately 20 miles before entering the Susquehanna River near Daupin. Midway between the creek's origin and the Susquehanna is Dehart Reservoir, which was built with the damming of Clarks Creek. The creek consists of some nice quiet pools, runs, and pocket water. Route 325 provides access to the river along its entire length, giving anglers ample access points.

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The upper reaches, above Dehart Reservoir, are very narrow and tight. Here, casting can be difficult due to the abundance of overhanging trees and brush. The stretch, however, is full of native brook trout as well as stocked browns and rainbows. The fish in the upper portion also are a lot less fussy.

The lower half of Clarks Creek is where most people fish. Here, the creek is approximately 30- to 40-feet wide in most spots, and casting is a lot easier.

Hatch Chart
Fish are well stocked throughout this stretch, and those in the 10- to 15-inch range are readily available. You'll also find some larger fish in the 16- to 20-inch class that lie in some of the deeper pools and runs. Wild and holdover fish also can be found in some areas of the creek. The water can be gin clear, and stalking fish with light, long leaders (7X and 8X at times) is almost always a must, especially in the summer months when water levels drop. In the length of stream from Dehart Reservoir down to the Susquehanna, there is a 1.9-mile stretch of Delayed Harvest Fly Fishing Only (DHFFO) water that runs from the PGC parking area S.R. 325 downstream to PGC access road at the Iron Furnace. This area is located about midway between the reservoir and Susquehanna River. The DHFFO area is clearly marked, and consists of some beautiful water that will satisfy almost every angler.

Hatches on Clarks Creek are reasonably prolific. There are good numbers of Mayflies including Black Stones, Hendricksons, Blue Winged Olives, Sulpurs, and Light Cahills. Other Mayflies, Caddis, and Stoneflies also hatch on the river and provide fairly good fishing. By mid-June, Terrestrials take over the majority of the fishing. Ants, beetles, and especially inchworms are the favored foods for these trout. Nymphs and streamers also work well at given times.

Clarks Creek offers some fine angling close to Pennsylvania's capital city. Cool water, abundant trout, and a good food supply keep this creek healthy and satisfying to its anglers. Be sure to mark Clarks Creek down on your map, so you won't miss it the next time you visit Harrisburg or the surrounding area. This is a creek you'll be glad you don't miss.