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
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.
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.
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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.
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.