By central Pennsylvania standards, Penns Creek is a large trout stream. Penns offers about 35 miles of good, fishable water, of which 11 miles are managed under All Tackle Trophy, or Catch and Release regulations. These special regulation areas offer fabulous fishing opportunities for wild brown trout. The water upstream of Coburn and the waters downstream of Cherry Run are stocked with hatchery-raised trout but also have a wild trout population. The water in between these points is strictly managed as a wild trout fishery, and has not been stocked since the mid 1990s.
In addition to offering a great wild fish population, Penns Creek's beautiful, remote surroundings provide abundant wildlife and scenic views. The character of this stream varies greatly along its length. Some sections are comprised of riffles and runs 20 feet wide while others stretches have long deep pools that are over 80 feet wide.
To the anguish and delight of the fly fisher, Penns Creek may offer the largest and most diverse insect population of Pennsylvania's streams. It has all the classic mayfly hatches including Hendricksons, Blue Winged Olives, March Browns, Sulphurs, Cahills, Isonychia, Tricos, in addition to its famous Green Drake hatch. These hatches often overlap during the peak season, keeping the fish active while perplexing even the seasoned fisherman. Penns Creek also hosts a variety of caddis and has a good stonefly and cranefly population in addition to scuds and cress bugs.
Penns upper reaches flow through rich farmland and the run off, during rainy periods has a great impact on water clarity. Penns Creek is often the first to muddy and the last to clear in the early season. This waterway is also the first to warm up as summer approaches. Water temperatures, especially during dry summers can exceede 75 degrees, impacting the fishing until the cooler temperatures of fall return.