Cold water, GORE-TEX waders, and fly rods filled day No. 2 of the “Choose-Your-Alleghenies-Adventure” trip, where winner Andy Wright and the crew joined guide Eric Stroup of Spruce Creek Fly Co. for a full day of trout hunting on the Little Juniata River.
The “Little J,” as it’s locally known, is a gorgeous, rock-bottom stream in the Alleghenies of central Pennsylvania. We fished a section near the town of Spruce Creek, where limestone bedrock pumps spring water from surrounding bluffs at a consistent 52 degrees, according to our guide. The result is year-round open and running fishable water.
Former President Jimmy Carter is said to enjoy fly fishing in the Spruce Creek area. So as we drove from State College, Pa., to Spruce Creek Fly Co.‘s headquarters I knew we were in for some high-quality angling. After a quick fly-tying demo — and an introduction to guide Stroup’s newborn son! — we drove 10 minutes to a fish-friendly stretch of water.
For the next few hours, Andy Wright and the crew took pointers from Stroup and Todd Lepley, a fly-fish aficionado from Pittsburgh, attempting to land a big brown. Felt-bottom boots eased over slippery submerged stone. We crept in and threw lines, flies drifting, waiting for the fish to take. Dozens of bites — plus six caught (and released) fish — made for an exciting few hours on the water. The day even involved one impromptu swim, where Andy Wright went “polar bear” on the group and stripped to shorts for a dip in frigid waters as the sun went down! A few photos from the day below.