Codorus Creek is a Class A wild trout fishery located in York County, Pennsylvania. The creek used to be stocked with hatchery fish for put-and-take (catch and keep) but the wild trout population established itself to a point where the stream was reclassified as Class A by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission with a substantial portion of the stream placed in the Trophy Trout Program. The stream is very tight with lots of bushes and low overhead tree limbs waiting to snag your fly. This is short rod country and lengths of 8-feet or shorter are needed. The stream is wadable and not very deep but wear thermals and heavy socks under your waders because water temperture is cold, even during the peak of summer. Some sections of creek bottom are covered with thick, sticky mud so watch where you wade. There are also patches of Poison Ivy and thorny vines to avoid.

EQUIPMENT: Short 3 or 4 weight rods with floating lines. You don't need any rod over eight feet long for this creek. The water is very cold but mostly shallow so you might want wear heavy socks under your waders.

DIRECTIONS: I-95 towards Baltimore to 795 Towson to Exit 9B Hanover Pike (30) into Pennsylvania. The road becomes Baltimore Pike (94). Exit Grandview Road, turn right on Blooming grove Road (216) and left on Hoff Road. Codorus State Park and Lake Marburg will be on your right as you travel down Hoff Road. Codorus Creek runs along a CSX rail line and parts of Park Road, Porters Road, Hayrick Road and Thomas Drive. Look for the small yellow signs that indicate fishing areas and parking. Please respect all property owners and don't trash the stream.

August 3, 2007
It was a bad idea.

A heavy thunderstorm blew into York County, Pa., late in the afternoon as Jin and I were fishing a very narrow and brushy section of Codorus Creek. You could hear the thunder closing in fast and small drops of rain were falling so I figured I'd just get one more drift in with the size 16 pheasant tail before stringing up the rod and taking cover. But a tough brown trout had other ideas and took off downstream as the rain came pouring down.

This section of the Codorus was very tight, with heavy overhead tree cover just over your head and steep, muddy banks. The section I was fishing was very narrow and if I extended my arm I could almost touch the other side of the creek with my 8-foot 3 weight. What made this such a sweet spot was a deep run that was about 12 feet long and about four feet deep.

So I fought the fish as the storm blew in and lightning flashed overhead. I finally got the fish close, but had to step out into an open spot in the tree canopy to get my rod high and behind me which meant I was now standing in the open with an 8-foot graphite lighting rod in the air in the middle of a thunderstorm. I grabbed the fish, released it and got out of the water to find Jin.

We had some great fishing July 21 on the Codorus so Jin and I decided to try it again. We were on the water at 8:30am and hiked downstream a bit before getting in to fish. Water temperature was 49 degrees. We started dry fly fishing and I got a fish on my second cast but the action was sporadic. We'd get a fish here and there as we worked upstream so I switched to nymphing while Jin stayed with a dry fly.

I used a size 16 emerger for awhile then used a pheasant tail with little luck so I decided to try a size 16 Montana Mud Snake. That was the key. In seven casts I had five fish. Jin continued to fish on the surface and pulled in a very nice trout on a beetle and another later when he nymphed using a size 16 pheasant tail with hackle. We caught lots of smaller fish but the big ones were really nice and measured over 15 inches.

In the afternoon we decided to fish further upstream and that's where we found ourselves in the middle of a heavy thunderstorm. Rain came down in huge drops, lighting, thunder and wind. The creek was starting to rise so we called it a day and got out of there. When we drove through the town we saw damage--lots of downed trees, lawn furniture on the road, high water at an intersection, a couple of chimney caps in the gutter.

July 21, 2007
Hmmmm. Mow the grass. Or go fishing. Stain the deck. Or go fishing. Do laundry. Or go fishing. It was such a beautiful weekend that it would be a crime to do anything else except go fishing. So I went fishing with Jin. I always blame him for dragging me away from other stuff to go fishing, but my wife is on to that excuse. Anyway, the temperature was in the low 80's and humidity was not an issue so on Jin's suggestion we took a drive into Pennsylvania to fish Codorus Creek.

The Codorus is a small tailwater trout stream located in York County, Pennsylvania. It used to be put and take fishing but a wild brown trout population developed to where the stream was reclassified as a Class A wild trout stream and a good part of its water was placed in the state's trophy trout program.

After driving along some narrow country roads we arrived streamside and took a short hike along a cornfield to reach a short stretch of the creek. The water is very narrow and overgrown on both sides. There are lots of thorn bushes and poison ivy and the banks in most areas are a vertical drop to the water. The footing in the creek goes from gravel to soft, sticky muck that will suck your boots off. One certain way to find a safe spot to put in is to carefully look for the worn paths that lead to small holes in the cover that other fishermen have used.

We picked up (or at least Jin did) a good number of fish in the morning on dry flies. Size 16 or 18 was the key. It really didn't matter what you used, they were hitting everything that floated. I muffed five fish in a row on my first seven casts. I sucked. Jin was working the creek about 50 yards downstream from me and I arrived at his spot just in time to see him land a 12-inch brown. We caught a fish or two more but the surface bite stopped just after noon so we broke for lunch before resuming fishing in the afternoon.

Jin switched to nymphing some of the deeper runs while I stuck to dry flies. Jin killed them on the nymph while I picked up one or two on the dry. After I switched to nymphing my numbers also picked up.

We fished several spots along the Codorus, looking for little parking areas, entering the water to quickly fish some spots before moving on. In all it was a good day to fish and we probably caught 20-plus trout, with Jin picking up the lion's share of the catch.