Malvern, Pennsylvania, June 13, 2009
Jin and I were up around 6:30am to explore the upper sections of Valley Creek. Most of the guide books focus on the lower section of the Creek where there are numerous access points for the public. However the upper section is supposed to fish better but access to the public is limited due to posted land. Our plan was to scout out these areas and maybe find a few legal access points to the creek.

After a couple of false starts we found ourselves at Valley Creek Park. Valley Creek Park is located in East Whiteland Township near the Great Valley Corporate Center, a complex of office parks, and between the towns of Malvern and Charlestown on PA 29, N. Morehall Road. The park is very well kept with picnic areas, playgrounds, hiking trails, and a fishing pier. There was only one other car in the parking lot when we pulled in.

We geared up and walked down the trail to the fishing pier. There, spread before us, was a pile of fish. The pier sat next to a bridge and below the bridge and pier was a long, deep hole that held fish of all sizes. The water was clear and you could watch them finning midwater and on the bottom. Some of these fish are quite decent in size. We were tempted to drop lines right there but we figured if it was this good near the park then hiking up the trail and fishing would possibly be even better.

We began wading upstream but quickly found a trail that paralleled the creek. Along the way we stopped to check out deep runs and holes and at almost every spot we poked our heads out we spooked fish. There were fish in the shallow water and fish in the deep water. None were huge, but these were wild browns and there were quite a few of them around. The creek isn't very wide and lots of foliage grows right up to and over the water.

We finally stopped walking and began fishing because we wanted to move fast and hit other locations throughout the day, not spend all our time fishing Valley Creek in one spot. Jin tied on a fly and after a few casts had a fish. After a few more cast he got a few more fish. I moved 20-yards further upstream from Jin and began to cast.

After several refusals Jin told me all the fish he caught were hitting a size 18 parachute dry fly so I switched and immediately drew a vicious strike and I soon landed a nice fish. I rested the water for a bit and when fish began rising again I'd cast and pull in another fish.
It was fun, but I noticed I had spent an hour standing in the same spot. So much for moving fast and covering ground. I moved up and saw that Jin had already left so I decided to move quickly too, but not until I had caught a fish or two from the spot he vacated.

After that I moved fast and fished only at what I thought were the best spots. Along the way I spooked a ton of fish. Even walking on the trail, if fish saw movement they would scatter so stealth was vital.

As I came around a bend in the creek I bumped into a bunch of local Trout Unlimited members on a cleanup activity. They told me they were removing trash that had washed out of a dump during the heavy rains over the past week. I told them I appreciated their efforts and we talked a bit about what the creek used to be and what it's becoming today. Bottom line--it was almost dead in this section but due to their preservation efforts it's now possible to catch some nice fish in this stretch of water. They told me that some parts of the creek you'll find fish in the 15 to 18-inch range and that's pretty good for Eastern wild brown trout in an urban setting.

I caught up with Jin at the fishing pier and we tried hooking a few of the larger fish in the pool but these guys were pretty smart. You figure if you spend your days in a pool next to a fishing pier, you've probably seen every type of fly or lure by now. I tried several nymphs and dries and at best had four trout rush the fly only to refuse at the last moment. Oh well, it was fun anyway.

EQUIPMENT: We used 4-weight rods and shorter leaders. The creek is tight so you can't have very much line out.

DIRECTIONS: Valley Creek Park is located at 361 N. Morehall Road on PA 29 outside of Malvern, Pennsylvania.