Valley Forge National Park, Pennsylvania, June 12, 2009
Rain, rain and more rain. I was sick of all the rain. But there was a break in the weather pattern so Jin invited me to fish with him for a couple of days at Valley Creek.

I drove up in the morning and we were on the water by mid-afternoon. Valley Creek is a Class-A wild brown trout fishery just outside of Philadelphia. This body of water is catch-and-release and originates in East Whiteland Township and flows 12 miles to the Schuylkill River. The lower half in Valley Forge National Park has the most access for the public.

Jin has fished this area a couple of times and was familiar with the water. He warned me that a stealthy approach, long leaders and a drag-free presentation were required if you wanted to catch fish because this creek is heavily fished and the trout are very educated.

We began with size 18 caddis about 100-yards below a steel bridge and started fishing our way up. A good part of the creek is narrow and shallow with heavy undergrowth right up to the edge of the water and lots of overhanging foliage to snag sloppy casting. The water was running a bit high and colored from all the recent rain. Jin quickly drew several hits and landed a fish as we walked slowly up the creek, hugging the bank on the left side.
After we passed the bridge Jin pointed out a rising fish about 25 feet away. I threw a couple of casts but the currents were tricky and the fly dragged as it drifted past. But finally I put one in the right spot and was rewarded with a fish, a nice Valley Creek brown that fought like a fish twice its size.

We continued to fish up the creek. The water in this section held some deeper pools and I decided to nymph while Jin continued ahead using a dry fly. On my second drift through a pool I pulled in another nice wild brown on a size 14 MMS with a size 18 caddis emerger. Jin pulled in a couple of more fish above me.
Pretty soon it was getting dark. We checked the time and it was a bit past 8pm, so we figured it was time to get out of there and find some dinner in Philadelphia before getting ready for the next day.

EQUIPMENT: We used 4-weight rods and leaders that were 12-feet long, tapering to 7X tippet. Flies that worked best were size 16-18 caddis.

DIRECTIONS: Valley Forge National Park is open 6am-10pm. From Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and points southeast use U.S. 202 north to U.S. 422 west. From U.S. 422 west take Route 23 west for 1.8 miles then turn left at the exit ramp and merge to the center lane. The entrance to Valley Forge National Park is straight ahead.