The Pohopoco first caught my interest years ago when I was a banker.
I was doing business well upstream at a place the stream passes through
private property. Big Lakers were stacked up like cordwood on that October
When I want to learn about a stream I go to Charlie Meck's book, (Remember
Charlie from the Trico Brunch?) or the book by Dwight Landis. But the
Pennsylvania stream authority I respect the most is Don Douple. I've fished
with many flyfishing legends. Don takes a back seat to none of them. His
knowledge of Pennsylvania streams is nothing less than extraordinary. He is
also a wizard with a fly rod. If you want to learn about trout, listen to
Don whenever you have the opportunity. Don will be doing programs for the
shop this winter. He also appears at most Fly-fishing club meetings throughout
the northeast. If you have the chance to have him speak at your event, don't
miss him! Most of the information in this articled was gleaned from Don's
The Pohopoco begins near Merwinsburg. The portion between Merwinsburg and
Effort holds wild Browns and Brookies. Their is thick Rododendron and some
The stretch between Effort and Gilbert is about 20 feet wide. It is small
and brushy with lots of weeds and some posting. This area holds wild Browns
as well as some Brooks and Bows. Springs in the Gilbert area provide
As the water flows to its confluence with Dotters Creek (near Kresgeville.)
it is slow, brushy and swampy with a soft bottom. Although difficult to wade,
the effort is worthwhile as this area holds some big Trout.
Don caught seven species of fish, on a fly, in one day here. (Browns, Rainbows, Largemouth Bass, Fallfish, Yellow Perch, Sunfish and Brook Trout.)
In the the Gilbert area, the stream is about 20 feet wide From it's
confluence with Dotters to the Beltzville dam the stream isn't
stocked by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, due to the outstanding
wild trout population. There is scattered posting and limited parking.
The stream consists of riffles, runs and pools.
Jack Reichelderfer, one of my favorite storytellers, (he was featured at the Trico Brunch)
tells me of 9 pound Browns in in the lake, but the lake should be the subject
of it's own article.
Between the Beltzville Dam and the dam at Parryville the stream is mostly
open with some posting. There are wild Browns here. Some are large but
most are 10 inchers. This stretch is also stocked by the PF&BC. In addition,
if there is a major flood, the commercial hatchery's lose trout to Big
Creek. There is very little parking here except for the area of the turnpike
and below the dam. Be prepared to walk!
From Parryville dam upstream to Route 209 at the turnpike the stream is
Many folks fish the area from the dam at Parryville to the confluence with
the Lehigh River for the wild Browns and fish from the Lehigh River (stocked
by the Lehigh River Stocking Associatiion.) that enter the river to take
advantage of the cooler water in the summer and warmer water in the winter.
This phenominon occurs thanks to the bottom release feature of Beltzville
Dam. This stretch is fishable in winter and open during the extended season.
Main hatches are:
Hendricksons in April
Caddis in May
Isonycia (Slate Drakes) throughout the summer.
Give Big Creek a try. You'll like it!