By: Chris Shaffer
When we filmed Pautzke Outdoors Saturday morning at Little Pine Creek it was the first time we’d ever been there. In fact, we knew nothing about it. If it weren’t for the GPS coordinates on the PA Fish & Boat App we would have never known where to go or what areas were stocked with trout. Fortunately, we were directed to one of the prettiest waters we filmed on in the Keystone State.
Little Pine Creek, often overshadowed by its larger neighbor Pine Creek, is clear, cold and loaded with trout – at least right now. The creek – above and below Little Pine Lake – was stocked with trout Friday and has high inventories of mostly rainbows now. As with all PA stocked streams those numbers will decrease daily as anglers take their limits. We fished in Little Pine State Park in the morning, took a lunch break and then migrated to the upper section around midday. In the upper section we fished with the crowds again. This time just below the delayed harvest boundary.
While action was excellent for some and poor for others we were fortunate to read the water correctly and caught and released more than two dozen trout on the lower section and four dozen on the upper section. We spent about two hours on each section. All the trout were rainbows. We didn’t catch any big ones, nor did we see anyone else catch any. The average trout was between 10-13 inches.
Below Little Pine Lake we fished throughout the state park, basically from the base of the dam on downriver through the busy campground and for another 200 yards below the only bridge. It’s the same stretch of water everyone fishes. And it sees heavy pressure. Some of the holes that were obvious stocking points had five anglers in them. On this section we caught trout on Pink Shrimp and Gold Garlic Fire Balls and Garlic Salmon Egg Fire Bait rolled into a Fire Worm rather than a ball. Trout were holding in pocket water, along undercut banks and in deeper holes.
As we moved above the dam the crowds grew. Anywhere access was easy we saw roughly 10-20 anglers. That was too much for our liking so we migrated above where most of them were fishing and looked for long, deep runs and pockets. This is where we found the most success. Above the lake we switched over to Natural Deluxe eggs, Peach Fire Bait (rolled as a Fire Worm, again) and Orange Shrimp Fire Balls. All of them were fished on six-pound test and a size 12-14 single salmon egg hook teamed with a Water Gremlin BB split shot to keep the eggs down in the water column. We used a bobber the entire day to keep from getting hung up and allow our eggs to drift freely in the current.
Editor’s Note: Pautzke Fire Bait and Fire Balls are available at Walmart and Bass Pro. For more information on trout stocking in PA please visit: http://www.fishandboat.com/Fish/Stocking/Pages/default.aspx.