I fish area waters through out the year but mid-March to mid-November are considered peak times. Fishing is fishing though - I recall several trips during the "off season" which turned out to be some of the most memorable of the entire year! Full, three quarter, or half day trips are all available but when possible to schedule them, full day trips offer the most complete experience during the peak season. Over the winter season, half to three quarter day recommended. Reservations for winter season trips are "penciled in" and subject to change depending upon weather conditions.
Species You Fish for by Season:
Wild brook, brown, and rainbow trout are our primary targets. Inevitably, some stocked trout will be mixed in most streams except the spring creeks, Letort and Big Spring. Seasonal trips to medium-sized warmwater streams for smallmouth bass are part of the season here.
Yellow Breeches Creek has the widest range of fly hatches, from grannom caddis and Hendricksons in the spring, through tricos, white flies, little blue-winged olives, and October caddis from late summer through fall. Monitor the stream report for the Yellow Breeches on the Orvis website for more details. Spring creek hatches on Letort and Big Spring revolve around sulphurs and small BWOs, with some caddisflies in the mix. Midges are ubiquitous and great fishing with terrestrial insect imitations is seasonally available on all streams, where their use and design was pioneered. Smallmouth bass are targeted with small surface bugs, streamers, and crayfish imitations.
Region/Terrain Where You Fish:
Trout streams of the Cumberland Valley are small to medium-sized limestone and spring-creek type waters. All trips are of the walk/wade variety with parking usually close by the fishing areas. Wading on the valley streams such as Yellow Breeches Creek is fairly easy though waist- or chest-high waders are recommended. Most fishing on the true spring creeks—Letort, Big Spring, and others—is done from the bank with just hip boots or similar footwear required. Occasionally, we fish any of several smallish mountain freestone streams. Gradient is slight but some waters are rocky so a light wading staff may be helpful. All fishing is catch and release only.
Typical Weather by Season:
Spring: mid-March through mid-June Cooler weather from mid-March through April often calls for a heavy shirt, a sweater, or fleece and sometimes a breathable rain jacket to block rain or wind. This cool period is very pleasant to fish in, for the most part though. May to mid-June is usually "shirt sleeve" weather but always be prepared. Include a heavy shirt/fleece and a quality, breathable rain jacket in your gear. Stream water temperatures are normally in the prime comfort ranges for trout during this time period.
Summer: mid-June through late August Mornings to early afternoon are the most pleasant times to fish now. Daytime high temperatures range in the mid-80s, occasionally into the 90s. Usually, morning fishing holds up well in the Yellow Breeches while area spring creeks often fish well throughout the day. Mountain streams often have low-water flows and elevated water temperatures now, and do not fish well in hot weather. Occasional thunderstorms, during which we vacate the stream, are part of the weather pattern.
Fall: late August through mid-November Very pleasant days, growing cooler through October and November reverse spring's weather progression. Leaves begin to turn about mid-September with peak color around the third week of October. Leaf fall is rarely a problem especially on the meadow-like spring creeks.
Winter: mid-November through mid-March Mid-to-late November is usually the peak of the trout's spawning season in area streams. After the spawn peaks, the balance of the winter season sees occasional mild weather spells, allowing excellent opportunities for 4 to 6 hour outings on most area streams. We could be nymphing or even dry-fly fishing at times. Dress for 40 to 50 degree weather, including quality breathable rain jackets.