Copyright 2017 James Marsh
Fly Fishing Slate Run Creek
The state of Pennsylvania doesn't have many
freestone streams. Most of their waters are limestone
spring creeks. Slate Run is an exception. Its not only a
freestone stream, it's prime pocket water located in a
rugged, mountainous setting in a very unpopulated
area of the otherwise heavy populated state. The
creek is a tributary of Pine Creek and located in Pine
Wild brook trout and a few brown trout reside in the
upper part of the stream and wild brown trout make
their home in the lower section. Most anglers prefer
the brown trout fishing in the lower section.
The stream is only about seven miles long. You would
think that one could fish its entire course in a relatively
short time but that is far from being true. It flows
through a canyon like cut through the side of the
mountain the locals call the gorge. It has only a few
access points that are close to a road. It is situated in
rugged country and you must do some hiking up and
down steep declines to get to some areas of the
The stream is formed by the confluence of Francis
Branch and Cushman Branch, both little wild trout
streams with browns and brook trout. Not far below
that, Morris Run and Mannor Fork add their water to
Slate Run Road runs along the stream but it is
situated high above it. You can pull off the road and
walk down any one of a number of angler made trails
to reach the gorge part of the stream.
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Photo Courtesy of David Knapp Photography
Recommended Tackle & Gear
4, 5 or 6 weight
Dry fly: 9 &12 ft., 5 or 6X, Nymphing:
71/2 ft., 3 or 4X, Streamers 0-2X
Dry fly: 5 or 6X, Nymphing: 3 or 4X,
Best Fly Rods:
Perfect Fly Supreme Four, Superb Five
or Ultimate Six
For 4/5/6 fly line
Fly Floatants and Misc Items:
Floatants, KISS Strike Indicators
Tools & Accessories:
Nippers, forceps, retractors, etc.
Slate Run Fishing Report:
11/06/13 The water is much cooler than it
has been and the surface action has just
about ceased. Look for tiny BWOs on cloudy
days, but mostly cream midges will be what
you will likely find hatching. One customer
reporting catching 6 trout in a half day trip on
our PF Little BWO nymph.
Fly fishing Slate Run Creek is possible
On nice, warm, winter days when the water
temperature reaches into the mid forties,
trout can be taken in the slower runs and
The fishing in early spring depends on the
stream flow and melting snow. Late spring
is normally a good time to fish. May is
probably the best month of all.
Slate Run Fly Fishing Guide
The methods, tactics and techniques you should use
fly fishing Slate Run Creek varies with the seasons.
The water level varies greatly and much of your
strategy depends on water levels. Both low and high
water levels make for difficult fishing.
The images show above were take during late August
during a very dry time. Even though the water was
low, we were able to catch plenty of trout. The stream
has a good population of wild brown trout and brook
trout. It has many small tributary streams, most of
which contain wild brook trout.
Slate Run is a tributary of Pine Creek. The lower
section of the stream just above Pine Creek is the
most popular area to fish. I might also mention that
another popular Pennsylvania trout stream is nearby -
Cedar Run as well as Pine Creek, which is also a
good trout stream.
Its lower seven miles are designated as
fly-fishing only water. The stream has some
rather large pools, riffles and runs, and
even some areas with rapids when the
water level is ranging from normal to high.
Early spring usually requires larger
nymphs and small streamers because the
water is normally high. When the water
levels get normal and the hatches begin,
anglers switch to fishing in an upstream
direction with dries and small nymphs.
Normal pocket water fishing techniques
work well during periods of normal water
Near the end of June, the water is usually
reaching a low level but of course, this
varies considerably from year to year.
When it does get low, anglers switch to
longer, lighter leaders and tippets. It
requires a lot more effort to stay hidden
and to keep from spooking the trout.
The better brown trout fishing usually
occurs early in the morning or very late in
the day. The brook trout fishing can
continue to be good even during the hot
The autumn season is the best time to
catch a larger brown trout. Anglers usually
stalk the larger trout that move upstream
to spawn. Nymphs and streamers become
the primary flies used.
The wild trout in Slate Run can become
very selective at times. It is always better
to match what is most plentiful and
available for the trout to eat. This includes
nymphs and larvae, not just matching the
Our Perfect Flies have proven to be very
successful by several of our regular
customers who fish this stream.
Slate Run Hatches and Trout Flies:
Our information on aquatic insects is based
on our stream samples of larvae and
nymphs, not guess work. We base fly
suggestions on imitating the most plentiful
and most available insects and other foods
at the particular time you are fishing. Unlike
the generic fly shop trout flies, we have
specific imitations of all the insects in Slate
Run and in all stages of life that are
applicable to fishing. If you want to fish
better, more realistic trout flies, have a
much higher degree of success, give us a
call. We not only will help you with
selections, you will learn why, after trying
Perfect Flies, 92% of the thousands of our
customers will use nothing else.
The first hatches of the year are usually the
Little Black Early Stoneflies that hatch in
March. There will also be some Little Brown
Early Stoneflies. They hatch for about a
Also in March, you will find the first
Blue-winged Olives starting to hatch. The
many different species will hatch off and on
until early Fall. There will be a peak in the
hatch again in June and then again in late
September and October.
April starts the hatches of Blue Quills and
Quill Gordons. Both of these mayflies start
to hatch about the same time the water
reaches about 50 degrees. The Quill
Gordon hatch last for about a month but the
Blue Quills can continue to come off for up
to two months.
The first three weeks of May, you will usually
find the Hendricksons hatching. These
include the Red Quill, of course. About the
same time the American March Browns will
begin to hatch. They will continue through
the first week or two of June.
Sulphurs will also start hatching about the
middle of May. The hatch can last until the
middle of June.
Light Cahills and Pale Evening Duns both
start to hatch around the first of June and
continue until the second week of July.
In the slower to moderate flowing sections
of water, there will be some Brown Drakes
that start hatching in mid May. They
hatch for about three weeks at the
Green Drakes hatch from the same water
as the Brown Drakes. It too starts in the
middle of May and last as long as a
month. These are not large hatches but
they can be significant in the areas they
You will also find the Slate Drakes
starting to hatch about the first of June.
This hatch can last for a long time but not
in any large quantities. Tricos will hatch in
July and last on into August. These are
found in the slower to moderate water.
Caddisflies are also very plentiful in Slate
Run. The most abundant species are the
Spotted Sedges and Cinnamon Sedges.
These net-spinners are very plentiful.
The different species start hatching
around the first of May and continue until
early Fall. Green Sedges are also found
in the riffles and runs. There are several
other species of caddisflies, but none are
Terrestrial insects become important
about the middle of June and remain a
source of food for the trout through the
month of September. Ants and beetles
are the most plentiful but inch worms and
grasshoppers can also be important.
We recommend our own "Perfect Fly"
imitations not just because we sell them
but because they are the most realistic
imitations you can use to match the hatch
that are commercially available. We have
imitations of all the important insects.
Summertime is probably the most
consistent time for fly fishing Slate Run
Creek although late summer can bring
some low water conditions that make it
Fall is an excellent time to fish provided
the water is not too low. The brown trout
spawn in the fall and the scenery is
Thumbnails: Click to enlarge
Thumbnails: Click to enlarge
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Fishing Report Updated 03/19/17
12/14/13 Customer ordering flies (midges,
BWO and streamers) reporting water has
had slush ice and there have been bad
road conditions hampering fishing for the
last two weeks. No one has been fishing.
01/06/13 Slate Run water continues to be in
the mid thirties or lower and fly fishing
opportunities are very limited. Local contact
reporting. Wait for some warmer weather.
01/13/14 Slightly warmer weather but
higher water levels. No reports of
anyone fishing during the past week.
01/27/14 No reports from anglers but
there is a good week of clear weather
ahead and not a bad week for some
02/03/14 Still no reports of anglers
catching trout but one customer
ordered flies to fish this coming week.
02/10/14 We had one customer ordering
flies getting ready for April but no reports
of anyone fishing.
02/17/14 There is much warmer
weather in the forecast but watch the
stream levels. There is some rain
headed this way.
02/24/14 Stream levels are a little high
and cooler weather in the forecast. No
reports from anyone fishing.
03/03/14 Stream levels are back a little
below normal. Cold the first of the
week but warming as it progresses.
03/10/14 Two customers ordering flies
but no reports from anyone fishing.
03/17/14 Local contact reporting he
caught a couple of browns this past week
but spotted no one else fishing.
Conditions should be improving soon.
03/31/43 The stream level is currently
very high and it will be some time
before it gets lower enough to wade.
04/07/14 The stream is back down but it
is raining now. BWOs, Little Brown
stoneflies, Blue Quills and Quill Gordons
should start to hatch.
|Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (email@example.com)
with the dates you will be fishing this
stream and we will send you a list of our
fly suggestions. Please allow up to 24
hours for a response.
2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will help
you decide which flies you need.
3. Email us (firstname.lastname@example.org)
with a budget for flies and we will select
them to match the budget and get them to
you in time for your fly fishing trip.
All orders are shipped free in the
U. S. Orders over $50 are shipped via
04/14/14 Two good reports from
customers came in from Slate Creek this
past week. Hatches have started and
anglers catching trout.
04/21/14 More good reports from this
stream. The water is slow to warm up
compared to some Pa streams but Blue
Quills, BWO's and Little Black caddis
are showing up.
04/28/14 More good reports from
anglers catching trout. Blue Quills, Quill
Gordons still king of the hatches.
05/05/14 Look for Green sedges, or
caddisflies, to start hatching. March
Browns will hatch in the riffles and runs.
The water has been high this past week.
05/12/14 Plenty of hatches are
underway and anglers are reporting
good fishing. Watch the stream levels
this coming week, there rain forecast.
05/19/14 No reports from anyone
fishing this past week probably due to
rain and high flows.
05/26/14 The stream levels have
dropped down but still a little high.
There's a chance of rain for a couple
of days and then clearing.
06/02/14 Two customers order more
flies reported the fishing was good
recently. They are catching trout on
several different patterns/. Stream
levels are okay at this time.
06/09/14 The stream is in good shape
with anglers catching trout consistently.
Several hatching are underway
including Little Yellow Stones, Light
Cahills and others.
06/16/14 High water has been a problem
but is now much better. Two customers
reporting catching several trout using
streamers and high stickin nymphs.
06/23/16 The stream is back in good
condition and with some hatches such as
Light Cahills and Little Yellow S.F. taking
07/07/14 Some high water the past few
days but back down in good condition.
Two customers reporting good catches.
07/21/14 Many hatches have ended
but terrestrials and caddis species will
work good. Two customers reporting
hatches of Little Yellow Stoneflies.
07/28/14 Be sure to check the water
levels. They are high but falling,
otherwise conditions are good.
08/11/14 Two more great fishing reports
from the past week came in. Little Yellow
Stoneflies and Slate Drakes are
producing the best.
08/18/14 A customer reported catching
some nice trout on our Japanese Beetles
09/01/14 The cool snap helped but the
temps are headed back up again. Three
good reports came in the past two weeks.
Cinnamon Caddis, Green Sedges, Slate
Drake and terrestrials are working.
09/15/14 More good fishing reports from
customers ordering more flies. They are
catching plenty of trout on a variety of flies
including our terrestrials.
09/22/14 Still more good reports. The
cooler weather is really helping and
anglers are catching a good number of
10/06/14 The recent rain has helped to
low water situation and fishing should
again be very good. BWOs are starting to
10/13/14 Fishing has continued to be
good but what the stream levels, There is
a lot of rain headed that way this week.
10/20/14 Fishing has been good but
there is a lot of rain in the forecast for
the next few days. Watch the levels.
10/27/14 Good conditions exist and plenty
of trout are being caught. BWOs and our
Brown Sculpin are the top produces.
11/09/14 One good report from the past
week from a customer using our BWOs.
12/03/14 High water levels and/or very
cold temperatures have hampered the fly
fishing opportunities the past three
weeks. It is warming us some and fishing
should improve. Midges and small BWO
should be the ticket.
12/14/14 Much better stream levels and
warmer weather has helped the opportunity.
Few anglers fishing but two that did fish
caught a few trout. BWO's and Midges.
12/22/14 No reports from last week but
conditions are very good. Good levels
and good winter weather.
12/28/14 High water levels exist now but
they are falling fast.
01/04/15 Stream levels got back near
normal but more rain has them rising fast.
Watch the levels.
01/25/15 Stream levels are fine but the
water is very cold. No reports from the
o2/01/15 We did get one report from a
loyal customer braving the cold weather
that caught some trout this past week on
our cream midge larva and pupa combo.
02/15/15 We didn't receive any report from
anyone fishing this past two weeks. Very
cold weather is ahead this coming week.
02/22/15 No reports but it has been very
cold. The water will warm up a little this
03/01/15 Still no reports from anyone fishing
but the coming week will be much better.
03/08/15 The water is warming us some with
better weather but it is still cold, in the mid
forties at the highest. It will be getting better
03/15/15 No reports from last week. Stream
levels have been high. The water is warming
us some. Let us hear from you.
03/22/16 Still no reports from anyone
fishing. Water levels are back down.
03/29/15 Water levels are down again
but no reports from anyone fishing.
04/05/15 The water should warm and little
brown stoneflies, BWOs start hatching.
04/12/15 The water is warmer and several
hatches have started in the lower elevations.
Two good reports from customers this week.
04/19/15 It will be a little cooler this coming
week but hatches have started and
conditions are very good for this time of the
04/26/15 Snow/rain forecast through
Tuesday and again Thursday. Watch the
05/17/15 The past two weeks have been
good but recent rain is affecting the levels,
so be certain to check them.
05/23/15 Great conditions now. Rain
forecast most of the next week so watch the
levels. Lots of hatches underway.
05/31/15 The water was up for a couple of
days but back down. Green Drakes, Brown
drakes, Slate Drakes, Green sedges,
Cinnamon Sedges and Little Yellow
06/07/15 Stream levels are back down
near normal and plenty of hatches taking
place. As good as it gets.
06/14/15 Two good reports from the last
week from customers catching some nice
brown trout. Conditions remain very good.
06/21/15 stream levels are high but should
fall out fast with low water table.
07/05/15 It is possible to wade if you
carefully select the areas. It is falling fast
and hopefully will be in good shape soon.
07/12/15 A few nice trout have been caught
this past week. Stream levels are still a little
07/19/15 A chance of rain through Tuesday,
then clearing. Two good reports last week,
08/02/15 Several good reports from the past
two weeks. Light Cahills, Yellow sallies, and
more insects hatching.
08/09/15 Some rain and cooler weather this
coming week should really help Slate Run.
08/16/15 Good stream levels and little chance
of rain but much hotter weather this coming
08/23/15 Mahogany duns are starting to
hatch. Slightly cooler weather is also helping.
08/30/15 It is turning back warm and the
stream is a little low, otherwise thing are in
09/06/15 Plenty of tricos, Mahogany duns,
BWOs, Cinnamon Caddis and more. Good
09/13/15 The rain and cooler weather should
really help the "catching". There are still a few
hatches taking place. Watch the stream levels.
09/27/15 Great conditions exist now, but watch
the stream levels. There's more rain on the
way. Browns are getting in the pre-spawn
mode, being aggressive.
10/11/15 We have received two good reports
during the past two weeks. Great Brown
Autumn Sedges and BWOs are hatching.
10/25/15 There have been some problems with
stream levels the past two weeks but when it
has been wadable, our customers have caught
trout. The browns are aggressive and getting
ready to spawn. Our Brown Sculpin will fool
them. BWOs are hatching again.
11/01/15 Stream levels are up just a little but
falling. It will be clear for the next week and
levels will be wadable after another day or two..
11/15/15 Stream levels have been very high
but it has been dropping out and getting back
into good shape. Hatches are down to Midges
and Blue-winged Olives. The Brown sculpin is
a must fly.
11/29/15 Right now conditions are excellent
but rain will begin Tuesday and Wednesday
and we expect higher stream levels. You
should be on the water NOW.
12/13/15 The river is in great shape level wise
and trout are being caught by our customers.
Little BWO nymphs and midges. Winter
stoneflies are hatching.
12/20/15 It doesn't get any better at this time
of the year than it is now and it looks good for
the next week.
12/26/15 The stream levels is high but okay
right now, but based on the forecast, will be
too high to wade most of the coming week.
01/10/16 There is a chance of snow from now
through Wednesday. :Pine is about 2700 cfs at
3.82 feet or very high at this time. It is falling
and should continue to do so.
01/24/16 The water is very cold, averaging
about 35 degrees. We do not recommend
fishing at this water temp. The weather this
coming week isn't that bad and maybe it will
01/31/16 The stream level is in good shape
and the water clear. The water is about 38
02/07/16 The stream is very high and of color.
It will be three days or more before it gets down
to safe wading levels.
02/21/16 The stream is flowing fast and high
and is slightly stained. The water temperature
is only 36 and fishing is tough.
02/28/16 The creek is still too high to wade.
There is more rain in the forecast, so you will
have to watch the levels.
03/06/16 Conditions are getting into good
shape with levels falling back down and the
weather getting much warmer. BWO's will be
the main insect to imitate and may hatch.
03/13/16 Levels are fine at the moment, but a
lot of rain is on the way and the levels will be
rising. BWO are hatching. Quill Gordons, Blue
Quills, Little Black Caddis, and little Brown
stoneflies will be hatching around the first of
April. Now is the time to get prepared.
03/20/16 Stream levels are still okay and BWOs
and midges hatching. Some rain is in the
forecast but conditions should remain good.
03/27/16 Good conditions exist with
Blue-winged olives and midges hatching. The
water is getting warmer and big time hatches of
Blue Quills, Little Brown stones, little Black
Caddis, Quill Gordons and larger BWOs soon.
04/10/16 The cool weather has ended and
the rain will end Tuesday. Stream levels are
back down some, It will get warmer and the
hatches mentioned above will begin.
04/17/16 The weather is warmer, stream
levels fine, and hatches taking place good.
Blue Winged Olive, little Black Grannon
Caddis, Quill Gordons, Hendricksons and Red
Quills, and Little Brown stoneflies.
04/24/16 Good stream level for wading and
good weather forecast equals good fishing for
the coming week, with lots of hatches.
05/01/16 Stream levels have been a little low
but rain is coming this next week. American
March Browns have started hatching good.
05/07/16 The stream is clear and can be
waded safely in most sections but there's a lot
of rain in the forecast. Watch the levels.
05/15/16 The water levels are fine and our
customers are catching a lot of trout. March
Browns, Light Cahills, Sulphurs, Little Yellow
stones and other insects are hatching.
05/22/16 Stream levels are in good shape at
this time. There is some rain in the forecast but
hopefully, it won't adversely affect the levels.
05/29/16 The stream levels are in good shape
with lots of hatches. Slate Drakes have begin
to hatch. Little rain is in the forecast.
06/05/16 The stream levels are still in good
shape for wading but there is some more rain
possible. Some very good hatches are taking
place and our customers catching a lot of trout.
06/19/16 Lots of drakes, Yellow, Golden,
Greens, Browns, and lots of Sulphurs are
hatching. Green sedges and Cinnamon caddis
are also hatching good. Low water levels but
otherwise great conditions.
07/03/16 The water levels is a little low now and
you should use stealth. There are still a lot of
insects hatching. Rain is in the forecast, and
the level will come back up a little.
07/10/10 Customers are still catching good
numbers of trout. We recommend the higher
elevations of the stream.
07/24/16 Low water levels but some rain
forecast. Fish early and late and at a high
elevation. Tricos are hatching.
08/07/16 White Drake and Tricos are hatching
good. Terrestrials are working. Fish the highest
elevations. The lower river is too warm.
08/14/16 The weather is cooler but with plenty
of rain and high water. Check the levels.
08/21/16 Stream levels are little low right now but
heavy rain today. Much cooler weather for the
coming week. Tricos, and white flies are hatching.
09/18/16 The stream is still very low. It is
raining but will have little effect. Conditions are
better in most spring creeks.
10/02/16 The stream is in good shape with
BWOs, Mahogany duns and Great Autumn
Brown sedge hatching.
10/23/16 The stream has been low for a long
time but is up now and falling. Blue-winged
olives should be hatching good. The weather
is much cooler and conditions should be good
this coming week. Brown trout are pre-spawn.
11/13/16 Stream levels are low but the water
is cool and the trout active and feeding. Some
large browns are being caught in the lower
river on our Brown sculpin and Matuka sculpin
patterns. Blue-winged olives and cream
midges are hatching good.
11/27/16 Stream levels are low but the water
cold and the trout active. Fish the lower end of
the river. Blue-winged olives and midges are
hatching good. Rain is on the way this week.
12/11/16 The stream is still running very low.
Cream midges and Winter stoneflies are the
insects you should be imitating. Fish the lower
section of the river.
12/24/16 The stream level is down to about
normal but the water has lots of slush ice,
even in the lowest section.
01/08/17 The lower SR section is in fair shape
for this time of the season. The levels are a little
high now and there's more rain forecast for the
coming week. Midges are hatching good.
01/29/17 The stream is high in the lower
section, dingy and cold, barely above freezing.
We suggest selecting another location.
02/05/17 It is possible to catch trout in the
lowest section, but it is cold water about 34-35
degrees and a little high as well.
02/12/17 The stream level is just below
normal and the water a little warmer,
averaging about 36-37. Midges, creams and
reds, will catch trout. Fish the lower river.
02/19/17 The stream is a little high but
falling. The water and weather is warmer
and the ice is gone. Excellent conditions.
02/26/17 The creek is in good shape except
the water levels are a little low. Fish sculpin
streamers under low light conditions and
Midges and little BWOs, otherwise.
03/12/17 Well, it was nice during the warm
spell, but this freestone will be very cold this
coming week. Midges are the only insects.
03/19/17 You should see much better
conditions this coming week - good stream
levels and warmer water.