Hatch Charts of the Streams of Central PA

April Hatch Chart

Fly Pattern & Size Penns Creek Big Fishing Creek Elk Creek Pine Creek Spring Creek
Crane Fly #18 9am-6pm 9am-6pm 9am-6pm 9am-6pm 9am-6pm
BWO #18 Sporadic 11am-2pm Sporadic 11am-2pm 11am-2pm
BWO Spinner #18 Sporadic 5pm-8pm Sporadic 5pm-8pm 5pm-8pm
Blue Quill #18 8am-11am & 5pm-8pm 8am-11am & 5pm-8pm 8am-11am & 5pm-8pm 8am-11am & 5pm-8pm 8am-11am & 5pm-8pm
Blue Quill Spinner #18 5pm-8pm 5pm-8pm 5pm-8pm 5pm-8pm 5pm-8pm
Quill Gordon #14 10am-8pm 10am-8pm NA NA NA
Red Quill #12-14 5pm-8pm 5pm-8pm NA NA NA
Light Hendrickson #12-14 10am-2pm 10am-2pm NA NA NA
Grannom Caddis #12-14 9am-12pm 9am-12pm NA 9am-12pm, below Elk Creek Junction only NA
Grannom Caddis Egg-Layer #12-14 4pm-8pm 4pm-8pm NA 4pm-8pm, below Elk Creek Junction only NA
Little Blue Dun #20 8am-11am 8am-11am 8am-11am 8am-11am, below Elk Creek Junction only 8am-11am
Little Blue Dun Spinner #20 5pm-8pm 5pm-8pm 5pm-8pm 5pm-8pm, below Elk Creek Junction only 5pm-8pm

April Seasonal Information

In April, the streams of central Pennsylvania burst to life. The first major hatches — the crane fly, the quill gordon, and the light hendrickson — denote the beginning of Spring trout season. April is important historically for trout fishing in Pennsylvania, with opening day holding many fond memories for anglers; of course, opening day is largely symbolic for the wild trout streams which are open year round for catch-and-release. Most importantly, April offers the first "super hatch" of the year, the grannom caddis, so thick during the evening egg-laying that you'll eat half a dozen when your jaw drops in awe. These hatches are the kind of thing you've been dreaming about all winter. April is the month when Penns Creek wakes up for dry fly fishing: the combination of warming temperatures and bigger bugs on the surface makes the fish friskier and more willing to rise. Spring Creek fishes much the same as March, with the added complexity of a few mayflies and the (often fabulous) crane fly hatch; as is usual, hatches that might be virtually ignored on more productive streams can be fed on quite aggressively on the surface of Spring, due to the ratio of trout population to subsurface sustenance. April can be a moody month for Big Fishing Creek, which has all the same hatches as Penns Creek, but is colder and slower to awaken; in a warm April, she can be one of the most productive and prolific limestone creeks in the whole state.