Fly Fish in the Shadow of History...How does
that sound? Nestled amongst the rolling hills of Valley Forge
National Historical Park is a true hidden gem of the Montgomery
County and Valley Forge area. Step back to a time when the troops
of our young nation honed their skills into an elite fighting
force. In these bottomlands of Valley Forge, one can wade the
clean, crisp waters of Valley Creek, just yards from Washingtons
Headquarters, in search of the elusive wild brown trout. At
the time of the Revolution, it was the American shad which ran
the Schuylkill River in massive schools. Legend has it that
the shad ran early in the winter of 1778, provided a much-needed
and handy food supply for Washingtons soldiers. Unfortunately,
much like many of the industrialized rivers along the eastern
seaboard the shad run has been severely reduced, but it is making
Valley Creek, with it origins as an underground
spring, provides the perfect environment for a flourishing wild
brown trout population; clean, cold, fertile water. All of this
is surprisingly located within one of the most populous areas
in the United States and only minutes from downtown Philadelphia.
In Valley you will find a Class A population of brown
trout. Most are in the 8-10" range, but in most holes
there is a 12"+ brownie waiting to pounce on your
Valley is an extremely small limestoner - not getting
wider than 25 feet - even at the mouth where it meets
the Schuylkill. These types of conditions require a stealthy
approach, and a rod length of no longer than 8'6".
A four weight is all you need.
Your basic nymph patterns are the go-to flies - hare's
ear, pheasant tails and caddis pupae. Pretty much all
mayflies, but the hardy sulphur have been wiped out on
this stream. This is by far the heaviest hatch - taking
place during the end of May/beginning of June. Some years
it does not last long, but if you happen to catch it just
right fantastic fishing can occur. A green caddis emerges
in April as well. Right place at right time is also the
key to this hatch. Unfortunately as of the past few seasons
this hatch has not occured in decent numbers. Or it could
just be bad timing on our part.
As with any wild trout stream we stress catch-and-release,
but even more so on this gem. Please get involved to help
protect this fishery. Hopefully the future bring more
protection to this stream as it certainly deserves it!
Give Valley a try and see what it is all about.
Our favorite stretch.