SPRING MILLS — The opening day of trout fishing season is a rite of spring in Centre County. The calendar says spring arrived nearly a month ago, but it doesn’t really seem like spring until fishermen line the banks of Centre County creeks. It is well known that some of the best trout fishing streams in the country are located right here in the Centre County. Several of them wind their way through rural Penns Valley, and those streams always draw a crowd of anglers on the opening day of trout fishing season.
This year’s opening day on Saturday, April 13, was no exception, as shown by the crowds of anglers gathered along Penns Creek and Sinking Creek that morning. Parked vehicles lined the roads at every turn, and throngs of anglers were either wading in the streams or perched on the banks. The pleasantly warm and sunny weather was perfect for fishing and picnicking, and many family picnics were seen along the streams, with numerous canopies, lawn chairs and barbecue grills set up for the anglers, their families and friends to enjoy.
Penns Valley streams draw anglers from near and far. George Berger, from Altoona, along with his three sons and four grandsons were parked along Penns Creek near Coburn. One of his sons drove from Maryland to fish here. Berger said his family has been coming to this area on opening day for many years, and that they have enjoyed camping at a campground near the old Coburn railroad tunnel for 35 years. They were all enjoying the day on Penns Creek and reported the fishing was good that day.
“We all caught some,” said George Berger.
Similar scenes were observed all along Penns Creek and Sinking Creek.
Taking advantage of the crowds around Spring Mills, Grace United Church of Christ held its annual Fisherman’s Brunch at the church located beside Penns Creek. Church members served up plenty of breakfast sandwiches, hot dogs, hamburgers, sticky buns and barbecued chicken to hungry anglers for several hours. Proceeds from the brunch benefit the church’s mission projects.