Walnut Creek/Elk Creek/Trout Run, PA
By Aaron Letera
Every fall, around the end of October and early November, flashes of mint silver begin to dance in the minds of local fly anglers as steelhead season begins in the tributary streams of Lake Erie, near the town of Erie, Pennsylvania.
The three most popular places to fish for these hard-hitting finned torpedoes are Walnut Creek, Trout Run, and Elk Creek. These three Lake Erie tributaries are easy to access from Fairview, Pennsylvania, east of Erie. Walnut Creek and Elk Creek are wadable; Trout Run is not because it is nursery water and thus closed to fishing except at its mouth in the lake.
Walnut Creek features a hard shale bottom with water-carved chutes and ledges gouged into the rock. Because the creek is both popular and extremely productive, you can expect plenty of company when the steelhead arrive. Anglers crowding the holes may seem intolerable to some, but if such a fishing scene doesn't bother you, Walnut Creek is well worth the effort. An effective combination is to trail a caddisfly larva/pupa pattern, Hare's Ear Nymph, Copper John, or Stonefly Nymph behind an egg fly.