Weather conditions varied among regions and fisheries through mid-December. Ice angling was just beginning on a couple of fisheries in the northern corners of the state as of Dec. 19. For ice-fishing safety tips, go to www.fishandboat.com. Winter trout stockings were in progress during December in a limited number of fisheries across the state. For a schedule, visit www.fishandboat.com. Boaters are reminded that life jackets are mandatory when on watercraft less than 16 feet in length and on all canoes and kayaks through April 30.
Hills Creek Lake (Tioga County) — Up until Dec. 19, Tackle Shack reported that ice anglers were getting bluegills, crappies and perch on mousies and waxworms. Bass and pickerel were reported on tip-ups with live shiners and fatheads.
Other area lakes had spotty ice as of Dec. 19, but were expected to soon be fishable.
Allegheny River (McKean County) — Legal walleyes were reported through early December, along with two muskies, 50 and 49 inches.
Spring Creek (Centre County) — Flow was below average, clear and in the 40s as of Dec. 19. TCO Fly Shop recommended fishing streamers along the banks and the pocket water, and nymphing with small Pheasant Tails and Caddis larva. Midges (22-26) were hatching.
Fishing Creek (Clinton County) — Low, clear water in the 30s was reported as of Dec. 19. Trout were in the deeper pools. Midges were hatching.
Penns Creek (Clinton, Union counties) — Water was clearing and in the upper 30s with below-average flow as of Dec. 19. Anglers were advised to fish dark streamers along the banks and pocket water or larger nymphs, such as Stoneflies. Midges (20-26) were hatching. Effective patterns included Prince Nymphs (12), Green Caddis Larva (14-18), and Slump Busters in olive, brown, black or white.