Bobs Creek is a freestone stream in Western Pennsylvania. This tributary of Dunning Creek begins in Juniata Township. It flows freely for over 21 miles with most of the stream being accessible from nearby roads or trails. The stream also passes through a good amount of public land in State Game Lands 26 and Blue Knob State Park.
In its uppermost reaches, Bobs Creek is a fairly narrow stream. The roughly four miles that flow through the game land are classified as “Class A” and support breeding populations of wild brown and brook trout. From the confluence with Rhodes Creek downstream to the confluence with Dunning Creek, Bobs Creek is a 10-15 foot wide stocked trout stream that receives plantings of rainbow and brown trout in the spring.
I caught this brown trout in Bobs Creek
Bobs Creek has a mix of shallow riffles and deeper holes. Undercut banks and protruding tree roots hold fish in this stream. So do the much larger and deeper holes, though those are fewer and further between than the more common bathtub-sized holding spots.
In the state park and game land the stream contains a mix of wild and holdover trout. Trout can be found here year round thanks to the shading effects of the forest. Bobs Creek rarely gets warmer than 69 degrees Fahrenheit upstream from the town of Pavia. The stream picks up strength and size and it flows from there. Yet the lower reaches can become too warm for trout by mid to late summer.
Bobs Creek is impacted by runoff and sediment. This and other factors limit insect life in the stream. The bugs are there, but not in great numbers. Fish are certainly able to survive year round Bobs Creek, but most of the fish tend to be on the small side.
Fish species in Bobs Creek
Bobs Creek holds rainbow trout, brown trout and brook trout throughout its length. A few other species like white suckers and darters are also present in lesser numbers.
Brown trout are definitely the most commonly found species in Bobs Creek. They can be found from the headwaters all the way down to Dunning Creek. In the upper reaches you are more likely to encounter smaller wild brown trout. From the state park down you find more stocked brownies. The average brown trout here is between 8 and 12 inches. I’ve caught a few that were significantly larger.
An average Bobs Creek rainbow trout
Rainbow trout are common from the state park downstream. They are more common in spring from opening day of trout season until after the second stocking. Some holdover rainbows can also be found here throughout the year. The average rainbow trout in Bobs Creek is in the 10 to 12 inch range.
Brook trout are the only trout native to Pennsylvania. Unfortunately they are the rarest species of trout in Bobs Creek. You can find some brookies throughout the Class A section in the game land. They become less common as you move closer to the state park. You are not very likely to encounter any wild brookies downstream of Pavia. The average brook trout in Bobs Creek is between five and nine inches.
Fishing in Bobs Creek
Bobs Creek is fishable throughout the year. Since it is a stocked trout stream, most of Bobs Creek is closed to fishing from late February to the opening day of trout season in April. When the stream is open you can usually catch fish there.
Much of the stream is open to fishing. You can access the Class A section from Game Lands Road or by walking a trail from Monument Road in the state park. The stocked section can be easily accessed from Monument Road and Burnt House Road. Most of the stream flows alongside these two roads.
I’ve caught a lot of trout in Bobs Creek. The majority of the fish were brown trout, followed by a significant number of rainbows. I’ve used various methods including fly fishing and spin fishing with small lures here. All were fairly successful.
A nice Bobs Creek brown trout
Because the waters of Bobs Creek are not particularly hospitable to insect life, the fish here do not have a lot of choice when it comes to food. Any well presented fly, lure, or bait is usually good enough to catch at least a few trout in Bobs Creek. Of course conditions do matter. The fishing becomes slower during cold weather. During low water periods the fish become more skittish too.
Fly fishing can be a challenge in some parts of the stream with plenty of trees and plants to catch on the back cast. A short light fly rod can work well here. In the summer I fish terrestrial flies like an indicator beetle. The rest of the year I fish all around nymphs like the pheasant tail.
When it comes to spin fishing I use 4 pound test on an ultralight rod. I alternate between drifting insect imitations like multi nymphs under a small float and fishing with lures. Trout worms work well here in my experience. So do small lures like the Rebel Crickhopper and swiss swing spinners.
Bobs Creek fishing regulations
The section of Bobs Creek from the confluence with Rhodes Run downstream to the mouth is classified as a stocked trout water by the PA Fish Commission. That means this section of the stream is closed to fishing from late February until the first day of trout season in April.
In the stocked section, anglers are permitted to keep five trout over seven inches during regular trout season. The limit is lowered to three trout during the extended season that runs from the day after Labor Day until the third Monday in February of the following year.
The Class A section upstream of the confluence with Rhodes Run is open to fishing all year. Here you can keep five trout over seven inches during the regular trout season. There is no harvest during the rest of the year.
Fishing in the entirety of Bobs Creek can be done with traditional angling methods using bait, lures, and flies.
To the best of my knowledge, this is accurate as of the time of writing. Of course regulations are subject to change. For current regulations be sure to check the Pennsylvania Fish Commission website.
Bobs Creek fishing at a glance
- Fish species present: Brook trout, rainbow trout, brown trout, white sucker.
- Closest tackle shops: Yanovs Bait & Tackle, Tackle Box, Holsinger’s Fly Shop.
- Recommend spin fishing tackle: Ultralight rod, 2-4lb fluorocarbon line.
- Recommend fly fishing tackle: 3-4 weight rod, WF floating line, 4x fluorocarbon tippet.
- Recommend bait/lures: Swiss Swing, trout worm, Multi Nymph, Rebel Crickhopper.
- Recommend flies: Bead Head Pheasant Tail size 12, Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear size 12, San Juan Worm size 12.
- Nearby hotels: The Inn of Claysburg (Das Gasthaus), Hampton Inn Johnstown.