fishing millers run pennsylvania

Fishing Millers Run in Pennsylvania

Millers Run is a small freestone stream located near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a low-gradient warm water fishery, though trout are present in the spring thanks to stocking. Native fish can also be found in this creek year round though very few people bother to fish for them.

Millers Run rises from a spring on a farm in Mt Pleasant Township. It is impounded in a small private pond at its headwaters. From the outflow of that pond the stream flow through farms, forest, and backyards. It picks up a bit of volume from some feeder streams as it goes. By the time it reaches Galati Road, which is where the trout stocking begins, the creek is fairly easy to fish with standard tackle. Millers Run continues for several more miles, passing through industrial and residential zones before finally emptying into Chartiers Creek near Interstate 79 near Bridgeville.

brown trout caught in millers runAn average brown trout from Millers Run

This isn’t a stream where one for go for peace and solitude. It flows along major roads and railroad tracks from one end to another. The creek also passes through parks, yards, parking lots and underpasses. But Millers Run is also easily accessible which makes it a good choice for some. Being located in a major population center means the creek gets plenty of traffic too. It’s not uncommon for several people to fish in a single small hole. Yet there are plenty of fish in the stream, thanks mostly to several plantings of trout.

Millers Run is certainly not pristine. Everything from lure packing to tires can be found in the stream. Though it is not as bad as you might expect considering the surroundings and heavy use.

Fish species in Millers Run

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission stocks Millers Run with trout three times per year. Another stocking is done in Cecil Township Park every year for an annual children’s fishing contest. Rainbow trout, golden rainbow trout, and brown trout are planted by the commission. The occasional brook trout also winds up in the stream. Many of the trout stocked for the derby remain after it is finished too.

Besides stocked trout, Millers Run is also home to white suckers, redhorse, creek chubs, and some smallmouth bass. White suckers and creek chubs can be found throughout the stream. Redhorse can be found up to Cecil Township Park. Smallmouth bass are mainly relegated to the lowest reaches of the stream near the confluence with Chartiers Creek.

white sucker from millers runA small white sucker from Millers Run

The trout stocked in Millers Run can survive into June with the right weather, assuming they escape capture. Millers Run gets a lot of fishing pressure in April and May. Many of the trout are caught and released several times in a short period. Some do not survive, despite being released.

This is a put-and-take fishery for trout. Trout cannot survive throughout the year in Millers Run. They are stocked to be caught and harvested before they expire from rising water temperatures or predation from birds of prey. There’s no need to feel bad about harvesting trout you catch in Millers Run.

Fishing in Millers Run

The majority of Millers Run flows through private property. Some of it is open to fishing. Other sections may not be. Commonly fished areas include a small hole under Galati Road and others along Route 50.

Cecil Township Park receives most of the fishing pressure on this stream. It also receives the largest portion of stocked fish. The park is open to the public from 6:00 in the morning until dusk. Some of the largest holes in the entire stream can be found within the park.

millers run brook troutI caught this brook trout in Millers Run

There are also several runs in the stream that should not be overlooked. Trout will hold through the stream in the spring. Fish outside of the most fished holes are often less pressured and more eager to bite.

I’ve caught rainbow trout, golden rainbow trout, brown trout, brook trout, white suckers and creek chubs in Millers Run. Everything from Swiss Swing spinners and the Original Floating Rapala to flies like the pheasant tail nymph produce here. People also do well with things like red worms and Powerbait Trout Bait.

Millers Run washington county golden rainbow troutGolden rainbow trout like this are often stocked in Millers Run

Insect life is fairly limited in Millers Run. Sediment and silt probably has a lot to do with that. You may see the occasional caddis flying around, but probably not in any numbers that would matter to the fish. Any general insect imitation can catch trout in Millers Run. The fish don’t have the chance to be picky. They have to eat what they can find. A good number of creek chubs end up in their stomachs. As do some crayfish. That helps explain why lures work well here.

The average trout in Millers Run is in the 8 to 11 inch range. The native suckers and chubs run a bit smaller. Though there are some large fish in the creek from time to time. I’ve caught multiple trout over 17 inches, and I’ve seen some pretty large redhorse around too.

male rainbow trout from millers runAn above average male rainbow from Millers Run

Millers Run gets cloudy and stays that way after a good rain. Yet the stream can also run crystal clear during a dry spell. I normally fish with 4 pound fluorocarbon here and that covers all conditions well. Fish rarely come near 4 pounds in Millers Run. The occasional large fish can be caught on light line in the rather slow water anyway.

When it comes to spin fishing I like a 9 foot ultra light rod with a small spinning reel for Millers Run. For fly fishing a nine foot 4 weight like this Reddington Classic is fine. I recommend light lines either way for the pressured fish here since you can get away with it. It will definitely lead to more hookups. As long as you make a good presentation you should be able to catch some fish here in the spring.

Millers Run fishing regulations

The portion of Millers Run that flows between Galati Road and Parks Road near the town of Gladden is classified as a “Stocked Trout Stream” by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. That means this stretch of the creek is closed to fishing from February 21 until the trout opener in April.

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 later in the year though that is a moot point since it’s very unlikely any trout will survive the summer.

Outside of the Stocked Trout portion of the stream, Millers Run is open to fishing year round. Of course there are seasons and limits on species like bass. You can fish with up to three rods, with no limit on the number of hooks per rod. Fishing in the entirety of Millers Run 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.

Millers Run fishing at a glance

  • Fish species present: Brook trout, rainbow trout, golden rainbow trout, brown trout, white suckers, redhorse, creek chub.
  • Closest tackle shops: Orvis, Cross Creek’s Original Bait & Tackle.
  • Recommended spin fishing tackle: Ultralight rod, 2-4lb fluorocarbon line.
  • Recommended fly fishing tackle: 3-4 weight rod, WF floating line, 4x fluorocarbon tippet.
  • Recommended bait/lures: Original Floating Rapala, Swiss Swing, trout worm.
  • Recommended flies: Pheasant Tail Nymph size 12-14, Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear Nymph size 10-12, Chironomid Bomber size 12-14.
  • Nearby hotels: Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh/Southpointe, Holiday Inn Express & Suites Pittsburgh SW – Southpointe.

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