Weekend Chase: Pennsylvania Waters

If we had to drive 2,000 miles across the country, straight into a heat wave, during a global pandemic, you better believe we were taking our fishing gear. 

Driving from Colorado to Pennsylvania, you cross several major rivers – the Mississippi, Missouri, Platte, and more. Easing out of Colorado’s eastern plains and into Nebraska’s lush landscape, the seemingly countless lakes dotting the highway can distract any angler from the intended destination. Hitting Iowa, the rolling farm fields and creeks along I-80 nearly lure you in – until you realize just how bad the humidity is thanks to the previously mentioned heatwave; needless to say, our gear stayed put in the truck bed.

Eventually, after cruising through Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, you’re ready to slip into that Pennsylvania understory and chase fish. 

For three days, my husband and I chased fish on foot and on two wheels. We fished lakes, creeks and forgotten ponds solo, together and with a couple of wild kiddos in-tow. While I landed little suckers and bluegills with the kids, I lost bass on my own, brought my first PA broke to hand in six years and even happened past an unexpected goldfish – you never know what you’ll find in some waters.

East coast adventures never cease to surprise me. In fact, if there’s one thing you forget about this place when you move to the high country, it’s just how much diversity the waters of Pennsylvania hold. 

For those looking to chase multiple species in a day – like 5 in 24 hours, perhaps? – Pennsylvania is a great option. Major rivers (e.g., Delaware), smaller creeks (e.g., Spring Creek), and extensive glacial lakes (Lake Erie) are easy to get to and offer a variety of opportunities to chase some new and well-loved species.

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