Fly Fishing Southwestern Pennsylvania: Linn Run

20120618-P1000548
Linn Run truly is a success story. The region and watershed were devastated during the mid-to-late 19th century and very early 20th century. Clear cut lumbering resulting in wildfires were the sources of this devastation. Further damage was caused by acid rain carried in the jet stream from the Ohio valley rust belt. Through arduous conservation efforts, the valley is now a thriving second growth forest with healthy habitat intact.

Linn Run begins its journey from the top of Laurel ridge. From there it makes a relatively fast decent through hardwoods and Rhododendrons. The headwaters are small and contain smaller trout. It is not until it confluences with Fish Run that Linn Run grows from a small brook to a decent stream sized mountain run. A particularly scenic area is located just below the Fish Run trail. Further down stream along the road are very productive plunge pools with good populations of trout. State trout stockings are made from the confluence with Grove run to the park boundary. There is a convenient parking lot at the Linn Run picnic area. Approximately one eighth of a mile downstream is a popular swimming hole named Flat Rock. As attractive as Flat Rock looks for fishing there are many better spots on the run. The park boundary is just below Flat Rock.

Fly fishing Linn Run is usually not technical although stealthy approaches are required in low clear flows. It contains stocked and wild Brook trout that are willing to take the fly. Due to its small nature and wild trout population Linn Run is a great venue for early season dry fly aficionados. Early season anglers will typically find good flows with minimal color making for easier dry fly success. As with most Pennsylvania mountain streams, due to its quick run-off this stream is also great for salvaging a muddy day elsewhere.

The town of Ligonier is a great place to pick up supplies. You will find the Ligonier Outfitters for all of your fly fishing gear. Ligonier offers many dining, lodging, and entertainment options. Fort Ligonier is considered one of the crown jewels for western Pennsylvania historical landmarks but there are many other historical influences throughout the Ligonier valley. The Ligonier Diamond located in the center of town accents its true Americana attitude. Catch an evening brass band on summer nights or visit the popular farmers market just down the street on Saturday mornings.