The Perkiomen Watershed
The headwaters of Perkiomen Creek originate on South Mountain, southwest of Allentown as small mountain freestone streams. They quickly gather other small tributaries and springs who's limestone waters add flow and fertility to the creek. The Perkiomen has 3 Main Branches, Perkiomen Creek, East Branch Perkiomen Creek and West Branch Perkiomen Creek.
The main branch starts above Harlem in a series of wetlands and springs and flow south toward Rt. 100 picking up several small tributaries along the way. The West Branch rises above the Village of Huffs Church also in wetlands and springs. The East Branch rises in the rolling hills of Bucks County in Bedminster Township. Perkiomen means Place Where Cranberries Grow, in Lenape, the language of the valley's native people.
These areas of the Main Branch and West Branch contain good pocket water and some small to medium sized pools where trout hide in undercuts and near rocks that form depressions in the creek bottom. It is a classic mountain stream setting except that the limestone springs that feed it make these streams uniquely mountain limestone streams. Excellent hatches and a beautiful setting are reason enough to try your luck on these fertile creeks.
Upper sections in this area are classified as Class A Wild Trout Water by the Pa. Fish and Boat Commission. These stream sections are not stocked and contain self sustaining populations of brown trout. If you fish these areas please limit your catch and return all released fish to the stream immediately. This fishery is fragile and suffers from some thermal stress and bank erosion and trout populations fluctuate because of this. A description of the wild trout water may be found on the Class A streams page.
Perkiomen Creek from Pa. Rt. 100 to the Green Lane Reservoir is managed as a put and take fishery. It is stocked with adult size rainbow and brown trout prior to opening day and 3 times in season with the last stocking in mid May. There are special regulations at the lower end of this section that extend from 200 yards above Church Rd. to the Green Lane Reservoir. It is a Delayed Harvest Fly fishing Only Section. The regulations for the Fly fishing only area are posted. This section is also stocked during October as part of the extended season program.
The unregulated water has many pools and riffles and these areas hold trout until about mid June during most summers. In warmer years the trout move to find cooler water. A major tributary of Perkiomen Creek, Hosensack Creek, is an un-stocked Wild Trout Stream that stays cold all summer and adds its flow to Perkiomen Creek just above the American Legion Hall on Rt. 29. During cooler summers the section just below this junction holds trout most of the summer.
The stocked water has excellent hatches with the first hatch appearing in late January. Early Black Stone Flies start hatching in large numbers, enough flies to bring the trout to the surface to feed, by the end of January. These are small stone flies, #18 and #20, and they are fished primarily on the surface but many anglers prefer to fish them wet. The distinction is that these flies don't hatch from the water but crawl out on the banks and rocks to hatch. They then dry there wings and mate. It is during this time frame that they become vulnerable to the trout.