DIY Guide to Fly Fishing Little Sandy Creek in Northwest Pennsylvania

Little Sandy Creek might not be the best known Pennsylvania fishery, but it still provides plenty of opportunities to snag wild brown trout. If you enjoy small stream fishing and venturing off the beaten path, you’ll love what Little Sandy Creek has to offer.

Depending on your level of experience, Little Sandy Creek can be difficult to fish, so be sure to check out our guide before embarking on your angling adventure.

Fly fishing Little Sandy Creek in Pennsylvania

Little Sandy Creek is a six mile long tributary of Sandy Creek, located in Northwest Pennsylvania. It begins near Wades Corner and has a Delayed Harvest Fly Fishing Only Section. At Little Sandy Creek, you’ll find wild and stocked brown trout. 

The banks of Little Sandy Creek are enclosed with bushes and trees, which means that there is plenty of shade, and ample hiding places for wily trout. Access to this stream is pretty good, but does require hiking in some places. In most areas, the stream takes on the classic configuration of a Pennsylvania trout stream and consists of pools, riffles, and runs. While it is narrower in some sections, the Creek is about 30 feet in width.

Additionally, Little Sandy Creek has an excellent population of aquatic insects. It is the perfect stream for the angler who wants to be challenged, while avoiding the more crowded fisheries in the state.

Little Sandy Creek Map and Fishing Access Sites

map of fishing spots on Little Sandy Creek in Pennsylvania

Get directions to fishing access points and real-time stream flow data with the DIY Fly Fishing Map

Best Spots to Fish Little Sandy Creek

You can access Little Sandy Creek from State Route 62 and State Route 3024. You can take the roads leading off of State Route 3024 to the Creek. It will require a short hike to get to the stream. 

The upper reaches of the stream are more difficult to fish when its warm, as the water becomes lower and clearer. In the summer months, you will want to avoid this area.

The Delayed Harvest Fly Fishing Only section extends from State Route 3024 at Polk (located upstream) to the old bridge at the Polk Center pump house. This area is roughly 1.3 miles long. This section is teeming with both wild and stocked brown trout.

The best area for catching large brown trout is in the headwaters, located above T-334. Because the stream is smaller in this area, it can be more challenging to fish. But once you get the hang of this stream, you’ll be glued to this spot.

The stream is accessible to wade fishermen.

Best Time to Fish Little Sandy Creek

Little Sandy Creek has a great insect population. In the spring, you will see Green Drake Mayflies. You will also see other species of Mayflies, Caddisflies, and Stoneflies. In the summer, terrestrials imitations will work best if you are trying to match the insect hatch.

The season for Little Sandy Creek is standard Pennsylvania trout season. The spring is the best time to visit, due to the insect hatch, but you’ll have the easiest time catching larger brown trout in the fall. It can be tricky to fish in the summer, as the water becomes too warm in sections to be hospitable to trout. However, if you stay away from the upper sections, you’ll have better luck finding cooler areas in the stream.

Best Flies for Little Sandy Creek

Here is a list of generally recommended patterns for Little Sandy Creek:

  • Blue Quill (#18)
  • Quill Gordon (#12-14)
  • Hendrickson (#12-14)
  • Red Quill (#12-14)
  • March Brown (#10-12)
  • Tan Caddis (#16)
  • Blue Winged Olive (#14-16)
  • Light Cahill (#14-18)
  • Gray Fox (#12-14)
  • Green Drake (#8-10)
  • Terrestrials (various) (#10-18)

Need flies? 

Ventures Fly Co. offers a great selection of dry flies, nymphs and streamers that will catch fish just about anywhere.  Set includes 40 high quality, hand-tied flies (see list below) and waterproof fly box. 

Dry Flies
- Adams Dry Fly
- Elk Hair Caddis
- Blue Wing Olive
- Royal Wulff
- Griffith's Gnat White
- Stimulator, Organge
- Chernobyl Ant

Nymphs/Wet Flies
- Rubber Leg Nymph, Brown
- BH Pheasant Tail Nymph
- BH Prince Nymph
- BH Hare's Ear Nymph
- Barr's Emerger Nymph
- Zebra Midge Nymph, Black

- Wooly Bugger, Black (Size #8x2)
- Wooly Bugger, Olive (Size #8x2)

Gear Recommendations

A 9-foot 4-wt fly rod with floating line is perfect for fishing dry flies and small nymphs on Slate Run.  A tapered 9-foot leader, with tippet size 4X to 6X to match the flies you are throwing, is pretty standard.

Need Gear? 

Below are recommendations for essential gear to make the most of your time on the water.

Quality rod, reel, line and rod tube at a reasonable price. Backed by Orvis 25-yr guarantee, a brand you can trust.

High performance nylon leader, great for fishing Dry Flies, Nymphs and Streamers.

Excellent knot strength, stretch and suppleness make this the finest nylon tippet.  3-pack of the sizes you'll need the most.

Heavy duty, waterproof, yet breathable.  If you are tough on waders, these are for you. Backed by Simms Wader Warranty. If they leak, they got your back.

Most durable, yet comfortable, boot on the market.  Excellent foot and ankle support.  Great for rocky rivers. Lightweight and designed for all-day wear.

Sweet pack with ample storage. Unique harness system reduces neck strain. Sleek tapered face improves visibility - you can see your feet when wading!

Durable and lightweight. The carbon fiber frame floats.  Hooks don't get stuck in the rubber mesh bag . Extra length makes it easier to net fish.  Simply the best nets on the market.

Tough, waterproof and priced right. Hold 900+ flies in slotted foam.  If you need more storage - you have too many flies!

Simple, sharp nippers at great price. Clip on retractor keeps this must have gear at your fingertips.

Strong with a fine tip. Perfect for removing split shot and hooks. Simply the best fishing pliers.

The 580 Glass polarized lenses are super clear and somehow relaxing on the eyes.  Game changer.

Note: DIY Fly Fishing earns a commission (at no cost to you) on sales made using the links above. Thank you for your support!

Fishing Regulations

Pennsylvania requires all anglers 16 and older to have a standard fishing license, and a special permit for trout fishing, which can be obtained online or in most sporting goods stores in the state.

Little Sandy Creek fishing regulations are available on the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission website.

Trip Planning Tips

The nearest major airport to Little Sandy Creek is the Erie International Airport. Another nearby is the Pittsburgh International Airport, if you don’t mind adding ten minutes to your journey. You can travel to any major or municipal Airport in Western Pennsylvania and arrive at your destination after a few hours of scenic driving.

Looking for campgrounds in the area? Camp Wilhelm Campground is only 15 minutes away from the Creek. They put on several activities throughout the year that would spice up any angling vacation. 

If you would rather sleep with a roof over your head, you might try the Motel 6 in Harrisville. They offer clean rooms that are perfect for the budget minded fisherman.

It might not be the most famous Pennsylvania trout stream, but that just means you’ll likely have this stream all to yourself. Enjoy!

Looking for more places to fish? Visit our DIY Guide to the Best Fly Fishing in Pennsylvania.

Ken Sperry

About the author

Ken is an avid fisherman of 40+ years who loves to explore and find new places to fish. He created DIY Fly Fishing to help you do the same.

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