Noted Letort Anglers Were Fly-Fishing Pioneers
Charles K. Fox (This Wonderful World of Trout), Vincent Marinaro (Modern Dry Fly Code and In The Ring of the Rise), Ed Koch (Fishing the Midge) and Ed Shenk (Ed Shenk’s Fly Rod Trouting) pioneered and expounded ideas, techniques and fly patterns essential to modern fly fishing. One thing they all had in common was that they honed their fly-fishing knowledge and skills along the banks of the Letort.
Fly fishing with floating terrestrials (insects born and living on land that fall into and float on the water) and midges (tiny aquatic and terrestrial insects that live or float on the water almost unnoticed) was developed on Letort Spring Run.
The part of Letort Spring Run adjacent to the Letort Nature Trail was the first special regulation water in Pennsylvania that limited angling technique and established catch-and-release fishing.
Stream habitat improvement practices that are minimally invasive and aesthetically pleasing were pioneered along the Letort Spring Run.
Fishing the Letort Today
Catch-and-release fly fishing continues as the only authorized method of fishing the Letort upstream of Letort Park, but all legal fishing techniques are allowed in the park and downstream to the Letort’s confluence with Conodoguinet Creek in Middlesex Township.
The special-regulation area is easy to access because the Letort Nature Trail parallels the stream most of the way. Access is also easy in Letort Park and Biddle Mission Park in Carlisle. From Biddle Mission Park downstream, much of the Letort is bounded by private property; however, persistent anglers will discover numerous access points.
Please respect property owners’ privacy, and always gain permission before entering anyone’s yard. See applicable fishing regulations and licensing information on the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission website.
Letort Spring Run has always been known as a very challenging stream to fish. Stream-bred brown trout are wary, and the stream flows slowly and smoothly for most of its course, giving the trout the advantage. Wading is extremely problematic due to heavy silting in many areas, so most anglers fish from the banks. Catching one of the Letort’s wild trout that is over 12 inches long is quite an accomplishment.