In Harrisburg area, you have many choices. *There will be no problem with it being October. *In fact, if you have not had a lot of opportunities to fish the pure limestone streams like the so-called "chalk streams" of England, Letort is the one you want to visit. *there is plenty of open water. *October is Trico time on Letort. *You'll want to be on stream around daybreak. *Walk the banks looking for clouds of the tiny mayflies beginning to accumulate over riffles. *The spinners come down like clockwork most days at 800 AM. *When they do, the trout will work the surface. *There will still be dry fly activity for other parts of the day with terrestrials as well, so have hoppers, ants and beatles. *Under the surface, the scud is the primary forage and works year-round there-- wooly buggers can catch the bigguns too, but there is a fair amount of vegetation to negotiate. *It is unlikely Letort will suffer any noticable effect from low water. *Less than 30% of its flow volume is runoff-- really probably much less. *There may be more water than normal and less water than normal depending upon recent rains, but it rarely is blown out, nor rarely too low to fish. *The water will be cool no matter how hot the air. *Wild Brown trout are abundant, though bigger ones can be hard to come by.
Big Spring is of similar character. *There are Browns, rainbows and brookies, some wild and some stocked as fingerlings. *Yellow Breeches has more of the freestone characteristics, but is heavily limestone influenced. *It will also have tricos. *Also, if you are there at the right time, there may be white mayflies that provide great topwater action. *There are all varieties of trout as well, mostly stocked, but some wild. *
Stoney and Clarks are freestone, but Clarks comes out of a bottom-release reservoir and stays cool year-round as it flows under a fairly heavy canopy. *As long as there has been near normal rainfall, it should fish well, too. *It has stocked and wild trout.
These maps ffrom the PFBC will help you locate the creeks: http://sites.state.pa.us/PA_Exec/Fis...erlandmain.htm
(for Letort and Big Spring) and http://sites.state.pa.us/PA_Exec/Fis...auphinmain.htm
(for Clarks and Stoney).
Finally, the streambed ownership issue involves the Little Juniata River, further West than Harrisburg. *A nice destination in and of itself. *Presently it is in the trial court, waiting on the Judge to decide if the water is "navigable." *If so, the Commonwealth owns the streambed and if you can get legal access to the water, you can wade where you please. *If not navigable, landowners may own the streambed and prevent wading on their side of the creek to the middle of the streambed. *The private litigant owns (and/or leases) both sides of the river for a couple miles and runs a private fishing club. *He attempts to exclude the public from wading that entire stretch of river and has signs informing rafters not to fish as they pass through.
You can definitely pick up better advice at the www.paflyfish.com
message board. *Posting over there closer to your trip will get you up to date info. *good luck!