Secret no more: Our Allegheny receives some wide attention

The Allegheny River is getting some good press.

Both the May/June edition of Pennsylvania magazine and the June-July edition of Fly Fisherman feature stories on outdoor recreation on the river.

The cover story in Pennsylvania is “Canoeing the Allegheny River.” Writer Cindy Ross tells the tale of a three-day family canoe and kayak trip down the river to Tionesta. The story features a stop at Allegheny Outfitters, putting in at Warren, camping on Thompson’s Island, and taking a break in Tidioute.

“The river usually flows smoothly, with only occasional lively riffles to hasten you along, and there is adequate public access, making it an excellent paddling destination for beginners or families,” Ross wrote. “One of the reasons we wanted to paddle the Allegheny is for the superb river camping.”

In the seven-page story “Allegheny Browns”, master fly-fishing instructor Gary Kell details the challenge, and reward, of fly fishing for trout on the Allegheny.

“The Allegheny is big, difficult to wade, and requires good casting skills to find consistent success,” Kell wrote. “However, the rewards can be great with fat, healthy rainbows and browns. A successful trip on the Allegheny is often just one or two fish per evening, but they are regularly large, memorable trout that require a great deal of stalking.”

“At the right time of year, the match-the-hatch dry-fly fishing for trophy brown trout can rival any trout stream east of the Mississippi,” Kell wrote. “I have been skunked more times on the Allegheny River than any other place, but it is also where I’ve caught most of my largest trout.”

PA Wilds Small Business Ombudsman Tataboline Enos, who is involved in growing nature tourism in the 12-county Pennsylvania Wilds region, which includes Warren County, said she was delighted to see the coverage.

“The Allegheny is a National Wild and Scenic River and one of our star natural attractions in the region,” she said. “It offers excellent fishing and flatwater paddling opportunities, and I think people are really catching on to that.”

Warren County Council on Tourism Director John Papalia, too, is happy to see some county and Allegheny River exposure.

“We are very excited about the exposure provided here,” Papalia said. “The Allegheny is one of our largest tourism assets attracting people all year for various recreational opportunity including paddling, fishing, site seeing, and wildlife viewing.

“Not only do we see more coverage of the Allegheny River as a destination, we see small businesses popping up or expanding around it – and having real success,” Enos said. “My sister’s place, Allegheny Outfitters, for example, has taken its operations year-round by opening a retail gear store downtown next to Allegheny Cyclery, another recent start-up. Conewango Kayak & Canoe opened a few years ago. Allegheny River Fly Fishing Company, another start-up, is slated to open later this month in Warren.”

“These small businesses will never be the community’s big employers, but they do bring thousands of out-of-state visitors into Warren County each summer – foot traffic that helps fuel other local businesses. They also provide services that families who live here enjoy, and that local manufacturers and other large employers use to help attract and retain talent. People want to live in places where amenities like these exist. It’s an important layer to Warren County’s economy and it is wonderful to see it growing in such a positive way.”

“We have seen continual small business growth along with an increase tourists,” Papalia said. “In addition Warren County continues to become a more desirable place to live and work. With ample amounts of recreational opportunities it leads to happy and healthy employees, and helps immensely in recruiting new employees and businesses.”

“The Allegheny is a regular home to state and national canoe competitions and other growing adventure races and the community has a strong river stewardship effort with the annual Allegheny River Clean-Up,” Enos said. “It’s exciting to see the evolution and I don’t just say that because I live here or my sister owns one of these businesses. What’s happening on the Allegheny is a story that stands out in our region.”