Brodhead Creek, also known as the birthplace of American fly fishing, is staging a comeback.
You see, Brodhead Creek used to be known as one of the premiere fly fishing destinations in the world. Anglers from all over would visit Brodhead Creek and leave with 40 brook trout apiece, with some fish as large as four pounds. But, like most good things, it couldn’t last forever.
The unsustainable catch limit, along with flooding and the growing population in the area, knocked this Creek off of anglers’ radars. Recently, however, the state has been stocking this stream, so there are plenty of trout for the wily fly fishermen to nab.
Rediscover Brodhead Creek with the help of our handy guide and you’ll understand what makes this stream so special.
Brodhead Creek is 21.9 mile long tributary of the Delaware River in the Poconos, located in eastern Pennsylvania. Formed by the union of the Middle and Levitt branches in Monroe County, the Creek joins the Delaware River at the head of the Delaware Water Gap. Along the way, it is fed by McMichael Creek.
Brodhead Creek holds a decent population of stocked brown and rainbow trout. It also contains some wild brown trout.
The Creek has the typical pool, run, and riffle configuration of most Pennsylvania trout streams, with many boulders added throughout to help the habitat.
Fly fishermen can expect a fun and rewarding experience at Brodhead Creek, with plenty of trout to catch.
One of the best section of the Creek to fish is the 7-mile stretch between Analomink and the Delaware River.
This area is heavily stocked, so there should be no shortage of fish around, depending on which time of year you choose to visit. You can access Brodhead Creek from any of the parks in Stroud Township (see map). Pay attention to signage!
Below East Stroudsburg, the stream enters a rugged gorge. Because this area is mountainous, it is difficult for anglers to access. If you are up for the challenge though you may be rewarded with some hefty wild browns.
Brodhead Creek is accessible to wade fishermen, so don’t worry about bringing a boat!
Be sure to check the stream conditions before heading out to fish Brodhead Creek. The USGS stream gauge near Analomink, PA provides a good indication of current conditions.
The graph below shows the stream flow (discharge) for the past 7-days. If flows are considerably above or below historical norms (yellow triangles on the chart) then fishing conditions maybe not be ideal.
The season is standard Pennsylvania trout season. Access is closed from February 29th to opening day. Spring is the best season to tackle this stream, because of the excellent insect hatches.
Hatches of quill Gordons and blue quills, along with various caddis and stoneflies, kick off the season in April. Hendricksons, March browns and blue-winged olives emerge in May. Sulpurs grace the waters in June followed by slate drakes throughout the summer and fall.
Fall is also a good time to visit, especially if you are seeking larger brown trout. While the water can get too warm to fish safely during the summer, warmer winter days can be productive.
The best time of day to fish Brodhead Creek is early morning and late evening. Staying late is especially important during the sulphur and slate drake hatches so you can catch the spinner fall.
Here is a list of recommended fly patterns for Brodhead Creek:
Blue Quill (#18)
Quill Gordon (#14)
Tan Caddis (#16)
Gray Fox (#12 - 14)
Blue Winged Olive (#14)
Light Cahill (#14)
Ants (#16 - 20)
Beetles (#12 - 18)
Caterpillars (#12, 2XL)
Light Cahill (#18)
A 9-foot 5-wt fly rod with floating line is perfect for fishing dry flies and small nymphs on the Brodhead. A tapered 9-foot leader, with tippet size 3X to 5X to match the flies you are throwing, is pretty standard.
There are a number of area fly shops and on-line retailers that publish Brodhead Creek fly fishing reports. A couple to check out are listed below.
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.
Brodhead Creek fishing regulations are available on the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission website.
The nearest airport to Brodhead Creek is Lehigh Valley International Airport, which is about fifty minutes away from your destination. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport is another option that is only an hour away from the Creek. Keep in mind that you can travel to any major or municipal airport in Eastern Pennsylvania and arrive at your destination after a few hours of scenic driving.
Because the Poconos is such a popular vacation destination, lodging in the area can get expensive, particularly on-season. However, there are several good options for the budget conscious angler.
Pocono Inn at Water Gap offers reasonable rates and is only 18 minutes away from the Creek. They also provide free breakfast and WiFi.
If you are looking for a more rustic option, Cranberry Run Campground is only five minutes away from the Creek, and offers a good amount of privacy in a beautiful wooded setting.
Don’t worry. We won’t blame you if you end up staying for longer than you originally planned. That is the magic of the Poconos!
Feature Image by Nicholas A. Tonelli
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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