DIY Guide to Fly Fishing Loyalsock Creek in Northeast Pennsylvania

Does anything compare to the beauty of Northeast Pennsylvania? You might just have to travel there yourself to make that call.

And while you’re there, you MUST take a trip to Loyalsock Creek. Loyalsock Creek is well-known for its aquatic insect population and its impressive stock of brown trout. The stream is also a versatile choice for anglers; the difficulty level shifts depending on where and when you choose to go. 

Visit Loyalsock Creek and we guarantee you’ll be wondering why you stayed away so long.

Underwater footage on Loyalsock Creek , Pennsylvania's River of 2018

Loyalsock Creek is a 64 mile long tributary of the West Branch of the Susquehanna River. The name comes from a mistranslation of the local indigneous peoples’ name for the stream. The Native American term for the Creek was Lawi-sahquick, meaning “middle creek,” which referred to Loyalsock’s location in between Lycoming Creek and Muncy Creek.

The source of Loyalsock Creek is located in Wyoming County, with its confluence at Montoursville. This area has had issues with flooding in the past, which has resulted in losses of lives and severe property damage. 

Loyalsock Creek’s main tributary is Little Loyalsock Creek, which has its confluence at Forksville in Sullivan County. This section of the Creek is smaller and has a steeper declination than the other areas. The upper section of the Creek runs through Worlds End State Park. Most of the stream consists of large pools and the stream doesn’t have many runs or riffles. However, in some of the parts of the stream, there are large boulders that create pocket water.

At Loyalsock Creek, you will find brook and brown trout, both stocked and wild. Loyalsock Creek is stocked from the confluence of Pole Bridge Run to Loyalsockville. The Creek flows through posted land, so you must make sure you are fishing public water. The Delayed Harvest/Artificial Lures and Flies Only sections flows from the Lycoming County line to Sandy Bottom.

Loyalsock Creek is a large stream, so there are plenty of choices when it comes to deciding which area you want to tackle.

Loyalsock Creek Map and Fishing Access Sites

map of fishing spots on Loyalsock 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 Loyalsock Creek

The lower section of the stream is accessible from Route 87, and Route 154 follows the stream through Loyalsock Valley. Because Loyalsock has issues with flooding, you are going to want to be extra careful about checking the stream levels before making your trip.

The fluctuating water level determines if this Creek is accessible to wade fishermen. At Loyalsock Creek, you have your choice between the Delayed Harvest section, and the upper sections of Creek that can provide more challenging angling.

Stream Flow and Current Conditions

Be sure to check the stream conditions before heading out to fish Loyalsock Creek. The USGS stream gauge near Loyalsockville, 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.

Loyalsock Creek at Loyalsockville, PA

  • Streamflow: 899 ft³/s
  • Gage height: 2.39 ft
Streamflow GraphGage height Graph

Best Time to Fish Loyalsock Creek

The season for Loyalsock Creek is standard Pennsylvania trout season. In the summer, the waters become too warm to be hospitable to trout. During this time, you can fish some of the smaller feeder streams. 

The best time to fish Loyalsock Creek is during the spring because of its aquatic insect population. At Loyalsock Creek, there are plenty of minnows and baitfish. Many anglers use streamers on this stream. 

Autumn can be a good time to visit too, as you will find larger brown trout during this time.

Best Flies for Loyalsock creek

There are good dry fly fishing opportunities in the spring, but you'll put more fish in the net with nymphs on Loyalsock Creek.

Regarding fly patterns, here is a list of some of the best flies for Loyalsock Creek:

  • Blue Quill (#16 - 18)
  • Brown Stonefly (#12 - 14)
  • Hendrickson (#14)
  • Quill Gordon (#14)
  •  Gray Fox (#14)
  • March Brown (#12)
  • Slate Drake (#14)
  • Sulphur (#16)
  • Tan Caddis (#16)
  • Green Drake (#10)
  • Light Cahill (#18)
  • Terrestrials (various) (#16 - 20)
  •  Trico (#24)

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 Loyalsock Creek.  A tapered 9-foot leader, with tippet size 4X to 6X to match the flies you are throwing, is pretty standard.

Need Gear?

Check out our DIY Guide to the Best Fly Fishing Gear for recommendations.

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.

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

Trip Planning Tips

The nearest airport to Loyalsock Creek is Williamsport Regional Airport, which is located about a half hour away from the stream. Wilkes-Barre Scranton International Airport is another nearby choice, although this airport is located an hour and a half away from your destination. Keep in mind that you can travel to any major or municipal airport in Eastern Pennsylvania and arrive at Loyalsock after a few hours of scenic driving.

If you are looking for reasonably priced lodging in the area, the Econo Lodge on Jefferson Hills Highway is a good place to start. This is a pet friendly location that offers free continental breakfast. If you would rather sleep under the stars, Riverside Campground is a nearby option that is open year round. There are plenty of activities to enjoy at Riverside, including Boozy Bingo events and tossing horseshoes.

Another choice would be Worlds End State Park, which is a gorgeous site situated in the narrow valley of Loyalsock Creek. While they don’t offer quite as many activities as Riverside Campground, Worlds End State Park is closer to the stream.

While Loyalsock Creek can’t be tamed by an angler, it can certainly be enjoyed by one. Happy fishing!

Feature Image by Ruhrfish

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

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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