Pennsylvania Fly Fishing 3 min read

DIY Guide to Fly Fishing McMichaels Creek in Northeast Pennsylvania

Ken Sperry

Posted by Ken Sperry

April 7, 2024

Rainbow trout caught in McMichaels Creek in Monroe County Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania has so many beautiful trout streams that it can be challenging to narrow your options when planning your next fly fishing adventure.

If you are looking for a location that meets all your criteria, McMichaels Creek might be the perfect spot.

Scenic view? Check.  Beautiful waterfalls, deep pools, and slow-moving runs? Check. A good source of brook, rainbow, and brown trout? Check.

A handy guide that will prepare you with all the information you need to conquer this Creek? Check!

About McMichaels Creek

Fly fishing McMichaels Creek in Pennsylvania

McMichaels Creek is a 21.7-mile-long tributary of Brodhead Creek in Eastern Pennsylvania. It originates above the village of McMichael on Rt 715. The water flows from cold springs on the back of Camelback Mountain and is formed by the convergence of Hypsie Creek, Bowers Creek, and Fall Creek. The Creek drops from the Pocono Plateau to join Pocono Creek in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. 

McMichael Creek was added to Pennsylvania’s Keystone Select Program in 2018. The Keystone Select water extends 1.66 miles from a point 0.71 mile downstream of the bridge on Turkey Hill Road (T-416) to Glen Brook Road SR 2004 Bridge. Keystone Select waters are covered by Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only (DHALO) regulations.

At McMichaels Creek, you’ll mostly find brook, rainbow, and brown trout. The trout can be skittish because this Creek is so popular with local anglers. Avoid the more frequently targeted areas and instead stray off the beaten path.

Please be careful when fishing McMichaels Creek. There have been deadly accidents involving anglers in the past. Be particularly mindful of the fast-moving water sections. 

McMichaels Creek Map and Fishing Access Sites

Get Directions to the Fishing Access Points shown above with the DIY Fly Fishing Map

Best Spots to Fish McMichaels Creek

The best access point for McMichaels Creek is at Hickory Valley Park. Pay attention to signage as you approach. The best stretch to fish is the DHALO section at Hickory Valley Park. You might also have luck if you try Downriver, which is away from the crowds. 

McMichaels Creek is relatively easy to wade, but again, be careful when navigating the stream and prioritize safety above all else.

Best Time to Fish McMichaels Creek

You can fish McMichaels Creek any time during the year, as the water temperature remains relatively cool. At McMichael Creek, you’ll see Sulphurs, Slate Drakes, Light Cahills, Caddis, and terrestrials. Springtime is probably the best time to tackle the stream because of the variety of insect hatches. Fall is also a good time to search for larger brown trout.

The Creek is very popular at the beginning of the season, so you might succeed more if you wait for the crowds to dissipate before attempting to fly fish. The best time of day to fish is early morning or late evening.

Best Flies for McMichaels Creek

Here is a list of some of the best flies for McMichaels Creek:

  • Sparkle Dun (#18-20)
  • Dave’s Oh-So-Iso ( #14-18)
  • Light Cahill (#14-16)
  • Shaky Worm(#12-14)
  • CJ Controller (#16-18)
  • Bead Head American Pheasant Tail(#16-18)
  • Pats Stone (#10)

Gear Recommendations

An 8-1/2 foot 4-wt fly rod with a floating line is perfect for fishing dry flies and small nymphs on McMichaels Creek.  A tapered 9-foot leader, with tippet size 4X to 6X to match the flies you are throwing, is pretty standard.

McMichaels Creek Fishing Reports

There aren’t too many McMichaels Creek fly fishing reports available online. At least one to check out is listed below.

  • Orvis Fishing Report

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.

McMichael Creek is managed under Delayed Harvest—artificial Lures Only regulations. Fish cannot be kept except from June 15 to Labor Day, when anglers can harvest three trout of nine inches or larger. After Labor Day to June 15, no trout may be kept. All fishing must be with artificial lures.

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

Trip Planning Tips

The nearest airport to McMichaels Creek is Lehigh Valley International Airport. It is about forty-five minutes away from your destination. Wilkes-Barre Scranton International Airport is another option that is only an hour away from the stream. You can travel to any major or municipal airport in Eastern Pennsylvania and arrive at your destination after a couple hours of scenic driving.

If you are looking for rustic accommodations at reasonable prices, look no further than Flower Field Inn and Cottages. It is only a four-minute drive from McMichael Creek. The inn offers free Wi-Fi and an outdoor pool.

If you prefer to sleep under the stars, Mountain Vista Campground will surely provide an unforgettable experience. The campground is located about twenty minutes away from the Creek. The campground offers many activities throughout the year, so you can enjoy all sorts of outdoor adventures in addition to fly fishing.

Pennsylvania has no shortage of gorgeous fly fishing locations, but McMichaels Creek should be high on your list.

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

Feature Image by  Michael Evanko