DIY Guide to Fly Fishing McMichaels Creek in Northeast Pennsylvania

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

If you are looking for a location that checks off all your boxes, McMichaels Creek might just 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!

Fly fishing McMichaels Creek in Pennsylvania

McMichaels Creek is a 21.7 mile long tributary of Brodhead Creek in Eastern Pennsylvania. McMichael Creek originates above the village of McMichael on Rt 715. The water flows from cold water 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) downstream 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. Because this Creek is so popular with local anglers, the trout can be very skittish. You’ll want to avoid the more frequently targeted areas and instead stray off the beaten path.

Please be careful when you are fishing McMichaels Creek, as there have been deadly accidents involving anglers in the past. Be particularly mindful in the fast moving water sections. 

McMichaels Creek Map and Fishing Access Sites

map of fishing spots on McMichael 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 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, 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. Spring time 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 have more success 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)

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

Streamers
- Wooly Bugger, Black (Size #8x2)
- Wooly Bugger, Olive (Size #8x2)

Gear Recommendations

A 8-1/2 foot 4-wt fly rod with 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.

Need Gear? 

Below are recommendations for essential gear to make the most of your time on the water.

Quality rod, reel, line and rod tube at a reasonable price. Backed by Orvis 25-yr guarantee, a brand you can trust.

High performance nylon leader, great for fishing Dry Flies, Nymphs and Streamers.

Excellent knot strength, stretch and suppleness make this the finest nylon tippet.  3-pack of the sizes you'll need the most.

Heavy duty, waterproof, yet breathable.  If you are tough on waders, these are for you. Backed by Simms Wader Warranty. If they leak, they got your back.

Most durable, yet comfortable, boot on the market.  Excellent foot and ankle support.  Great for rocky rivers. Lightweight and designed for all-day wear.

Sweet pack with ample storage. Unique harness system reduces neck strain. Sleek tapered face improves visibility - you can see your feet when wading!

Durable and lightweight. The carbon fiber frame floats.  Hooks don't get stuck in the rubber mesh bag . Extra length makes it easier to net fish.  Simply the best nets on the market.

Tough, waterproof and priced right. Hold 900+ flies in slotted foam.  If you need more storage - you have too many flies!

Simple, sharp nippers at great price. Clip on retractor keeps this must have gear at your fingertips.

Strong with a fine tip. Perfect for removing split shot and hooks. Simply the best fishing pliers.

The 580 Glass polarized lenses are super clear and somehow relaxing on the eyes.  Game changer.

Note: DIY Fly Fishing earns a commission (at no cost to you) on sales made using the links above. Thank you for your support!

McMichaels Creek Fishing Reports

There aren't too many McMichaels Creek fly fishing reports available on-line. At least one to check out is listed below.

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. No fish can be kept except from June 15 to Labor Day.  At that time 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 that are reasonably priced, look no further than Flower Field Inn and Cottages. Flower Field Inn and Cottages is only a four minute drive from McMichael Creek. They offer free WiFi and an outdoor pool.

If you would prefer to sleep under the stars, Mountain Vista Campground is sure to 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.

There are no shortage of gorgeous fly fishing locations in Pennsylvania, but McMichaels Creek should definitely be high on your list.

Feature Image by  Michael Evanko

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


Ken Sperry

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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