DIY Guide to Fly Fishing Neshannock Creek in Northwest Pennsylvania

Volant, Pennsylvania is a fly fisherman’s paradise.

Situated in beautiful Amish country, Volant is well known for its excellent fly fishing opportunities and numerous attractions. While many anglers prefer to fly (fish) solo, Volant is the perfect location to visit with friends, family, and significant others, as there are plenty of other activities to enjoy outside of angling. Spend a romantic afternoon at the Volant Mill Winery or enjoy perusing the Amish goods and collectibles at the quaint village shops. 

But no matter what is on your itinerary for this trip, make sure you allow plenty of time for Neshannock Creek!

Fly fishing the Delayed-Harvest section of Neshannock Creek in Volant, PA

Neshannock Creek is a 25.65 mile long tributary of Shenango River. It forms at the confluence of Cool Spring and Otter Creek in Mercer County, Pennsylvania. From there, it flows south to Lawrence County. It is fed by numerous tributaries, most notably Beaver Run, Pine Run, and Mill Run.

At Neshannock Creek, you will find stocked rainbow and brown trout. The Creek boasts a beautiful waterfall and runs through Volant, Pennsylvania. There is a 2.7 mile Delayed Harvest Section. This portion of Neshannock Creek is one of twenty-two streams designated as a Keystone Select Water in the state of Pennsylvania. Keystone Select Waters receive special stockings of larger, older trout.The Creek also has impressive aquatic insect hatches. 

Fishing on this stream is open all year, but there are special regulations depending on when you choose to visit. The trout at Neshannock Creek aren’t particularly picky about what they eat, but you should still check out our hatch chart before your fishing trip to make sure you are properly equipped. 

Neshannock Creek Map and Fishing Access Sites

map of fishing spots on Neshannock 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 Neshannock Creek

There is a 2.7 mile long Delayed Harvest section governed by Delayed Harvest Artificial Lure Only regulations. This means that they offer year round fishing, but are only permitted to use artificial lures and you can only creel three trout that are nine inches or longer a day, from June 15 to Labor Day. The rest of the year is catch and release only.

The most popular section of Neshannock Creek is located from the man made waterfall upstream to the Main Street Bridge. 

Stream Flow and Current Conditions

Be sure to check the stream conditions before heading out to fish. Give the folks at Neshannock Creek Fly Shop a call to check current conditions.

Best Time to Fish Neshannock Creek

The best time to fish Neshannock Creek is from mid March to the end of June. September and October is also a great time to visit. In the summer, the water is too warm to be hospitable to trout. If you are going to tackle this stream in the hotter months, you should do so in the early morning, as the temperature of the Creek can reach the low seventies. 

Best Flies for Neshannock Creek

The trout in Neshannock Creek are not very picky, but you should still do your best to match the insect hatch.  Here is a list of generally recommended fly patterns in order of emergence from April through August.

  • Grannom (#16, #14)
  • Tan Caddis (#16)
  • Dark Brown Caddis (#16)
  • Green Caddis (#16)
  • Sulphur Dun & Spinner (#16)
  • March Brown (#12)
  • Light Cahill (#14)
  • Brown Drake (#14)
  • Red Quill (#16)
  • Blue Winged Olive (#14)
  • Green Drake & Coffin (#10)
  • Slate Drake (#14, #12)
  • Big Slate Drake (#8)
  • White Mayfly (#16, #14)

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 9-foot 5-wt fly rod with floating line is perfect for fishing dry flies and small nymphs on Neshannock Creek.  A tapered 9-foot leader, with tippet size 3X to 5X 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!

Neshannock Creek Fishing Reports

Area fly shops that can provide a Neshannock Creek fly fishing report are 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.

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

Trip Planning Tips

The nearest major airport to Neshannock Creek, Pennsylvania is Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport. It is located about 35 miles from your destination. Another nearby option is Venango Regional Airport. You can also travel to Pittsburgh International Airport, which is about 54 miles from Volant, Pennsylvania. You can travel to any major or municipal airport in Western Pennsylvania and arrive at your destination after a few hours of scenic driving.

There are plenty of lodging options near Volant that are perfect for the budget-minded fisherman. The Candlewood Suites in Mercer has a free local shuttle, along with a seasonal outdoor pool and fitness center. If you want to trade your creature comforts in for breathtaking beauty, try Rocky Springs Campground. You’ll love the tranquil setting and reasonable rates, as well as the seasonal activities they offer for the whole family.

Volant is a wonderful place to create memories to last a lifetime, whether you are taking on this adventure by yourself or with loved ones. Start planning your adventure today!

Feature Image by AllTrails

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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