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Pennsylvania fly fishing for trout and steelhead is some of the best in the country. Pennsylvania is also a relatively large state that takes about 5 hours to traverse from Philadelphia on the eastern side to Pittsburgh on the western side.
So if you really want to find out where the best PA fly fishing spots are you'll need a good map. Lucky for you we created one. Above is an interactive map all the best trout and steelhead fishing spots in PA.
The map above includes Pennsylvania Special Regulation Trout Streams, Pennsylvania Class A Wild Trout Streams and Pennsylvania steelhead fishing spots in the famed Steelhead Alley. Click on map icons for information about each fishing location and to get directions.
Some of the best trout fishing spots in PA are listed below by region. Click the links provided to locate the stream on the map above.
The state of Pennsylvania is just brimming with fabulous opportunities for outdoor adventure and recreation year-round, and fly fishing is no exception. You're never far from a great lake, stream, or river, it seems, and all of them are easily accessible from towns and cities across the state. While some lakes may be private fishing lakes, there are many others that are open to the public. The most common of the fish you'll be catching is the trout, which is available all across the state. If you're looking for blue ribbon waters, Pennsylvania has a number of them.
With so many quality trout streams in Pennsylvania one could spark a serious debate about where the best trout fishing in Pennsylvania is. Let's take a look at some the leading candidates.
One could arguably say the best fly fishing in Pennsylvania is in the South Central region where you'll find iconic limestone streams such as the Letort, the Little Juniata River and the Yellow Breeches.
Letort Spring Run, Cumberland County
If you're ready to flex your skills against some seriously wily brown trout, then you need to head to Letort Spring Run.
This stream is famous for the legends of fly fishing who frequented its' banks including Ed Shenk, Ed Koch, Vince Marinaro, and Charlie Fox.
The Letort is designated as a Pennsylvania Class A Wild Trout Stream. A 1.7 mile reach from 300 yards upstream of bridge on T-481 (Bonnybrook Road) downstream to the Reading Railroad Bridge at the southern edge of Letort Spring Park. Is managed as Catch & Release Fly Fishing Only.
The Letort is challenging stream to fish. The fish can be easily spooked, and once that happens, you’ll have a hard time catching anything. If you are up for the challenge, you'll want to head here between mid-April and February. If you're planning on staying nearby, Carlisle is the closest city.
North-Central Pennsylvania contains some of the most fabled fly fishing waters in the Commonwealth including Fishing Creek, Penns Creek, Slate Run and Spring Creek. But that's not all. There are also 36 other special regulation trout streams that provide excellent fly fishing opportunities in north-central Pennsylvania. Why not check one out?
Penns Creek, Synder County
Penns Creek is one of, if not the most, famous trout stream in PA. Large brown trout and the best Green Drake hatch in the Eastern US can be found here.
With 35 miles of trout water, Penn’s Creek is Pennsylvania’s longest limestone trout stream. Penn's Creek consists of three sections.
“Upper” Penns Creek is small averaging 15 to 30 feet wide where it exits the famous Penn's Cave. This is the coldest section of Penns Creek and though the state stocks this section with rainbow trout, very good numbers of wild brown trout are also present.
Penns Creek flows for approximately 13 miles from Penns Cave to the town of Coburn, where is it joined by two limestone streams, Elk Creek and Pine Creek. Here Penns Creek widens to 75 to 100 feet across. Elk Creek and Pine Creek are excellent wild brown trout fisheries in their own rights.
Near Coburn Penns Creek is characterize by large boulders, rock and gravel that fill the stream bed from this point downstream, providing excellent habitat for trout and aquatic insects. Nearly every species of mayfly, caddis and stonefly that exist in the eastern US can be found here creating a hatch-matching paradise. This 11 mile section, downstream to Weikert, is managed as a PA Class A Wild Trout Stream, Pennsylvania’s highest designation and it is not stocked. Trout average 12-13 inches but 14-16 inch fish are common and larger fish are a real possibility.
Much of Penns below Coburn is rimmed by the Bald Eagle State Forest. This vast tract of wild, public land provides beautiful scenery and a wealth of wildlife.
Slate Run, Lycoming County
Slate Run in North Central PA is well known for its wild brook trout and brown trout fishing. Slate Run is remote, quiet, and perfect for testing your skills as the fish are anything but easy to catch here. If you're looking for the brown trout stick to the lower area of the river.
If you don't mind putting in a little extra work you can head to the upper area of the river, which is where you'll find the brookies. What makes the trek worth it is the size of the brookies, which are described as very large. This area is open to anglers year-round and is graded at a moderate skill level.
The seven-mile reach of Slate Run from the confluence of the Cushman and Francis branches downstream to Pine Creek is managed as Catch & Release Fly Fishing Only.
The Poconos have more than just heart-shaped hot tubs. Northeast Pennsylvania, home to the Pocono Mountains (long-time destination of honeymooners) is laced with sparkling clear streams, wild brook trout and not so many anglers. If you are looking for a little more solitude on your next trout fly fishing outing we’ve got the spot for you.
Lehigh River - Crown Jewel of the Poconos
The Lehigh River is by far the most underrated trout stream in Northeast Pennsylvania, if not the whole state or Eastern US for that matter.
The Lehigh River is a big brawling freestone river that is more characteristic of a trout stream you'd find in the Western US than most of the small mountain streams you typically find in Northeast PA.
Check our Guide to Fly Fishing the Lehigh River for a map of fishing and boating access points, hatch chart, stream gauges and tips on how to fish the river.
Wild Trout Abound!
There are over 22 regulated trout streams in Northeast Pennsylvania including Catch and Release sections on Hickory Run, Roaring Brook, Tom’s Creek, and Catch and Release Fly Fishing Only sections on Bushkill Creek, Dyberry Creek, and Bowman Creek.
If beautiful wild brook trout get you going then check out Jeans Run and Kistler run where a Wild Brook Trout Enhancement Program is helping restore this native beauty.
Northwest Pennsylvania has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to opportunities to fly fish for rainbow, brown and brook trout and here are 11 of them: Slippery Rock Creek, Caldwell Creek, Little Sandy Creek, Oil Creek, East Hickory Creek, Cool Spring Creek, Neshannock Creek, Piney Creek, Shenango River, West Branch Caldwell Creek and Tionesta Creek.
Nestled in the northwest corner of the state, all of these streams have special regulation sections including Catch and Release fishing on the West Branch Caldwell Creek, and Catch and Release Fly Fishing Only fishing on Little Sandy Creek and Caldwell Creek.
If it's steelhead that you're after then of course the tributaries to Lake Erie in Steelhead Alley are where you need to go.
Check out our Steelhead Alley Fishing Guide for maps, stream gauges and all you need to know to about fishing Steelhead Alley.
Pennsylvania fly shops, fly fishing guides and outfitters are listed by region below. Be sure to stop in at your local shop to get the latest fishing report and pick up any fishing supplies you may need.
Note: If you own a fly shop or guide service and would like to be listed below, please contact us.
Northeastern PA - Delaware River and Lehigh River watersheds
A.A. Outfitters Fly Shop
5728 Route 115
Blakeslee, Pa. 18610
542 Boulevard Avenue
Dickson City, PA 18519
Delaware River Club, Inc.
1228 Winterdale Road
Starlight, PA 18461
Dunkelbergers Sports Outfitter
585 Main Street
Stroudsburg, PA 18360
Evening Hatch Flyfishing Shop
797 State Rte 940 East
Lake Harmony, PA 18624
Rivers Outdoors Adventures
22 Hughes Street
New Ringgold, PA, 17960
Southeastern PA - Delaware River and Schuylkill River watersheds
Anglers Pro Shop
3361 Bethlehem Pike
Souderton, PA 18964
Classic Fly Fisherman
222 South Broad St.
Lansdale, PA 19446
Dave’s Sports Center
1127 North Easton Road
Doylestown, PA US, 18901
French Creek Outfitters
270 Schuylkill Road
Phoenixville, PA 19460
Heritage Fly Shop
2643 Fish Hatchery Road
Allentown, PA, 18103
The Sporting Gentleman
300 West State St.
Media, PA 19063
TCO Fly Shop Philadelphia
895 Penn Street
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
TCO Fly Shop Reading
2299 Penn Avenue
Reading, PA 19609
Northcentral PA - Susquehanna East & West Rivers watersheds
Big Meadows Fly Shop
5541 route 6
Wellsboro, PA 16901
Big Moores Run Lodge
RD3 Box 204-A
Coudersport, PA , 16915
Cross Fork Tackle Shop
Main Street, Box 261
Cross Fork, PA, 17729
The Feathered Hook LTD.
516 Main Street
Coburn, PA 16832
2603 E. College Ave.
State College, PA 16801
Slate Run Tackle Shop
PO Box 1 Route 414
Slate Run, PA , 17769
TCO Fly Shop State College
2030 East College Ave
State College, PA 16801
McConnell's Country Store
10853 Route 44 North
Waterville, PA 17776
There are a number of excellent books and guides available on fly fishing in Pennsylvania. A few that I highly recommend are listed below: