Pennsylvania Fly Fishing 3 min read

DIY Guide to Fly Fishing Pocono Creek in Northeast Pennsylvania

Ken Sperry

Posted by Ken Sperry

April 7, 2024

Pocono Creek electrofishing

Although the Poconos are a well-known vacation destination, few anglers know Pocono Creek.

Due to its proximity to the highway, Pocono Creek has received a bad rap for the trash sometimes found in its waters. Local organizations are, however, making enormous efforts to clean up this trout stream and transform it into one of the best fishing destinations in Pennsylvania. 

Located in one of the most beautiful settings in the world, the creek is the perfect place for fly fishermen looking for their next challenge. Sure, you could always tackle the West Branch Delaware River when you visit the Poconos, but wouldn’t you rather explore this hidden treasure?

 Discover Pocono Creek with the help of our handy guide!

About Pocono Creek

Fly fishing Pocono Creek in Pennsylvania

Pocono Creek is a 15.8-mile-long tributary of Brodhead Creek in the Poconos. It drains out of Tobyhanna and Tunkhannock townships, flows southeast, and converges with McMichael Creek. The creek joins Brodhead Creek in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, and a tributary, Little Pocono Creek, also joins it. 

Pocono Creek is a PA Class A wild trout stream with a remarkably high biomass of wild brown trout, given its relatively small size. Some stocked fish are found in the lower 1.5 miles before the confluence with McMichael Creek.

Much of the stream flows between Route 80 and Route 611 in Tannersville and Bartonsville, Pennsylvania. This means the creek suffers somewhat, as many people dump trash from the highway. 

Still, the Pocono Heritage Land Trust and the Brodhead Chapter of Trout Unlimited have made great strides in cleaning up the stream. Because of their efforts, the Creek has already vastly improved in quality.

The water can get pretty skinny in certain stream portions, but there are plenty of deeper holes and runs, a favorite hiding place for wily trout.

Pocono Creek Map and Fishing Access Sites

map of fishing spots on Pocono Creek in Pennsylvania

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

Best Spots to Fish Pocono Creek

Pocono Creek is accessible from Tanite Road, Schafers Schoolhouse Road, and Martz Road in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. Heading upstream, the creek is accessible from numerous bridge crossings off Route 611.

Portions of the creek are posted against trespassing.  Please be mindful of signage. The stream is accessible to wade fishermen.

Stream Flow and Current Conditions

Check the stream conditions before fishing. The USGS stream gauge near Stroudsburg, PA, provides a good indication of current creek conditions.

The graph below shows the stream flow (discharge) for the past seven days. If flows are considerably above or below historical norms (yellow triangles on the chart), then fishing conditions may not be ideal.

Pocono Creek ab Wigwam Run near Stroudsburg, PA

  • Streamflow: 19.4 ft³/s
  • Gage height: 9.08 ft
Streamflow GraphGage height Graph

Best Time to Fish Pocono Creek

The best times of day to fish the creek are early morning and late evening. The season is standard Pennsylvania Trout Season. You will probably have the best luck if you fish earlier in the season, but fall can be a good time for catching larger brown trout.

Best Flies for Pocono Creek

Pocono Creek reportedly has a large population of Blue Winged Olives in the spring. 

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

  • Midge (#16-26)
  • Quill Gordon (#12-14)
  • Blue Winged Olives (#18-20)
  • Little Mahogany (#16-20)
  • Little Black Caddis (#16-18)
  • Hendrickson (#14-16)
  • March Brown (#10-12)
  • Eastern Gray Drake (#10-12)
  • Large Sulphur (#14-16)
  • Little Sulphur (#16-20)
  • Light Cahill (#14-16)
  • Gray Fox (#12-14)
  • Little Yellow Stonefly (#12-14)
  • Eastern Green Drake (#8-10)
  • Isonychia (#12-14)
  • Brown Drake (#8-10)
  • Hexagenia (#6-8)
  • Yellow Drake (#12-14)
  • Golden Drake (8)
  • Slate Wing Olive (#16-18)
  • Trico (#22-24)
  • Tiny Blue Winged Olive (#22-24)

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

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.

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

Trip Planning Tips

The nearest airport to Pocono Creek is Lehigh Valley International Airport, about forty minutes from your destination. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport is another viable option, as it is less than an hour from the Creek. However, you can visit any major or municipal airport in Eastern Pennsylvania and arrive at your destination after a few hours of scenic driving.

If you are looking for cozy lodgings, Pocono Plaza Inn is only a two-minute drive from the Creek. It offers reasonable rates and an on-site restaurant/bar. 

Because the Poconos are such a popular vacation spot, there are plenty of great local campgrounds to choose from. Mountain Vista Campgrounds is a mere twenty minutes away from the creek and offers many different activities throughout the year, ensuring that you will have an excellent time no matter when you visit.

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

Feature Image by Brodhead Trout Unlimited