Pennsylvania Fly Fishing 4 min read

DIY Guide to Fly Fishing Pohopoco Creek in Northeast Pennsylvania

Ken Sperry

Posted by Ken Sperry

November 24, 2019

Pohopoco Creek in Pennsylvania

Pohopoco Creek is called many different names, including Heads Creek, Big Creek, Pocho Pochto Creek, Pohopoko Creek, and, perhaps most unfortunately, Poopoke Creek.

But no matter what you choose to call it, know that Pohopoco Creek is a solid choice for your next fly fishing destination.

You don’t have to take our word for it, though!  A section of the creek has been designated as a Class A Wild Trout Stream by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. This is the highest rating that a trout stream can receive, and they don’t hand it out lightly.

So grab your rod and prepare for your next angling adventure at Pohopoco Creek!

About Pohopoco Creek

Fly fishing Pohopoco Creek tailwater below the Beltsville Dam in northeast Pennsylvania

Pohopoco Creek is a 27.8 mile long tributary of the Lehigh River. The first part flows from Monroe County, and comes down from Pohopoco Mountain. The stream moves south and then flows into Beltzville Lake

At the bottom of the lake, Pohopoco Creek reemerges providing a tailwater that fishes well all summer. The upper section of the stream is not stocked, but it is listed as a Class A Wild Trout Stream. This area extends from the State Route 3016 bridge to the State Route 209 bridge. Much of the upper stream flows through private lands, so you will want to be careful about observing signage. Many of the landowners will grant you permission, so if in doubt, just ask.

The tailwater section is stocked below the dam all the way down to the low-head dam in Parryville. Here you will find a mix of stocked rainbows, brookies and some wild brown trout, with some as large as 18 inches.

Pohopoco Creek is also well-known for its excellent insect hatches. But don’t let the Creek fool you into going on autopilot. The trout in this stream are wily!

Pohopoco Creek Map and Fishing Access Sites

map of fishing spots on the Pohopoco Creek in Pennsylvania

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

Best Spots to Fish Pohopoco Creek

The Class A section of this Creek above the dam is teeming with trout, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. This section is relatively small and casting is a challenge.  You’ll need your best roll casts, skip casts, and short sidearm casts.

You can find parking by taking Old Mill Road. Just off of Route 209, there is a campground. The campground usually gives you permission to park in one of their lots for stream access.

There are numerous access points below the dam at bridge crossing and in the parking lots of various local businesses (see map). At the lower end of the creek you can gain access near Parryville by parking in the diner parking lot, but be sure to ask permission first!

If you are choosing to visit in the summer, you should avoid the area near Parryville. Due to the high temperatures, the stressed trout from the Lehigh River find refuge during the summer in this section. 

Pohopoco Creek is accessible to wade fishermen, but the temperatures in the tailwater portion of the stream can be chilly even in the dead of summer. This is great for the trout but you’ll want to make sure to pack some warm socks!

Stream Flow and Current Conditions

Be sure to check the stream conditions before heading out to fish Pohopoco Creek. The USGS stream gauge near Parryville, PA provides a good indication of current conditions.The graph below shows the stream flow (discharge) for the past 7-days. If flows are considerably above or below historical norms (yellow triangles on the chart) then fishing conditions maybe not be ideal.

Pohopoco Cr bl Beltzville Dam nr Parryville, PA

  • Temperature: 51.08 ° F
  • Streamflow: 64.9 ft³/s
  • Gage height: 2.82 ft
Temperature GraphStreamflow GraphGage height Graph

Best Time to Fish Pohopoco Creek

The season for Pohopoco Creek is standard Pennsylvania Trout season. The water temperature stays fairly cool throughout the year, so you can tackle this stream during any time of the year. During the spring, you will encounter Hendricksons, Caddis, and Sulphurs. In the summer, you will have success with terrestrials.  Midges are a good bet in the tailwater section year round.

Fall can be a good time to visit the creek, for the foliage and for catcher larger brown trout.

Best Flies for Pohopoco Creek

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

  • Blue Winged Olive (#18-24)
  • Little Black Stone (#18-20)
  • Early Brown Stone (#14)
  • Midges (#18-24)
  • Yellow Sally (#16)
  • Cream Cranefly (#16-18)
  • Orange Cranefly (#18-22)
  • Lt. Henrickson (#16-20)
  • Quill Gordon (#16-20)
  • Sulphurs (#16-18)
  • Dark Grey Caddis (#16-20)
  • Green Caddis (#14-18)
  • Tan Caddis (#14-18)
  • Olive Caddis (#16-18)
  • Black Caddis (#12-16)
  • Terrestrials (#14-18)

Gear Recommendations

A 9-foot 4-wt fly rod with floating line is perfect for fishing dry flies and small nymphs on Pohopoco 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.

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

Trip Planning Tips

The nearest airport to Pohopoco Creek is Lehigh Valley International Airport, which is located about 45 minutes away from the stream. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport is another close by option, as it is only about 50 minutes away from the Creek. Keep in mind you can travel to 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 lodging in the area, Days Inn by Wyndham Tannersville offers reasonable rates, an outdoor pool, and a free continental breakfast. If you would rather stay at a campground, Lizard Creek Campground begins its season on in March. Lizard Creek Campground provides gorgeous views, a variety of outdoor activities including hiking and rafting, and a camp store, just in case you forgot something (or just really want some ice cream!). 

Pohopoco Creek is a great place to hook-up with some trout and connect with nature. Start planning your trip today!

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

Feature Image by Anthony Bley