Pursue your happiness dropping a line into Pennsylvania’s 85,000 miles of streams and rivers, along with 4,000 inland lakes and ponds in hopes of catching a trophy fish. Happy Travelers know that the first day of trout season is practically a statewide holiday in the Keystone State. The season starts April 1 in 18 southeastern Pennsylvania counties and April 15 for the rest of the state, offering ample waters for fishers to perfect their cast. Licenses are required to fish in Pennsylvania, and many areas have special regulations and creel limits on fishing. Anglers are encouraged to study the regulations for favorite fishing holes at www.fishandboat.com.
Presque Isle Bay - Pennsylvania’s Great Lakes Region
A fishing trip to the Keystone State wouldn’t be complete without a stop along Pennsylvania’s only seashore. Presque Isle Bay is a premier destination for anglers looking for a variety of fish, including panfish, perch, bass, muskellunge, walleye, northern pike, crappies, smelt and steelhead. Popular fishing locations are the piers, the Perry Monument, lagoons and boat landings.
Yellow Breeches Creek - Dutch Country Roads
Yellow Breeches is arguably one of the most popular streams in the state. Every day, visitors can expect to find many anglers fishing throughout the stream, where there is never a shortage of fish. A huge stocking program supports this river, with fish stocked almost its entire length. In the spring, trout can be easily found feeding on top.
Slippery Rock Creek - Pittsburgh and its Countryside
Butler and Lawrence counties
Not too far from the city limits of Pittsburgh flows a stream known for its incredible trout and small mouth bass fishing. Heading south into Beaver River, Slippery Rock Creek has remote, gorgeous stretches that can be accessed by trails in McConnells Mill State Park. The creek is also the only Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission catch and release fly-fishing location that is open year round.
Cedar Run - Pennsylvania Wilds
Lycoming and Tioga counties
Packed with deep pools and dense trout populations, Cedar Run starts in Tioga County and flows for more than eight miles into Pine Creek in Lycoming County. There’s easy access from the road to a number of small fishing spots along Cedar Run, where anglers are sure to find plenty of fish.
Youghiogheny River - Laurel Highlands
Fayette and Somerset counties
Anglers can try their hand at float fishing on the famous Youghiogheny River outside Pittsburgh, where excellent trout and smallmouth bass fishing opportunities exist along the massive waterway. The Youghiogheny features a nine-mile all tackle trophy trout section, several fly fishing areas and easy access at Ohiopyle State Park.
Oil Creek - Pennsylvania’s Great Lakes Region
Crawford and Venango counties
Oil Creek has become one of Pennsylvania’s top trout and bass streams. Anglers may explore some of the creek’s tributaries where wild fish make their home. The best access to the water for fishing is in Oil Creek State Park, between Titusville and Oil City. The water here offers beautiful pools, riffles and runs.
Lake Arthur - Pittsburgh and its Countryside
The 3,225-acre Lake Arthur is a warm-water fishery located in Moraine State Park. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission stock muskellunge, walleye, channel catfish and hybrid striped bass and common wild species include northern pike, largemouth bass, channel catfish, black crappie and bluegill.
Spring Creek - The Alleghenies
Spring Creek, just outside State College, is known as an angler’s dream location. The wild trout fishery is full of pristine fishing hotspots stocked with 16-20-inch trout. A favorite destination along the creek is Fisherman’s Paradise, which offers solitude and tons of wild and aggressive fish.
Slate Run - Pennsylvania Wilds
Slate Run has become one of the most well-known freestone trout streams in the eastern United States. Wild brook trout and a few brown trout reside in the upper part of the stream, and wild brown trout reside in the lower part.
Letort Spring Run - Dutch Country Roads
This legendary limestone spring creek is sure to offer fly fishing at its best and has been the focus of anglers for many decades. A combination of a wide range of freshwater crustaceans to provide nutrient-rich food, as well as the stable water temperature year round, results in an active and healthy trout population that fishermen come from miles away to experience.
Neshannock Creek - Pennsylvania’s Great Lakes Region
Lawrence and Mercer counties
Thought to be one of the best winter trout streams in Pennsylvania, the Neshannock Creek is a beautiful 20-mile freestone stream in northwestern Pennsylvania. Fly fishermen tend to prefer the waters near the upper part of the creek, but excellent angling can be enjoyed further downstream as well.
Monocacy Creek - Lehigh Valley
Northampton and Lehigh counties
Most trout in the Monocacy are at least 12 inches in length, with some exceeding 15 inches. For the seasoned anglers looking for a challenge, the wild browns that roam the creek are no easy task to pull in. With great fishing offered year round, the Monocacy is a perfect place to come with a spinner rod or fly gear.
Wissahickon Creek - Philadelphia and the Countryside
Wissahickon Creek proves that anglers don’t even need to travel to remote locations to enjoy trout season in Pennsylvania. The creek, located in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park, is fully stocked with trout each season. Deep pools, fast riffles and tumbling pocket water present a wonderful angling opportunity for serious fishermen and beginners. The creek is in one of the areas that mark opening day on April 1, so anglers eager to get an early start can do so here.