Spring is the season for trout fishing in Pennsylvania. Anglers plunge into the commonwealth’s 86,000 miles of streams and rivers, along with 4,000 inland lakes and ponds, in hopes of catching a prize trout by casting the perfect fly and spinning the ideal lure. The season starts April 4 in 18 southeastern Pennsylvania counties and April 18 in the rest of the commonwealth. From the brook trout (Pennsylvania’s official state fish) to the flashy rainbow trout or brown trout, Pennsylvania creeks and streams are well-stocked for anglers at these and many other waterways throughout the state.
*Licenses are required to fish in Pennsylvania, and many areas have special regulations and creel limits on trout fishing. Anglers are encouraged to study the regulations for favorite fishing holes at www.fishinpa.com.
Oil Creek - Pennsylvania’s Great Lakes Region
Crawford and Venango counties
Earning its name at a time when the river was used to ship petroleum downstream, Oil Creek has become one of Pennsylvania’s top trout streams. Anglers may explore some of the creek’s tributaries where wild brook trout 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.
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 trout. 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 fishing. Heading southward into Beaver River, Slippery Rock Creek has remote, gorgeous stretches that can be accessed by trails in McConnells Mill State Park.
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 located 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 trout.
Youghiogheny River - Pittsburgh and its Countryside
Fayette and Somerset counties
Anglers can try their hand at float fishing on the famous Youghiogheny River outside Pittsburgh, where excellent trout 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.
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. Anglers from far and wide flock to this stream for some challenging and exciting fly fishing, surrounded by a fine mix of pools, riffles and runs to explore.
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 March 29, so anglers eager to get an early start can do so here.