Worms, lures, and flies beware! Pennsylvania’s wild trout streams and lakes are filled to the gills with trout! Along with the wild trout that populate PA’s streams and lakes, the Fish and Game Commission has been very busy releasing 3.2 million adult rainbow, brook, brown, and golden rainbow trout into 697 streams and 126 lakes throughout PA in time for the statewide trout season opener on Apr. 1. There will be plenty of chances to land “the big one,” with 70,000 or so hatchery-raised rainbow, brown, and brook trout, each measuring 14-20 inches in length, among the mix.
So pack your reel, order your Pennsylvania fishing license, and plan to cast your line in some of the finest PA trout waters.
1. Oil Creek
Nearest City: Titusville and Oil City
Oil Creek State Park provides the best access to fishing in Oil Creek, a river once used to ship precious petroleum downstream and now a prime trout fishing spot. Many anglers take advantage of the aquatic insect hatches that occur during the month of May or explore some of the creek’s tributaries, where wild brook trout make their home. Several small paths and trails lead from the park roads to the water.
2. Neshannock Creek
Nearest City: Mercer
While Neshannock Creek is open year-round, fishing in the 20-mile freestone stream is most rewarding during fall and spring. Neshannock Creek is heavily stocked with brown and rainbow trout, and the waters near the upper part of the creek are popular with fly fishermen.
3. Slippery Rock Creek
Nearest City: Slippery Rock
Slippery Rock Creek features trout and bass stocked by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. Originating in the town of Slippery Rock, the creek intersects McConnells Mill State Park. This is where anglers can access trails leading to stretches of trout-filled waters.
4. Youghiogheny River
Nearest City: Ohiopyle
The Youghiogheny River, located adjacent to the Great Allegheny Passage, rewards hikers and bikers traveling the trail with fantastic PA trout fishing opportunities. Accessible from Ohiopyle State Park, the Middle Youghiogheny supplies tamer fishing waters, while the Lower Youghiogheny’s more turbulent waters are best explored with a professional fishing guide, who can lead you to hefty brown and rainbow trout.
5. Cedar Run
Nearest City: Cedar Run
Home to a healthy population of wild brown trout, Cedar Run is another tributary of Pine Creek. The “fine little trout stream” offers a tranquil fishing experience sheltered by pine and hardwood trees and a designated trophy trout area.
6. Slate Run
Nearest City: Slate Run
A tributary of Pine Creek, anglers love Slate Run’s fly-fishing opportunities. The creek sustains an abundance of wild brooks (“brookies”) and brown trout and features lovely pools, runs, and riffles. The appearance of horizontal shale beds the creek’s banks reveal the tributary’s namesake.
7. Fishing Creek
Nearest City: Bloomsburg
This creek truly lives up to its name. With numerous deep pools and excellent runs, Fishing Creek is a worthwhile stop for anglers searching for trout. The special regulations section of the creek is only one and a half miles long, but still offers outstanding fishing. The creek also offers great trout fishing in the winter months with holdover trout that roam the deep pools.
8. Spring Creek
Nearest City: State College
Hoping to land a monster trout? Spring Creek is where your fish tale might come true! With plenty of 16-to 20-inch long fish, this wild trout fishery is an anglers’ dream due to its combination of wild browns and some great insect hatches. Spring Creek is full of pristine fishing hot spots from popular destinations such as Fisherman’s Paradise, and many other areas that offer solitude and tons of wild and aggressive fish.
9. Letrot Spring Run
Nearest City: Carlisle
Fishermen and those less inclined to pick up a pole can all enjoy the scenic Letort Spring Run and its nature trail. The fertile limestone spring creek near Carlisle has a wide variety of aquatic vegetation in its waters, is bordered by lush trees and bushes, and has calm, clear waters for fly fishing. Advice for less-skilled anglers: a few poor casts can scare trout away from areas for the rest of the day, so hone your tactics before hitting this fishing hole.
10. Monocacy Creek
Nearest City: Bethlehem
Most trout in Monocacy Creek are at least 12 inches in length, but there is always a chance of getting lucky with a 10- to 12-pound rainbow. 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 great place to come with a spinner rod or fly gear.
11. Wissahickon Creek
Nearest City: Philadelphia
Located in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park, 23-mile Wissahickon Creek is fully stocked with trout each spring. Explore the creek’s surrounding woodlands via hiking and biking paths and try your skills at fishing in its deep pools, fast riffles, and tumbling water pockets.
To learn about additional fishing destinations in Pennsylvania, check out the visitPA website. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more PA inspiration. Don’t forget to sign up for our monthly Happy Thoughts e-newsletter so you never miss an update.