Because the Pocono plateau is higher than the surrounding region, and also of a more northern latitude, trout fishing usually takes a little longer to warm up here. But by mid-spring, water temps are usually reaching levels that trigger good mayfly and some stonefly hatches.
In addition, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has its in-season stockings geared for this time of year.
The period from the end of April through May is when these streams receive their major plantings. They won't see a stocking again until October when the fall is in full bloom.
Look for Poconos waters to support mayfly hatches in which patterns such as size 14 Red Quills, Quill Gordans and Hendricksons, and size 18 Blue Quills will garner trout.
In the other aquatic species size 12 Early Brown Stoneflies are a good bet.
Blue-winged Olives, size 14, is a pattern that can be useful on those cloudy, colder days that are still prevalent in the Poconos at this time.
Later in the month, particularly on the large waters Lackawaxen River, and the mid-size streams, Equinunk and Bushkill creeks look for some caddis activity.
Tan caddis in sizes 14 and 16 play a major role here as May stretches out.
Lackawaxen River: The largest trout water in the region is undoubtedly the Lackawaxen. However, even more important than knowing the stocking schedule on this long flow is knowing how much water is being dumped from Lake Wallenpaupack.
While the outflow does not affect the river upstream from Hawley, it certainly does downstream to the mouth of the Delaware River. If they're emitting water from the lake, the lower Lackawaxen is just about unfishable.
For the latest, call the PPL Lake Wallenpaupack hot line (800-807-2474).
In the Pike County section of the Lackawaxen, the Fish and Boat Commission has scheduled stockings for the weeks of April 24 and May 1.
The agency is not releasing specific dates for these stockings, but you can rest assured the stockings will be in before the following weekend.
The Wayne County section of the river, which is not affected by the outflow from the lake, will be stocked on May 19.
West Branch Lackawaxen River: There are two wonderful sections of this river. One runs from the Pleasant Mill Fish Hatchery downstream to Hatchery Road Bridge and is scheduled for stocking on April 21.
The second section, which begins at the outlet for Prompton Dam and runs to Sealyville Dam is stocking during the weeks of April 17 and May 1.
West Branch Wallenpaupack Creek: There are two good stretches of this creek. The first stretch goes from Jones Creek to Callapoose Road (SR 3009). This section is planted on April 26.
The second section, from SR 3009 downstream to Forks Bridge Road is also stocked on April 26, however, the first section carries special regulations and the second section does not.
Dyberry Creek: This stream has been under scrutiny by the state recently because of extensive trout migrations from this stream. As such, the creek was scheduled to be stocked much closer to Opening Day than ever before and the in-season stockings are taking place mostly in late April and very early May.
The exception is a portion between the Jadwin dam and the confluence of the West Branch Lackawaxen River, which will be stocked May 19.
Upper sections, namely the stretch from the junction of the East and West Branch Dyberry Creek down to Dug Road, are scheduled for stocking on April 14 while the area along SR 4009 will be planted on April 28 and the area between SR 4009 and Jadwin dam will be planted on April 21 and May 19.
Equinunk Creek: Stocked from Kinneyville Creek down to the Delaware River on April 28, a lot of those fish head right out to the river.
Dingmans Creek: This high gradient creek is stocked from Deer Leap Falls down to Dingmans Falls on May 12. Be sure you have good no-slip soles on your waders to fish this stream.
Shohola Creek: Narrow and thick with bank side-brush, this creek is scheduled for an in-season stocking on April 26.
Brodhead Creek: Scheduled for an in-season planting on May 4 and May 9. The section to be stocked runs from Cherry Lane downstream to the Stroudsburg Water Company Property and onto the confluence with McMichaels Creek.
Through this section, the creek is broad, and often very deep. Access is good particularly along the Stroud Township greenway off Route 191, below Route 447.
McMichaels Creek: An increasingly popular place to fish in Monroe County, with three sections being stocked.
The first is above Strawberry Hill Road and down to Beaver Valley Road (May 25).
The next section is from Turkey Hill Road downstream to the upper boundary of the Glen Mill Golf Course (May 5). This section is under special regulations. The third section runs from Cherry Valley Road downstream to the confluence with Brodhead Creek (April 25 and May 5).
Generally, McMichaels is an easy-to-wade, wide-open stream with easy gradients and plenty of spot holding water.
Bushkill Creek: On May 9, the section through the Resica Falls Boy Scout property will be planted. This section is under special regulations.
In addition, on April 21 and May 16 the section between Winona Falls Road and the confluence with the Delaware River will be visited by the stocking truck. Still providing action at this time is the stretch between the lower Resica Falls boundary and Winona Falls Road, which was stocked on April 17.
For the most part, Bushkill is a roaring, high gradient stream with plenty of pocket water, particular in the stretch upstream of the Boy Scout property.
Upper Lehigh River: Wading is a heck of a lot easier on the upper portion than it is downstream below the Francis Walter Dam. On April 25 and May 9, the stretch passing through State Game Lands 127 receives a large dose of hatchery fish.
Then on April 19 and May 16, the section starting at the lower end of SGL 127 downstream to below the Choke Creek confluence receives a planting of trout.
The upper Lehigh River is nothing like its connected roar downstream. Two hops and a skip will get you over many pieces of the upper river.
The trout can be very finicky in what is usually very clear water in the upper river.
Tobyhanna Creek: A portion gets a major stocking on April 25 and May 16. This section starts at the outlet of Mill Pond No. 1 and continues downstream to Still Swamp Run Road.
A second section, under special regulations, is set for a.m. April 25 stocking. This stretch starts at Still Swamp Run and continues into SGL 127.
Tobyhanna is as tannin-colored as they come. In the special regulation area, this is a sluggish stream where trout have time to file a book report on your fly before reacting to it.
Buckwa Creek: On May 10 the little stream will be stocked from Princess Run downstream to the confluence of Borger Creek.
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