Trout Fishing in Western Pennsylvania

Brown trouts (Salmo trutta) on plank
••• Jan Hakan Dahlstrom/Getty Images

Spring is the season for trout fishing in ​Pennsylvania. Anglers plunge into the commonwealth’s 83,000 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 13 in Pennsylvania's western counties. 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 ​Commonwealth.

Licenses are required to fish in Pennsylvania, and many areas have special regulations and creel limits on trout fishing. Anglers can find current regulations for favorite fishing holes at ​

Slippery Rock Creek

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.

Youghiogheny River

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 all 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

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.

Neshannock Creek

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.

Slate Run

Lycoming County
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.