Feeding into the Delaware River, the Lackawaxen is located
in Northeastern Pennsylvania and is well known for its
population of wild browns and rainbows. Many people argue
that with the exception of the upper Delaware, it is,
or could be, the best tail-water fishery in Pennsylvania.
Trout up to 16+ inches are located throughout the river
and present a challenge even to the well-seasoned angler.
Flowing for almost 30 miles, it begins at the hydroelectric
dam at the southern end of Prompton Lake. From there
it flows east along Route 6 until it reaches the town
of Honesdale, where Dyberry Creek dumps into it from
the north. This is the upper portion of the Lackawaxen
and usually runs the coldest. After passing by Honesdale,
it turns southeast until it reaches Hawley. This is
a beautiful stretch that offers favorable water temperatures
throughout most of the open season. At Hawley, it picks
up Route 590 and SR 4006. From there it flows east
again to where it reaches the Delaware River, some
10 miles south of Narrowsburg. During the summer months,
this section of river is usually too warm for trout
fishing. However, in spring, the lower Lackawaxen can
hold large, wild trout that migrate up from the Delaware
while water temperatures are favorable.
This large river consists of beautiful swift pools, followed
by short runs, rifts, and pocket water. The good-sized
boulders scattered throughout the river, the overhanging
trees, and deep pools help provide trout with a comfortable
home. This, in turn, provides anglers with a great place
to fish. Many anglers are surprised at the number of
fish in this river. Fish seem to be located in every
rift, run, and pocket; due in part to the wild population
and the thousands of fish that are stocked each year.
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Springtime on the Lackawaxen is when the river is at
its best. The cold water temperatures at this time of
year, together with the Delaware fish that migrate upstream,
make spring a great season to start learning the Lackawaxen.
Fishing streamers and Woolly Buggers can produce some
exciting action. Using a sinking fly line will help get
your streamers in the "zone." Nymph fishing is also good
now, and by late April some of the year's first dries
will be in the air. May is explosive, with many species
of Mayflies, Caddis, and Stoneflies emerging from hibernation.
Swinging large wets in late May and June evenings can
also produce some of the large "wild Delaware pigs." The
May dry-fly fishing continues into June and offers some
of the most productive fishing of the year on the Lackawaxen.
By summertime, the Lackawaxen starts to depend on
rain, and starving for cold water, only the upper portion
produces well. During the summer, you'll find it helpful
to fish in close proximity to several of the cold water
creeks that enter the Lackawaxen. These spots seem
to produce more fish when the water warms up. (Please
take water temperatures to ensure fish safety.) You
will find, however, that smallmouth fishing can be
excellent on the lower portion where it empties into
the Delaware during the summer.
By fall, when the leaves are ready to turn, the Lackawaxen
becomes a very productive river again. Streamers work
well this time of year, along with a couple select
Mayflies. This season, fish are hungry and eager to
fatten up before the winter.
Overall, the Lackawaxen is a very productive and
exciting river. If you're looking to visit Northeastern
Pennsylvania, or plan a fishing trip, be sure to plan
on stopping at the Lackawaxen. The Delaware Valley
is pristine, and this great river makes it even better.