Home forums Organizations Events Photos About Conservation Search Contact

FLY FISHING THE LACKAWAXEN RIVER IN PENNSYLVANIA

Arrow Fly Shops Arrow Water Flows Arrow Fishing Reports Arrow Driving Directions
Arrow Lodging Arrow Guides Arrow Places to Eat Arrow Real Estate/Properties
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.

Fly Fishing Map Icon

CLICK FOR MAP

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.
Hatch Chart
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.