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Running through the outskirts and City of Allentown, the Little Lehigh in Southeastern Pennsylvania is a productive, limestone spring creek. The parks and regulations that are a part of this fishery help protect it, even within the city limits. Many people argue that it's the best creek in this part of Pennsylvania.

Beginning near Woodside Avenue in Berks County, the Little Lehigh flows approximately 18 miles northeast towards Allentown where it meets the Lehigh River. Mertztown Road parallels the stream along most of its upper stretches and provides some access along the way. Berks County stocks the Little Lehigh well, so many fish can be found before it reaches Lehigh County. However, the fishing in Berks County is usually limited to early season, before summertime warming takes place.
Fly Fishing Map Icon


Lehigh County is where you'll see most people fishing on the Little Lehigh. Here, the river flows under several roads including Route 100, Route 9, Route 29, and Route 309. You can gain access from some of these overpasses, but the river is most accessible via the smaller side roads. A DHFFO (Delayed Harvest Fly Fishing Only) area begins. This area extends 1.8 miles; From the downstream face of the bridge on the T-508 Wild Cherry Lane) downstream to the upstream face of the bridge on T-510 (Millrace Road). This protected section holds both wild and stocked trout. Although the average fish are in the 12- to 14-inch range, a good number of these fish are fairly large in size.
Hatch Chart
From the end of the fly stretch to the Route 29 Bridge, you'll find more quality water. Downstream from the Route 29 Bridge, there is an area of posted land that runs to the spot where the Little Lehigh emerges into the Allentown Park system. Here the stream flows through meadows and well-groomed lawns. Trees line this area and help provide shade during sunny days. This area is within the city limits, but is well disguised from the people and traffic found in the middle of Allentown.

The upstream side of the bridge at Fish Hatchery Road marks the beginning of a Heritage Trout Angling area. This area extends 1 mile from the upstream face of Fish Hatchery Rail road Bridge downstream to near the 24th street bridge. Above the Fish Hatchery Road Bridge sits a large parking area. Here, from a small foot bridge, you can walk out and admire the trout holding behind some of the rocks and fallen logs. Within the Heritage area only barbless hooks are allowed. This ensures proper handling of the trout throughout this stretch. Below the Heritage area you'll come upon a couple more miles of good fishing until you reach Cedar Creek. Below Cedar Creek, the Little Lehigh leaves the Park system and is surrounded by buildings and homes. Eventually the Little Lehigh meets the Lehigh River in the middle of Allentown. Most people avoid fishing below Cedar Creek, although some decent fishing is available there.

Hatches on the Little Lehigh include Blue-Winged Olives, Sulphurs, and Tricos. There are a few other small hatches, but most of the dry-fly fishing consists of those three Mayflies. Terrestrials and Midges supply the other dry-fly fishing on the stream. Scuds and small nymphs also work well. And be sure you don't leave your 7X and 8X tippets at home when you visit the Little Lehigh.