Although April trout fishing grabs the headlines in Pennsylvania, dedicated anglers know May is the real month to be on the water. The crowds have thinned and the rivers and streams are alive with great angling opportunities. Here are five suggestions for excellent fishing this spring.
Upper Delaware River: The Delaware’s long runs and deep pools are home to feisty stream-bred trout, some reaching 20 inches or more. In addition to harboring wily browns, the upper stretch is one of the few places in the state to tangle with wild rainbows. From Hancock, N.Y., head north on the West Branch, or go south for really big water.
**Genesee River: **The Genesee offers some of the best dam fishing in the state, thanks to the local beaver population. You’ll rarely see the river on anyone’s “must-fish” list, but it offers terrific angling in areas where the rodents have gone to town. Don’t be surprised if a 3-pound brookie grabs your offering.
**Monocacy Creek: **This urban jewel is a limestone run that features a bit of everything, including excellent access, good hatches and awesome wild and stocked trout opportunities only minutes apart. The two miles above Bethlehem’s Illick’s Mill Dam harbor golden-hued stream-bred browns.
Rock Run: Sometimes fishing is all about the experience. Case in point: this gorgeous stream in the Tiadaghton State Forest, where water gushes over incredible rock formations as it plunges toward Lycoming Creek at Ralston. The waterfalls will leave you awestruck. (The brook trout might, too.)
**Tulpehocken Creek: **In the waters below Blue Marsh Lake, fall-stocked fingerlings grow rapidly, resulting in phenomenal spring fishing for acrobatic rainbows and elusive browns. The special-regs area gets crowded, but the stretch immediately downstream offers plenty of casting room.