Youghiogheny River Rainbow Trout
Copyright 2017 James Marsh
Fly Fishing The Youghiogheny River
The Youghiogheny River is a tailwater below
Youghiogheny Reservoir Dam in Southwestern
Pennsylvania. The water remains cold throughout the
year and helps maintain a good population of trout.

This stream has had its problems, mainly a spill that
injected mine acid into its water. It hasn't taken long for
the aquatic insects to recover and for the river to again
become a very good tailwater trout fishery. The state
stocks rainbow and brown trout as fingerlings. The trout
holdover well and there's large fish to be caught as a
result of the stream's cold water and plentiful aquatic
insect population.

The fairly large tailwater has two major tributaries that
enter not far below the dam just below Confluence -
Cassleman River and Laurel Hill Creek. Although the
Cassleman River has also had problems with mine acid,
it too has rebounded and is currently doing well.

The Youghiogheny River is accessible from the bank by
a bike trail that follows along the west side of the stream.
Most anglers prefer to fish the section from the dam
downstream to Ohiopyle.

The best way to fish the Youghiogheny River is from a
drift boat. You can wade but you should use caution.
The water is deep in areas and can be swift. Below
Ohiopyle, the river is very swift and requires a lot of
caution to fish from a drift boat and to wade near the
falls. Boats put in just below a forty-foot high waterfall
and take out at Bruner Run, a distance of seven miles. It
is accessible from a small trial but the river is difficult to
get to in many areas and difficult to wade in most areas.

There's another section of rough water below the Bruner
Run takeout. You can fish the Youghlogheny River
below the rapids downstream of the takeout but the area
is very remote. It can be accessed from a road to Camp
Carmel. Further downstream, the water begins to warm
during the Summer and trout are gradually replaced by
warm water species.

The Youghiogheny River has a very good aquatic insect
population and unlike many tailwaters, it offers some
very good dry fly fishing at times.  

The season is the general Pennsylvania trout season.
Provided the water levels are okay, springtime is a good
time for fly fishing the Youghiogheny River tailwater.
The fishing can be great during the Summer thanks to
the cold water discharge.
Fall is probably the best time for fly fishing the
Youghlogheny River and certainly a good time to catch
the larger brown trout
Wintertime can be tough but midges can produce even
on the coldest days.

Fly Fishing Gear, Tackle and Trout Flies
Type of Stream

Brown Trout (Wild and stocked with
Rainbows (Stocked)


Southwestern Pennsylvania

Nearest Town

Middle of April through February


Special Regulations

Non-Resident License
State of Pennsylvania

National Weather Service Link

Fly Fishing Gear, Tackle and
Trout Flies

USGS Real Time Flow Data
Youghiogheny River
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Photo Courtesy Steven Lamb
Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (
with the dates you will be fishing this
stream and we will send you a list of our
fly suggestions. Please allow up to 24
hours for a response.

2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will help
you decide which flies you need.

3. Email us (
with a budget for flies and we will select
them to match the budget and get them to
you in time for your fly fishing trip.

All orders are shipped free in the
U. S. Orders over $100 are shipped via
Priority Mail.