Lehigh River Fly Fishing Guide Service
The mighty Lehigh River has been coming up in a lot of conversations amongst Fly Fishermen recently, and for very good reason, it is big wild trout water. In fact, some of the biggest wild brown trout in Pennsylvania and perhaps even the country live in the Lehigh river system. Finding the biggest fish in the river is our specialty. We target them by nymphing, dry fly fishing, swinging wet flies and throwing big articulated streamers. We find them because we put the time in and we are on the river more than anyone else.
This river will amaze you, and it’s nearly impossible to top catching wild trout in such a gorgeous setting. Wild East Outfitters guide season on the Lehigh tailwater runs from mid March until the waters warm in late June and then we resume guiding on the Lehigh in mid September until its too cold out to fish the river. We usually give the Lehigh River a break over the summer and seek out warm-water species on the Juniata and Susquehanna Rivers or we fish the spring creeks and cold freestone creeks of eastern, Pennsylvania namely in the Lehigh Valley. Our Lehigh River float trips our conducted between the town of White Haven all the way to the town of Northampton.
Our guide service prides itself on knowing the waters intimately that we guide on and we spend countless hours trying to time the hatches and doing recon and scouting missions. We are on the water before everyone else launches their drift boats and we are on the water long after they take out. If you've spent any time on the water with me or one of my guys you have seen this first hand.
The Lehigh River at times can be an incredible dry fly fishery.
April 1 through June 15 is prime time for the spring season. During the spring we see hatches of Quill Gordons, a large variety of caddis, Hendricksons, Grey Fox, March Browns, Stoneflies, Sulphurs, Blue Winged Olives and many more. When we aren't seeing hatches we are either swinging wet flies, throwing streamers, nymphing or prospecting with dry flies. In the fall the main hatches are Blue Winged Olives, Isonychia, caddis, stoneflies and more.
The Lehigh boasts a very good population of wild brown trout and is supplemented with stockings throughout the river by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, Lehigh River Stocking Association and the 5 Mile HIgh Club. There are wild trout all the way from White Haven down to the Delaware River which is over 50 miles fantastic trout water.
In recent years the Lehigh River has improved drastically due to acid mine mitigation, Lehigh Coldwater Fishery Alliance working closely with the Army Corps of Engineers on flow plans that help the fish hold over and reproduce along with stockings that have given the river a huge boost and provided an enhanced recreational fishery. Many people are bagging their trips for the Delaware to try the Lehigh and most come away with a positive outlook especially those that fish the river from a drift boat.
The river is best fished from boat as the wade fishing is some of the toughest and quite possibly some of the most dangerous wading of any east coast trout fishery. While there are areas where you can get in and wade you must pay attention to the flows and take your time. There are rapids on the river that go up to class III which also scares some of the boating anglers away. If you are going to take a boat down the river do so with caution and make sure you know the water you are floating.
There are access points all along the Lehigh and it is a navigable waterway. A map with detailed locations to access the river can be found here. Click Here to View