Pohopoco Creek, aka Big Creek, is really an awesome little creek. It is both the headwater and tailwater of Beltzville Lake, with most fishing pressure focused on the tailwater section. Throughout the summer, the Pohopoco offers an extended season because the water temperatures will usually fall into the 50-60 degree range as a result of optimal tailwater releases. I have wet waded this creek several times and it’s not easy, your feet will turn blue quickly and in the early morning or evening you’ll be in a mild state of hypothermia. It’s really like a miniature version of the Upper Delaware. Trout range from very small to quite large and tend to be fussy and challenging. The Pohopoco is not known for a multitude of hatches, however the hatches it does have are very productive.
Pohopoco Creek is about 17 miles long and located in Carbon and Munroe Counties. It was once a bit longer until the valley was flooded to create Beltzville Lake. Above Beltzville, part of the Pohopoco is a Class A Wild Trout Fishery which means that this section has a self sustaining wild trout population. The average fish in this strect is in the 10″ range, with fish upwards of 18″ caught on occasion. This section is small, brushy and generally difficult to fish forcing anglers to use roll casts, skip casts, and short sidearm casts to get the job done. From SR 3016 to Rt 209 is the Class A section. Most of Pohopoco Creek, above and below the dam is private but many of the property owners are friendly and will grant access when asked. IF YOU ARE NOT SURE ASK FOR PERMISSION!
Below the dam is the most heavily fished part of the stream. It is stocked with brownies and brookies, and has wild fish of both species. Old Mill Road will take you back to the base of the dam where there is plenty of parking. On your way back you will see a USGS Gauging Station with a low head dam, about 100 yds below this section the stream becomes private property but the property owner will probably give you permission to fish if you ask. The fishing is open until you get a few hundred yards below the campground just off of 209. The campground will usually give you permission to park in a small lot and use their property to access the stream. Below this stretch access is poor until you get to the stretch near Parryville near 248. The Pohopoco enter the Lehigh River just a few hundred yards from here. Fishing is ok in this section, ask the diner to park in their lot before you head to the stream. In the summer months when the Lehigh warms up trout will seek thermal refuge in this area which can spike up into the high 60’s from the dam just upstream of the diner, when this happens we urge you not to fish to allow stressed fish the ability to recouperate, there is nothing sportsmanlike about beating up on half dead fish.
You will encounter a number of hatches on the Pohopoco throughout the year, Hendricksons and Sulphurs are both good hatches as are the caddis hatches in general. Terrestrial fishing is excellent from June until late September, you’ll see trout lined up along the rhododendrons waiting for ants and beetles to fall in the water. In the area around the spillway and a few other areas downstream where it’s more open you’ll see hoppers getting eaten when they fall in the water, fish the hoppers with little twitches if you can but it’s important to have the hopper drifitng without drag between twitches. Small streamers and buggers have been very productive in periods of higher water as have proven attractors like the Green Weenie or Glo Bugs.