Blue Stream Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing Report for:

Clarion River - Johnsonburg - Pennsylvania

Hatch Chart - Best Access/Spots - Local Fish - About

Water Flow Chart

Using Water Flow Charts & Weather Reports: Begin with our water flow charts to grasp stream velocity and volume – look for stable or rising trends to pinpoint ideal fishing times. Learn to interpret sudden spikes or drops, which can indicate potential challenges. Next, consult our weather reports to understand ambient conditions. Pairing the two, you can anticipate fish behavior, choose the right gear, and select the best fishing spots. Use these tools together for a holistic approach to your next fishing adventure.

In-Depth Weather

Directions To Location

Hatch Chart

Month Hatch Time of Day Recommended Fly Sizes Popular Fly Patterns
January Midge Mid-Day 18-24 Zebra Midge, Griffith's Gnat
February Midge Mid-Day 18-24 Zebra Midge, Griffith's Gnat
March Midge Mid-Day 18-24 Zebra Midge, Griffith's Gnat
Blue-winged Olive Morning / Afternoon 16-20 Blue-winged Olive, Pheasant Tail Nymph
April Blue-winged Olive Morning / Afternoon 16-20 Blue-winged Olive, Pheasant Tail Nymph
Hendrickson Afternoon 12-14 Hendrickson, Hare's Ear Nymph
Black Caddis Evening 14-16 Elk Hair Caddis, Peacock Caddis
May Sulphur Afternoon / Evening 14-16 Sulphur, Pheasant Tail Nymph
Green Drake Evening 8-10 Green Drake, Green Drake Nymph
Tan Caddis Afternoon / Evening 14-16 Elk Hair Caddis, X Caddis
June Sulphur Afternoon / Evening 14-16 Sulphur, Pheasant Tail Nymph
Light Cahill Evening 12-14 Light Cahill, Hare’s Ear Nymph
Tan Caddis Afternoon / Evening 14-16 Elk Hair Caddis, X Caddis
July Trico Morning 20-24 Trico Spinner, Trico Dun
August Trico Morning 20-24 Trico Spinner, Trico Dun
September Blue-winged Olive Morning / Afternoon 16-20 Blue-winged Olive, Pheasant Tail Nymph
October Blue-winged Olive Morning / Afternoon 16-20 Blue-winged Olive, Pheasant Tail Nymph
November Midge Mid-Day 18-24 Zebra Midge, Griffith's Gnat
December Midge Mid-Day 18-24 Zebra Midge, Griffith's Gnat

While we strive to ensure the precision of our hatch charts, some reflect broader river region insights. Through ongoing partnerships with local guides and fly shops, we’re committed to refining our data. Should you notice any inconsistencies or have feedback, we welcome you to reach out. 

Best Fishing Spots

The Clarion River in Johnsonburg is a must-visit for enthusiasts who enjoy flying fish. Below are the top sites:
  • Elk State Forest: Enjoy the catch-and-release fly fishing here and contribute to the forest’s conservation efforts. Be sure to fly fish for trout!
  • Eastern Territory: This area boasts excellent aquatic fly hatches. Cap off your fishing trip with a tour of the nearby Johnsonburg Swamp, a unique natural wonder.
  • North End: Just above the Johnsonburg Paper Company Dam, the north end provides some of the best fly fishing opportunities along the Clarion River.
  • PA State Game Lands 44: Discover diverse species as the river winds through this rugged and picturesque territory.
  • Glen Hazel: Known for its robust trout populace, it’s the place to be for strikes that’ll test your skills and patience.

Best Access Points

The Clarion River in Johnsonburg offers some excellent fly fishing spots. Here are some of the best access points:

  • Town of Ridgway: Located upstream of Johnsonburg, it offers ample public access with several excellent fishing spots.
  • Portland Mills: About 10 miles downstream of Ridgway, this area has great fishing opportunities in clear, deep waters.
  • Gravel Lick Bridge: The bridge is a popular access point for fly fishers and is located approximately 16 miles upstream of Johnsonburg.
  • Loleta Recreation Area: Located downstream of Ridgway, it features easy access, good parking, and excellent fly fishing spots.

Please remember to respect private property while accessing these points and always practice catch and release to protect our fish populations.

Local Fish

  • Mountain Whitefish: This fish species is particularly attractive to fly fishers due to their strong fights.
  • Brook Trout: Brook trout are native to Clarion River, offering exciting fly fishing opportunities.
  • Brown Trout: These trouts are generally bigger and provide a greater challenge for fly fishers.
  • Rainbow Trout: Known for their resistance, rainbow trouts are a common target on the Clarion River.
  • Northern Pike: These aggressive predators are a thrilling catch for any angler. Their strong fight and potential size make them a prized catch.
  • Smallmouth Bass: Known for their strength and acrobatics, these fish are a popular species for fly fishing.
  • Musky: Large and fast, Musky are a challenging catch which makes them a favorite for seasoned anglers.
  • Walleye: Although not as popular as the trout, Walleye can still make a fun and rewarding fly fishing target.

About The River

The Clarion River in Johnsonburg has an enthralling history interlaced with natural beauty and industrial prowess. Flowing through the breathtaking landscapes of northwestern Pennsylvania, this river was christened “Clarion” due to its ‘clear’ incident sunlight made it shimmer.

In the 19th century, the river played a crucial role in the area’s lumber industry, serving as an artery for transporting timber. This profoundly shaped Johnsonburg, ushering in economic growth and a bustling community. It was also a catalyst for significant industrial development.

  • Lumber era: Logs were transported down the river from dense forests, significantly bolstering the local economy.
  • Industrial era: The river soon powered mills and factories, propelling Johnsonburg towards industrial success.
  • Conservation era: In recent years, the focus has shifted to conservation and eco-tourism, with wildlife flourishing along its banks and kayakers enjoying its serene flow.

Touched by times of hustle and tranquility, the Clarion River reflects Johnsonburg’s vibrant history and promising future.

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