Fishing around Cook Forest

The Clarion River is one of the highlights of people's trip to Cook Forest State Park. Not only is it one of the most beautiful rivers in Pennsylvania, but it happens to be home to the best fishing in PA. Whether you like fly fishing, or you want to rent a boat to fish in the deeper sections of the river, you'll find that Clarion River will have you hooked! There are also many trout streams nearby that are stocked with brown, brook, palomino, and rainbow trout. And if you're lucky, you might even snag a native trout. 

What are the conditions of the Clarion River?

What is the water temperature?

Depending on the time of year and time of day, the water will be colder or hotter than average. It rises to 70 degrees F in the summer, but sinks fairly low in the fall and early spring.

Click here if you want more specific information about the water temperature during your stay.

How deep is the Clarion River?

The average depth is around 8 feet, but during floods it can rise to around 13 feet, and maybe even more if accumulated rainfall is higher than average.

Keep an eye on the rainfall level by clicking this link.

How long is Clarion River?
The East branch of the Clarion river (the part that is contained in Cook Forest State Park) extends for 15 mi.

Clarion Fishing Report

You know that you can fish in the Clarion River, but when is the best time to hook the catch that you want? Is there a type of fish you are fishing for? The following info may help you.

When is trout season in Pennsylvania?

Trout season starts in mid-spring (First Saturday in April) and lasts through the fall season. Depending on the weather, the season may be extended or shortened.

What kind of fish live in the Clarion River?

Here is a list of the most sought-after Pennsylvania fish:
Smallmouth, Rock Bass
Lake, brook, brown trout
Yellow Perch
Pumpkinseed Sunfish
Tiger Muskie
Northern Pike
There are many trout streams around the area. But a trout permit/stamp is required to fish for trout in any stream or river.

How much is a Pennsylvania Fishing License?

Before you can cast your line, you must get the proper permits so you will be allowed to fish in the Clarion River. You can buy a fishing license in our Gift Shop.

How old do I need to be to have a fishing license?

In Pennsylvania, anyone 16 and over needs a fishing license to catch fish in the state. Bring it with you during your fishing trips just in case someone asks to see it.

How much does a Pennsylvania fishing license cost?

Stop by our gift shop. We have the rates and licenses for sale.

Where can I launch my boat?

Canoe launches are scattered throughout the state park and in Clarion. Gravel Lick Canoe launch, Cook Forest Canoe launch, and Toby Boat launch are the easiest three to stop at.

If you plan on renting your boat locally, you should be good to go. However, if you are planning on bringing your own boat, you better have it registered and inspected and have 2 vehicles for transportation. 

You can purchase the boat launch permits at our gift shop

Are there fishing stores where I can purchase bait and other essentials?

Hominy Ridge Gift Shop carries all of your fishing gear. We carry licenses and boat launch permits,  poles of all sizes, live bait and Live Minnows, artificial bait, lures, hooks, line, and sinkers for your day on the stream or river.  Don't forget to stop by for other things you will need as well. Like beverages and snacks.

As you can see, The Clarion River and the local streams are the perfect place to go fishing. There is a ton of shoreline, plenty of fish to catch, and it's an affordable activity here in Cook Forest State Park!
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