Fishing in the Clarion River

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 bass 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!

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 hunting for? The following info may help you.

When is trout season in Pennsylvania?

Brown trout season starts in mid-spring (April 1) and lasts until mid-summer (end of June). 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

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 on the official government website for the easiest method.

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?

Resident Annual - $23
Senior Resident - $12
Non-Resident (out-of-state) Annual Fishing License - $52
1-Day Tourist - $27 (not valid March 15 - April 30)
3-day Tourist - $27
Week Tourist - $35

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.

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

Other than the gift shops, gas stations, and tiny grocery stores around the park, you won't be finding any fishing gear in town. You can drive to Clarion to find a couple of key stores, but if that's not something you are interested in, you better pack everything you need with you.
As you can see, Clarion River is 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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