Christopher Smith

Youghiogheny River Smallmouth Fishing: What “Yough” Looking At?

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Smallies on the youghresizeOver on our Facebook page, we see quite a few impressive pictures of Youghiogheny River smallmouth bass so we thought we would bring you up to speedon the “Yough”.

The Youghiogheny river, which is more commonly referred to as the Yough, is 134 miles long, with its headwaters in Preston County, West Virginia. From there, the river runs north crossing the border into Garrett County, Maryland, and then continues on parallel to the border until it crosses into Pennsylvania, between Somerset and Fayette counties. The river then turns north west and flows through a low lying gap in the Chestnut Ridge and on past Connellsville. Finally, the river joins forces with the Monongahela River, south east of Pittsburgh.

One very significant feature of the Yough is the Youghiogheny River Lake, just upstream of Confluence, Pennsylvania. The lake was formed when the Youghiogheny Dam was constructed in 1944 to provide effective flood control for the area.

The Yough is a favorite with many anglers, and a great way to start exploring fishing in the river is to spend some time on the Youghiogheny River Lake. The lake is some 16 miles long, with 38 miles of shoreline, and straddles the border between Maryland and Pennsylvania.

The lake supports a variety of habitats, including rocky shorelines, areas of sunken tree stumps, and shallow, flat areas with plenty of vegetation, that are perfect for spawning. Smallmouth bass are plentiful in the lake, and there are also some largemouth bass to be taken as well. In addition, the lake is home to several other sport species including carp, yellow perch, northern pike and hybrid striped bass.

Kayak on the youghThe main river is a favorite with smallmouth bass anglers, but it is also used for other recreational purposes, and so you should certainly pick up a map before heading out, and familiarize yourself with those spots that are good for fishing, and those that have other uses. For example, sections of the river in Swallow Falls State Park, and from Sang Run to Friendsville, in Maryland, are favorite whitewater canoeing areas. Similarly, the middle Youth, from Confluence to Ohiopyle, is used for fishing, kayaking and rafting.

A second favorite spot with anglers on the Youth in the Youghiogheny River Catch and Release Trout Fishing Area. This 4 mile stretch of the river, from Deep Creek Lake Power Plant to Sang Run Bridge, is stocked with both brown and rainbow trout and provides some excellent sport fishing. However, it is not only the trout anglers that are attracted to this fishing area, as there is also a plentiful supply of smallmouth bass in this section of the river.

The smallmouth bass is well known for its fighting ability, especially on the top of the water, but there is nothing quite like taking a smallmouth bass on a fly line. With some long runs, shallow riffles, and deep pools the river here provides some great sport for the bass fisherman.

Take a ride of a RiverPro to see some of the Yough

The Yough is just one of many fishing waters in this part of the country, but is considered by many to be the best smallmouth bass fishing water for miles around. The river itself was voted Pennsylvania River of the Year in 2008, and is also home to many local bass fishing tournaments including Pennsylvania ABA Bass tournaments, PA Southwest Bassmen tournaments, and PA Bass Federation tournaments. On a national level, the river was home to the Bassmasters Classic in 2005, and to the Forrest Wood Cup in 2009.

Whether you are a competition angler, after that cash prize from a local or national tournament, or simply a recreational angler, looking for a good day’s sport fishing, the Yough is a great place for a spot of smallmouth bass fishing.

2 Responses to Youghiogheny River Smallmouth Fishing: What “Yough” Looking At?

  1. Roger Glidewell May 23, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    In you article you mentioned getting a map of the youghiogheny before coming, my question is where can one get a map. we are scheduled to come there at the end of june and am trying to gain as much info as possible before making the long trip. So any help would be greatly appreciated.

  2. Jim Holland February 21, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    I grew up in the Mckeesport area, where the Yough and Mon meet, and spent a lot of time fishing that river, as a kid. These days, now that I live in the South Hills section of Pittsburgh, I frequent the Allegheny, especially on the North Shore, when I’m looking for a quick after-work trip.
    After reading this article, it may be time to re-visit The Yough, again, after all these years. There’s definitely some good fishing to be had on her. Thanks for the reminder!!


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