Through the middle of coal country, right through downtown Scranton PA, flows the Lackawanna River. As we read the section on the Lackawanna in the TU Guide to America’s 100 Best Trout Streams, we were a bit concerned given the description of the fishery. However, when we arrived in the area and drove to A&G Outfitters, we parked in the lot and climbed a levee to see this beautiful stream flowing right through Dickson City, a ‘burb of Scranton. We read the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail sign at the top of the levee and were impressed with the history, and more so with the conservation efforts of two organizations, the Lackawanna River Corridor Association and the Lackawanna River Chapter of Trout Unlimited.
The next day, in that same parking lot, we met our guide for the day, Adam Nidoh. Adam and his father own and run A&G Outfitters with Adam doing the largest share of the guiding. We got in our Crosstrek and followed Adam through downtown Dickson City, into Scranton, parking across from a pallet company warehouse. As before, we climbed a levee and there was the Lackawanna. We crossed the river on an old train bridge and walked on the levee downstream a bit before wading into the river.
At river level, with the levees framing both sides of the stream, tall trees swaying in the morning breeze, we were so far removed from the city, it was truly an urban oasis. We tight line nymphed our way upstream, picking off fish at each riffle and deep hole. Fishing inside a metropolitan area of well over 100,000 people, we caught beautiful, wild brown trout and never saw another person. Amazing!
For our guide talk, we went back to the river, just over the levee from the A&G Outfitters parking lot. Adam did a great job of explaining how this fishery came to be and how TU and the Lackawanna River Corridor Assoc. continues to improve the river. Adam is President of the Lackawanna Valley TU Chapter and is passionate about protecting this urban stream.