Kettle Creek, located in North Central Pennsylvania,
has offered excellent fly fishing for many years. Running
through three counties (Tioga, Potter, and Clinton),
this creek is one of the most well known in all of Northern
Pennsylvania. Its headwaters are several miles above
Route 44 and are small. It begins as a tumbling, little
brook trout stream that grows to 40 to 60 feet across,
with the added flows from tributaries such as Billings
Branch, Sliders Branch, and Germania Branch.
From Billings Branch down to the T 433 Bridge, Kettle
Creek has a good population of wild brook and brown
trout. This section consists of beautiful pockets,
riffles, and small pools that travel through a scenic
wooded area. Access to the headwaters is best via SR
3001. Below Route 44, the State stocks the creek for
more than 20 miles. Here Kettle Creek grows to 60 to
80 feet across and can be accessed from Routes 44 and
144, which parallel much of its course. Grass and trees
line the banks making it a wonderful place to spend
an evening fly fishing. Wild brown trout also can be
found mixed with the fish stocked by the State.
Little Kettle Creek enters Kettle Creek near the town
of Oleona, just below the spot Route 44 crosses the
river. Below here, the river widens and flattens out.
Large pools are scattered throughout this stretch,
continuing to where Kettle Creek enters Kettle Creek
One of the finer stretches of trout water on Kettle Creek
is its Delayed Harvest
Fly Fishing Only stretch which begins 500 feet below
the SR 144 Bridge and runs upstream for 1.7 miles. This
area, with its special regulations, helps keep an abundant
supply of trout available for fishing into the summer
months. Fish hold over well in Kettle Creek due to its
cool, feeder creeks that attract trout in hot weather.
This area consists of some beautiful water with nice
flat dry-fly pools and areas of soft riffles and runs.
CLICK FOR MAP
Below the catch-and-release area, Kettle Creek remains
a good trout fishery. This long stretch, from the end
of the regulations area to the mouth at Kettle Creek
Lake, is a wonderful stretch of water. Here you'll
find more stocked trout than wild fish; however, it's
still a fine piece of water with an abundance of Mayflies
that hatch and keep the fishing good until late June.
By late June, the water on the lower river, below the
town of Cross Fork, can warm to conditions unfavorable
for trout. At this time of year, trout will migrate to
the feeder creeks located throughout this stretch. Some
of the streams that enter this stretch are Cross Fork
Creek, Hammersley Fork, and Trout Run.
Hatches on kettle Creek are excellent. Many of the
flies that hatch on Kettle Creek include Hendricksons, Blue
Drakes, and Isonycias. There
are also other Mayflies, Caddis, and Stoneflies. Nymphs
and streamers will fill in when dry-fly fishing is
poor. Generic nymphs such as Hares
Ears and Zug
Bugs work well. Woolly
Buggers and Sparse Bucktail Streamers will work
well after a hard rain or early in the morning.
Kettle Creek is a tremendous fishery. With the many
feeders that increase and cool its flow, trout flourish
throughout most of the year. During periods of hot
weather, trout can be found either in, or by the mouth
of the tributaries. It's good to be sure you bring
along a thermometer and don't fish in areas where water
temperatures exceed 70 degrees. Why not give Kettle
Creek a try the next time you're in North Central Pennsylvania.