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FLY FISHING KETTLE CREEK IN PENNSYLVANIA

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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 Lake.

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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.

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.

Hatch Chart
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 Quills, Blue-winged Olives, Gray Fox, Light Cahills, Green 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.