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Oil Creek, located in Northwest Pennsylvania, is well known for its medium- to large-sized, abundant population of trout. Flowing through two counties (Crawford and Venango), it offers excellent trout fishing and a good variety of hatches.

Oil Creek begins its journey at Canadohita Lake, and flows nearly 30 miles through some beautiful land (including Oil Creek State Park), before emptying into the Allegheny River near Oil City. Along the way, this creek passes through two Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only areas. The first is one mile in length, from the two green posts near the Drake Well Museum continuing downstream to the Oil Creek State Park hiking trail bridge. The second runs a distance of 1.6 miles, from the bridge at Petroleum Center downstream to the railroad bridge at Columbia Farm. The first of these areas is located just below the influx of Pine Creek, and the second is some two miles north of Rouseville. Both areas provide excellent fishing that usually lasts into the summer months, depending upon water flows and temperatures.

The headwaters from Canadohita Lake to near the town of Centerville are small, and do not attract the interest of many anglers until the creek reaches the town of Tryonville. At Tryonville, Oil Creek becomes larger and much deeper.

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Throughout this stretch you'll find big, slow-moving pools that are broken up by riffles, . Access to this area can be gained from some of the side roads that lead off Route 8 and Route 408. A good spot to start is the Route 408 Bridge in Hydetown. The fishing up here is good, and continues all the way from Tryonville to Titusville, where Pine Creek empties into Oil Creek.
Hatch Chart
The most interesting fishing; however, is from the mouth of Pine Creek south. Oil Creek's most popular stretch runs from the influx of Pine Creek to the Allegheny River. Within this section, you'll find Oil Creek State Park and the two DHALO areas. The water here offers some beautiful pools, riffles, and runs. It flows over a gravel and rock bottom, and has a good, average depth which holds fish well and provides some fine angling for both holdover and stocked trout. Large trees and shrubs line the banks of the creek in certain areas, which help provide shade. Route 8 follows the river here and side roads make the river accessible. T 602, T 635, T 621, and Route 8 all cross the river and provide access. A bike trail is located along the first DHALO area noted above, running from T 602, at the top of the first regulations area, to the Petroleum Center at the top of the second DHALO area. To access the creek from some of these areas, you'll need to walk a short distance. During the summer months, trout will either hold in some of the deeper pools, or move to nearby feeder creeks seeking refuge from the warmer water temperatures.

Caddis are one of the main attractions on Oil Creek. You'll find a few different Caddis (including Tan Caddis) emerging in good numbers here. Dry-fly fishing on Oil Creek is excellent during the spring and early summer. Mayflies, such as Sulphurs and Gray Fox and a few others, hatch on Oil Creek in good quantities. Terrestrials offer excellent dry-fly fishing in late spring and during the summer months, weather permitting. You also should carry along a variety of nymphs and streamers in your box.

Oil Creek is a wonderful, good-sized, productive stream. Its two DHALO areas are open year round. Most local anglers have been known to fish Oil Creek with regularity, and they love it. There are plenty of reasons you should give Oil Creek a try the next time you're in Northwest Pennsylvania.