Copyright 2017 James Marsh
Fly Fishing Kettle Creek Pennsylvania
Kettle Creek is one of the better trout streams in
Northern Pennsylvania. It starts out as a small
freestone stream and ends as a rather large stream.
From its Billings Branch tributary downstream to the
433 Bridge, the stream has plenty of wild brown and
brook trout. The lower section of the creek has some
wild trout but according to the state of Pennsylvania,
needs additional fish and has supplement stocked
trout. There are about twenty miles of stocked
water. Altogether there are sixty-seven miles of class A
Several small tributary streams help keep the water
cool. Billings Branch, Sliders Branch, Germania Branch,
Cross Fork Creek, Hamersley Fork and Little Kettle
Creek are the major ones.
Kettle Creek has a delayed harvest fly fishing only
section that starts 500 feet below SR 144 Bridge and
extends upstream for 1.7 miles. This keeps plenty of
fish in the creek during the hot summer months.
Some wild trout and plenty of stocked trout exist below
the delayed harvest water down to Kettle Creek Lake.
Trout Unlimited and the Kettle Creek Watershed
Association have planted trees to provide shade and to
help stabilize the banks of some parts of the stream.
This will also help keep the water temperatures lower.
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Kettle Creek Pennsylvania
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Recommended Tackle & Gear
4, 5 or 6 weight
Dry fly: 9 to 12 ft., 5 or 6X Nymphing:
71/2 ft., 3 or 4X, Streamers 0-2X
Dry fly: 5 or 6X, Nymphing: 3 or 4X,
Best Fly Rod:
Perfect Fly Supreme Four, Superb Five
or Ultimate Six
For 4/5/6 fly line
Fly Floatants and Misc Items:
Loon Floatants, KISS Strike Indicators
Tools & Accessories:
Nippers, forceps, retractors, etc.
Trout can be caught year-round.
Springtime is the best time to fish the creek.
Some sections of the stream can get too
warm during the hottest part of the summer.
Fly Fishing Guide to Kettle Creek
The methods, techniques and strategies you should
use for fly fishing Kettle Creek depend on the section of
the stream you are fishing. The upper part of Kettle
Creek is a brook trout fishery. Access to the
headwaters is best using SR 3001. The upper section
can be reached via 44 east that leads from the town of
Oleana. Pine Hill Road, or 44 East crosses over the
stream not far from Oleana. You must hike upstream
from this point. Both wild browns and native brook trout
can be taken from this area.
You can access the stream below Oleana from Route
144 South. This is where Little Kettle Creek converges
with it and almost doubles its size. From Little Kettle
Creek downstream past Ole Bull Park to the regulated
water, the water is a mixture of fast riffles and runs with
plenty of long slow runs.
The stream also receives the cool water from Cross
Fork Creek, a good trout stream itself. From its
confluence with Kettle Creek downstream the stream
slows down and has longer, slower moving runs and
pools. Hamersley Fork is the next downstream tributary
stream. It too has cool water that helps keep Kettle
Creek cool and is a fairly good trout stream itself. It
adds some more wild brown trout to the mix. Hamersley
Fork is also a great little brook trout stream with plenty
of native trout. Fish holdover in this stream during the
summer months. From Hamersley Fork convergence
south to Kettle Creek Reservoir the stream is a mixture
of fast and slow water with decent fishing.
The water ranges from fast sections of riffles and runs
to slow long runs and large pools. The method you use
depends a lot on which type of water you are fishing.
This best procedure is to try to match the hatch or what
is about to hatch and most available for the trout to eat.
The stream has excellent hatches, especially in its
upper sections. It has a huge variety of mayflies,
caddisflies, some stoneflies and plenty of midges. It is
very clear most of the year and requires good
presentations and flies.
Use short, upstream cast in the fast water sections to
avoid having a lot of fly line in the water. This helps
keep a drag free drift. The wild brown trout aren't easily
fooled and you need very good presentations to stand
a chance to catch them. The stocked trout are much
easier to catch, of course.
Kettle Creek Hatches and Trout Flies:
Our information on aquatic insects is based
on our stream samples of larvae and
nymphs, not guess work. We base fly
suggestions on imitating the most plentiful
and most available insects and other foods
at the particular time you are fishing. Unlike
the generic fly shop trout flies, we have
specific imitations of all the insects in the
Kettle Creek and in all stages of life that are
applicable to fishing. If you want to fish
better, more realistic trout flies, have a much
higher degree of success, give us a call.
We not only will help you with selections,
you will learn why, after trying Perfect Flies,
92% of the thousands of our customers will
use nothing else. 1-800-594-4726.
Kettle Creek is a very long stream with lots
of different water types and aquatic insects.
It has some very large aquatic insect
hatches in some areas of the stream. The
first hatches of the year are usually the Little
Black Early Stoneflies. They start hatching
in March. There will also be some Little
Brown Early Stoneflies. They hatch for
about a month. Also in March, you will find
the first Blue-winged Olives starting to
hatch. The many different species will hatch
off and on until early Fall. There will be a
peak in the blue-winged olive hatches again
in June and then again in late September
Blue Quills and Quill Gordons hatch in April.
Both of these mayflies start to hatch about
the same time the water reaches about 50
degrees. The Quill Gordon hatch last for
about a month but the Blue Quills can
continue to hatch for up to two months.
Hendricksons hatch the first three weeks of
May. These include the Red Quill, of course.
About the same time the larger American
March Browns will begin to hatch. They will
continue through the first week or two of
Sulphurs start hatching about the middle of
May. The hatch can last until the middle of
June. Light Cahills and Pale Evening Duns
both start to hatch in the fast water
sections around the first of June and
continue until the second week of July.
In the slower to moderate flowing sections
of water, there will be some Brown Drakes
that start hatching in mid May. They hatch
for about three weeks at the longest.
Green Drakes hatch from the same water
as the Brown Drakes. It too starts in the
middle of May and last as long as a month.
Slate Drakes start to hatch about the first
of June. This hatch can last for a long time
but not in any large quantities at any one
time. Tricos will hatch in the slower water
sections in July. The hatch last on into
Caddisflies are also very plentiful in Kettle
Creek. Spotted Sedges and Cinnamon
Sedges are very plentiful in the moderate
to slow sections. The different species start
hatching around the first of May and
continue until early Fall. Green Sedges are
also found in the fast water sections. There
are several other species of caddisflies.
Imitations of terrestrial insects will catch
trout from about the middle of June
through the month of September. Ants and
beetles are the most plentiful but inch
worms and grasshoppers can be just as
We recommend our "Perfect Fly"
imitations. They are the most realistic
imitations you can purchase to match the
hatches on Kettle Creek. We have specific
imitations of all the important insects. If you
haven't already tried them, please do. You
will be glad you did.
Fall is a great time to catch the big brown
Fish can be taken on all but the coldest
days of Winter.
Kettle Creek Fly Fishing Report:
01/13/14 Warmer weather brought some
anglers off the couch but high stream levels
are hampering the catching.
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Thumbnails: Click to enlarge
All Images property of Dennis McCarthy
03/19/17 Updated Fishing Report
(bottom of page)
01/20/14 Stream levels are back near normal
and typical winter weather is prevailing. No
reports of anyone fishing but conditions are
such they should give it a try. The PF winter
stonefly nymphs should work.
01/27/14 Good stream levels and good
winter weather conditions should give
anglers an opportunity to fish.
02/03/14 The water is in good shape, but
cold, of course. This week's weather
forecast is much better and anglers may
want to try it.
02/19/14 Water levels are good and the
weather is normal for wintertime but no
reports from anyone fishing.
02/17/14 Much warmer weather and rain
is on the way. Watch the discharges. No
reports from anyone fishing this past
02/24/14 Stream levels are a little high
and the weather turning colder this
coming week. No reports from anyone
fishing this past week.
03/03/14 It is still cold wintertime but the
stream levels are back down. It should
warm up a little throughout the next week.
03/10/14 The water is warmer and
flowing near a normal level. Except for a
fast moving cold front mid week,
conditions should be better this coming
03/17/14 No reports from anglers fishing.
One customer ordered BWO patterns
getting ready. Conditions should improve
by the end of this week.
03/24/14 Two customers ordering BWOs
and Little Brown Stoneflies. They should
start hatching any time now. Lower water
that should warm up some later this week.
03/31/14 Water has been high recently
and we have not received any reports
from anyone fishing. Currently 1140 cfs.
|Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (email@example.com)
with the dates you will be fishing this
stream and we will send you a list of our
fly suggestions. Please allow up to 24
hours for a response.
2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will help
you decide which flies you need.
3. Email us (firstname.lastname@example.org)
with a budget for flies and we will select
them to match the budget and get them to
you in time for your fly fishing trip.
All orders are shipped free in the
U. S. Orders over $50 are shipped via
04/14/14 Hendrickson and Red Quills
should start hatching any day now.
Stream is in good shape and some good
reports should begin to come in.
04/21/14 No signs of Hendricksons yet
but there's plenty of Blue-winged Olives
hatching. Stream levels and weather
conditions are looking good.
04/28/14 One customer reported seeing
the first Hendricksons/Red Quills and
this should continue. Rain is on the way
and that will help the stream levels and
increase the temperature a bit.
05/05/14 Quill Gordons, Blue Quills,
Hendricksons/Red Quill and Little Black
Caddis are hatching. Stream level is
currently a little high.
05/12/14 Warmer water will change the
hatches. There's rain forecast everyday
for the next week. Plenty of trout are
being caught at the present time.
05/19/14 Stream is flowing at 852 cfs and
2.92 feet which is high. It is falling fast
and should be back in good shape soon.
05/26/14 Stream levels are still high but
falling fast. Kettle should be in good
shape within two or three more days.
Some rain is in the forecast.
06/02/14 Three customers called this
last week to order more flies. The
stream is back just above normal and
several hatches underway.
06/09/14 More good reports from Kettle.
There's currently a little rise in the levels,
so make sure you check them.
06/16/14 High water has slowed the fishing
but the stream is back near normal. Watch
06/23/14 Kettle Creek is actually running
a little low for a change but the fishing
has been and still is very good. Several
hatches are underway.
07/07/14 Stream levels have been high for
the past few days but back down just
above normal. Trout are being caught on
LIttle Yellow Stoneflies and Light Cahills
07/21/14 Two customers reporting catching
several trout this past week. Water levels
have been up and down but all things
considered, the creek is fishing well.
07/28/14 Slate Drakes have started hatching
and trout are being caught on the nymphs
and spinners. Watch the water levels.
08/11/14 Water levels are in good shape
and trout are being caught. Two good
reports from the past week.
08/18/14 More good reports from
customers using our Japanese Beetles
and other terrestrials. Flows are still good
but rain is in the forecast.
09/01/14 Stream levels are still high
but fishable. The levels should drop
down by the end of this week.
09/15/14 There are no more good excuse
for not catching plenty of trout. Stream
levels and lower water temperature is
about as good as it is going to get.
09/22/14 Two good reports from customers
this past week. Cooler weather has really
helped the "catching"/
10/06/14 One local customer reported good
conditions and fishing. Water levels have
been up a little but back down in good shape.
10/13/14 Two good fishing reports from
customers came in last week. Conditions
remain good. BWO's should be the main
focus for the next few weeks.
10/27/14 Kettle Creek is still in good shape
and anglers are catching plenty of trout. Two
good reports from customers using BWOs.
11/09/14 No reports from last week but
conditions are very good. It will be cold
near the end of next week.
12/03/13 Fishing has been mostly tough for
the past three weeks with high water levels
and cold water temperatures. The
conditions are currently much better. Use
cream Midges and size 20 BWOs.
12/14/14 Two good reports. Customers were
using BWO nymphs, size 18 and Midges,
12/22/14 Stream levels are good and the
weather is fairly good, so let us hear from
12/28/14 Water levels have been up but the
rain is about over and the delayed harvest
section should be back in good shape.
01/04/14 One good report came in the past
week. Snow and a big drop in the
temperature is on the way. Now is the best
time to fish.
01/25/15 No reports from the past week. It has
been cold but the levels have been good.
02/02/15 Still no reports from anyone fishing
but the water has been very cold. We still
have a few more cold fronts to go.
02/15 We received one not so good report
about a week ago and none the past week.
We don't recommend fishing Kettle Creek
this coming week due to very cold weather..
02/22/15 No reports due to very cold weather
this past week.
03/01/15 Still now reports from anyone fishing
this past week but conditions will improve this
03/08/15 We have some customers planning
on fishing the stream this coming week. The
water and weather is warming us some, but
still has a ways to go.
03/15/115 Customers reported catching a few
trout but water levels are currently high. The
water is warming up nicely.
03/22/15 No reports from anyone fishing last
week. The steam levels are back down and
03/29/15 Stream levels are a little low but
otherwise, in good shape. Still no reports
from the past week.
04/05/15 BWOs, Little Black Caddis, Little
Brown stoneflies, Quill Gordons and Blue
Quills should hatch soon.
04/12/15 The stream is still flowing high but
otherwise in good shape. There is some rain
in the forecast but hopefully, not much.
04/19/15 Stream levels have fell down and in
good shape and two good reports came in as
a result. Quill Gordons/Blue Quills and Little
Black caddis have started hatching.
04/26/15 No reports from anyone fishing but
stream conditions remain good. The weather is
going to be cooler but shoudn't hurt the fishing
05/02/15 A good report from Kevin K.
Hendricksons/Red Quill are hatching and
conditions very good.
05/17/15 More hatches underway, Sulphurs
coming soon. Three good reports from last
05/23/15 No reports but good conditions
continue. Rain forecast for the next few days.
05/31/15 Two good reports from the past
week. Lots of hatches and spinner falls taking
place. Lots of caddis. Some heavy rain on the
06/07/15 Low water levels is making it a little
tougher than normal but otherwise great.
06/14/15 Stream levels back in good shape
with lots of insects hatching. Two good
reports from the last two days.
06/21/15 Water is up slightly and in great
Shape. More good reports from customers.
07/05/15 Stream levels at 639 cfs and
that's too high to wade. Hopefully, the levels
will drop and fishing improve soon.
07/12/15 The river has dropped to 319 cfs at
1.80 but that's still too high to safely wade. It
should continue to drop..
07/19/15 The river is staying high at 2.34 cfs
and 1.54 ft. or too high to wade. Surely it will
drop this week.
08/02/15 Finally have good stream levels again
and cooler weather forecast. LIttle Yellow
stoneflies are hatching.
08/09/15 One report from a customer that
caught several this past week. Conditions are
excellent right now.
08//23/15 Conditions remain very good with
cooler weather and good stream levels.
Mahogany duns are starting to hatch.
08/30/15 Great conditions with stream levels
back normal and wadable. It will be warmer but
all in all, excellent conditions.
09/06/15 Customer reported catching two
large browns over 17 inches on the Brown
Sculpin streamer this past week.
09/13/15 The stream level is high right now,
too high to wade, but it is falling and should
be back in good shape very soon.
09/27/15 Great conditions, both stream levels
great for wading, and the weather. Great
Autumn Brown sedges are starting to hatch.
10/25/15 Sorry for the lack of reports. Except
for when the water has been high, which has
been often, fishing has been great.
Blue-winged olives are hatching again in size
20 and 16. Great Autumn Brown sedges are at
the peak of their hatch. Stream levels are
currently high, so be sure and keep a close
look at them if you plan on fishing.
11/01/15 Stream levels are high right now but
no rain is forecast after today and they will fall
out fast. The Delayed Harvest area will be in
good shape by the end of this week.
11/15/15 The stream levels have been very
high the past few days. It is falling but there is
some more rain in the forecast. You will just
have to keep a check on the levels.
11/29/15 Excellent conditions exist right now.
Good steam levels, midge hatches, rain coming
Tues. through Wed. Fish size 20/18 BWO
nymphs, cream and red midge larva/pupa in
tandem, Brown Sculpin streamers..
12/13/15 Finally stream levels are in good
shape for wading. Lot of trout being caught.
The weather is unbelievably warm with some
rain coming tomorrow and later next week.
Winter stoneflies are hatching.
12/20/15 The water is at 38 degrees now but
should warm up the next few days. The
levels are a little high, so watch them. There
is some rain in the forecast.
12/26/15 The stream is at 708 cfs at 2.61 ft.
or high right now with lots of rain on the way
from today through Thursday. That's too high
to fish except maybe from the banks.
01/10/16 The river is flowing at 496 cfs at 2.20
feet, or very high. It should drop back down to
wading levels within two or three days. There is
snow forecast through Wednesday.
01/17/16 The flows are still rather high, too
high to wade but falling. They need to be
down close to 120 cfs for good wading
opportunity. The water is only 36 degrees.
01/24/15 The stream is back to near a normal
level and can be waded in most areas. The
weather is going to be a little warmer. These
are good conditions for mid-January.
01/31/16 Stream levels are down to a normal
level good for wading and the water should
warm up a little this coming week. Conditions
are looking much better.
02/17/16 The stream is flowing at 380 cfs and
1.94 feet. Normal is about 121cfs and 1.0
foot. It will be two to four days before the
stream can be waded safely.
02/21/16 Stream levels are still to high to
wade safely and the water off color. Snow is
forecast Tuesday through Friday.
02/28/16 The flows are at 526 cfs and normal
is about 170 cfs. It is going to take a while for
this to clear up. More rain and snow is forecast.
03/06/16 Flows are down to normal and good
to wade most places. The water is a little
warmer and conditions much improved.
03/13/16 Right now the stream levels are fine
but it is raining and there is a good chance of
rain for the next week. Expect higher levels.
Blue Quills, Quill gordons, little Black caddis
and little Brown stoneflies will start hatching
about the first of April. BWO are hatching now.
03/20/16 The stream levels are still fine for
wading and should remain that way through
the middle of the week, maybe longer.
03/27/16 The stream levels are down and
can be waded anywhere. The water is getting
warmer and when the water hits 50 degrees
for 3 days or more, look out for Blue Quills,
larger BWOs, Quill Gordons, Little Black
Caddis and Little Brown stoneflies.
04/10/16 The stream level is a little low but
great for wading. The cold spell has ended
and the water should begin to warm back up
and the hatches mentioned above will be
starting very soon. There is a couple days of
rain but no expected heavy amounts.
04/24/16 Blue Quills, little Black Caddis,
little Brown stoneflies, BWOs, Amer. March
Browns, and Hendricksons are hatching.
Stream levels are in good shape.
05/01/16 The stream has been low but in
good shape with customers catching a lot of
trout. It is on the way up now, with more rain
coming. Good dry fly action should continue.
05/08/16 The levels are a little high. Lots of
new hatches including Green sedges,
Cinnamon Caddis, Amer. March Browns, and
getting very near Sulphurs.
05/15/16 The levels are down to a normal level
and the water clear. Lots of hatches are taking
place. In a nutshell, it is as good as it gets.
05/22/16 The stream levels are at a normal
level as I am writing this. There is some rain
and they may go up a little but conditions
should remain good this coming week.
05/29/16 The stream levels are in good
shape and customer reporting catching a lot
of trout. Slate Drakes, Sulphurs, Little Yellow
Stoneflies, Cinnamon and Green caddis.
06/05/16 The stream levels are currently low,
so stealth is required. Stay low and blend in
with the surrounding. There are some very
good hatches taking place.
06/19/16 Lots of sulphurs are hatching, along
with Little Yellow sallies, and two species of
caddisflies. The water is very low. Wear
clothing to match the background, mostly
green. Stay as low to the water as possible.
Move slowing and stay behind something as
much as possible. If you stay hidden and
match the hatch, you will catch plenty of trout.
07/03/16 The creek is quite low right now
and a little on the warm side. Watch the
water temp. and if over 68, I wouldn't fish.
The trout will be lathargic and you can stress
them if you catch them. Rain is on the way
and this should change very soon. Fish early
and late in the day near dark.
07/10/16 The river is very low and the water
very warm. You may try fishing early in the
morning but it is marginal.
07/24/16 We suggest waiting until conditions
improve. Low water that's too warm exist.
The trout do not need to be stressed.
08/07/15 Stream levels are very low, so stay
hidden from the trout. Fish early and very
late. Tricos are hatching good.
08/14/16 The stream level is back low again
and still worm. Fish morning Tricos. You
shouldn't fish water over 68 degrees.
08/21/16 The stream levels are a little low
but currently rising. The weather is little
cooler. Lots of Tricos and Caddisflies.
09/11/16 The stream levels are still very low,
at 11 cfs, at 0.30 ft. The water temperature
is reaching about 70 during the day, or too
warm. The weather is cooling off some this
week and conditions should improve.
09/18/16 The stream is still very low at 14 cfs
and 9.34 ft. The water is a little cooler but
conditions far from good.
09/25/16 The stream levels are normal and
the water much cooler. There are a few
hatches taking place and the overall
conditions much improved.
10/02/16 We are getting some good reports
of catches from customers fishing up until the
last two days. Stream levels are okay and the
water about 56 degrees, which is good.
10/23/16 The stream level is 2.90 and
flowing at 168 cfs which is high but falling. It
is better than the low conditions and should
be getting in very good shape, maybe by
the weekend. There's a change for more
but maybe not a lot. Check the levels.It is
too high to wade at this time.
10/30/16 The creek is blown out at this time.
It should start falling, so keep a check on the
11/13/16 Stream levels are a little below
normal but the water is much cooler and the
trout active and eating. Fish are being
caught in good numbers.
11/27/16 Stream levels are very low and the
water cold, averaging about 40 degrees.
Rain in on the way and it will be a little
warmer this week. We think conditions will be
good by the weekend or before.
12/11/14 Stream levels are at a normal level
in good shape but the water is cold, near 34
on the average. Fish Cream and Red midge
larva/pupa in tandem and Winter stonefly
12/25/16 Stream levels are down to just a
little above normal. The weather is going to
be warm. Sculpin streamers, Winter stonefly
nymphs and Cream and Red midges are
the flies you need. Conditions are good.
01/08/17 The stream levels are a little high
and the water very cold. It is possible to
catch trout on midges. There is more rain
forecast, so watch the stream levels. It is
going to be a little warmer this next week.
01/15/17 The river is too high to fish at this
time. You will just have to watch the stream
levels. Currently they are 2.89 ft at 830 cfs.
01/22/17 The flows are at 524 cfs, or way to
high but the water is warm, reaching 44
degrees. It needs to drop back down.
01/29/17 Flows are 506 cfs at 2.26 ft. or too
high to wade. Keep checking the USGS link.
02/05/17 The stream levels are down near
normal but the water is barely above the
freezing mark. It is possible to catch trout
on midges but may be a slow go.
02/12/17 The levels are up to 618 cfs, at
2.50 feet, or very high. Watch them and fish
as soon as it gets down below 200 cfs/
02/19/17 The stream levels are still high,
flowing at 336 cfs. It is falling and should be
back in good shape in another day or two.
The weather is going to be warm and nice.
02/26/17 The stream level is still high, too
high to wade safely anywhere. It is falling
again. You can fish from the banks.
03/05/17 The stream levels are down near
normal and wading possible. The water is
getting a little warmer and conditions much
improved. Fish Midges and Sculpin streamers.
03/12/17 The stream levels are in good
shape but the water is getting very cold.
Fish midges, Creams or Reds.
03/19/17 The stream levels are a little low
but clear and in good shape. The water is
cold, about 37, but will be warming up all
week. Conditions should be good very soon.