Kettle Creek is a magnificent freestone stream that runs through a beautiful wilderness setting. The atmosphere in this valley is peaceful and laid back and forces you to recognize the simpler side of life. It's the kind of place that after visiting once you have to come back and stay for a week or at least a long weekend. And lets not forget to mention that the fly fishing is outstanding.
The PA Fish and Boat Commission heavily stocks Kettle Creek with Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout and Brook Trout several times a year. There are a several cold water feeder streams that promote good holdover of Browns and an abudance of Native Brook Trout. Hammersly Fork is a feeder stream that not only provides Kettle with a shot of cold water but also can provide excellent opportunities for Native Brook Trout in a wilderness setting.
Kettle Creek can be crowded around opening weekend and a few weeks thereafter but there are always many opportunities to find an open spot since it is nearly 40 miles in length. Add in the number of feeder streams and Cross Fork and the fly fishing opportunities are virtually limitless. As Summer draws near I like to concentrate on the special regulations area of Kettle Creek for three reasons. First, it always has an abundance of Trout regardless of the time of year I am fishing. Second, it is a beautiful stretch of water with long pools and runs and abundance of riffles in between them. Finally, the crowds seem to stay away from this stretch; I have fished this section at the peak of Mayfly season and have ran into only a few other anglers.
Wading on Kettle is moderately easy with a few trouble spots here and there. Generally the water is so clear that you rarely take a step without knowing what you are getting into. In addition the crystal clear water forces you to take extreme caution when moving around as to not spook the trout.
Access points are decent and typically involve parking at a roadside pull off or small parking lot and walking along the banks. Some points along the special regulations area can be difficult to get to and require you to either traverse the creek or walk down over a very steep enbankment but for the most part it is very accessible and you rarely have to worry about posted ground.
The PFBC has Special Regulations for Kettle Creek, Cross Fork and tributaries to ensure wild trout preservation. Click on the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commision link below.
Potter County: PFBC Special Regulations explanation.
Hatch Information: The upper reaches of Kettle Creek has excellent water quality and the great hatches are a reflection of this fact. In addition to a good Caddis and Terrestrial presence there is a very good variety of Mayflys on Kettle including Sulphurs, Hendricksons, BWO, Blue Quills, Green Drakes, Gray Fox, March Brown and the local favorite Brown Drakes. Kettle Creek temperatures often remain cool well into the Summer and Mayfly hatches can be substantial throughout May and June. Hatch density is moderate and trout typically become active from mid morning throughout the day and evening when water temperatures begin to rise. Be sure to check out the Central PA Fly Fishing Hatch Chart!
Stream Conditions: I have fished Kettle Creek in the early Spring when the flow was raging and in the middle of dry Summers when it was extremely low. Since Kettle is fed by mountain streams it has far less tendency to get muddy but it can and does get blown out. Even when water levels are high Kettle Creek is fish able and sometimes easier than when the water is low and crystal clear. As the flow raises above 350 and approaches 400 Kettle will be more difficult for drys and nymphs but streamers may produce some results. Over 400 and you may be better to wait for levels to drop. The values are taken at the USGS station at Cross Fork, PA and are very good indicators both above and below this point. Be sure to check with the featured fly shop and see what others are saying on the forum when you are in doubt. Click on Stream Conditions to check the current levels. You can also call the USGS hotline 24 hours a day: 1-888-881-7555.
Kettle Creek Lodging & Restaurants : Hungry? Need a place to stay? Click on the this link to be taken to a page dedicated to helping you find local restaurants and lodging that are close to the water. All of these local services can also be located on the interactive maps.
Interactive Maps: Click on the links below to be taken to interactive maps of the area. In addition to being able to see where to fish, you can also get printable directions on how to get there and locate local services in the area like fly shops, restaurants, lodging and guide services.
Fly Shops :
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