McKean County — An Angler’s Paradise
Trout, Bass, Pike, Walleye, Muskellunge
Trout, walleyes, bass, muskellunge, pike – you can find them all here in McKean County. They’re plentiful, they’re big, and they’re spoiling for a fight.
The 12,000-acre Allegheny Reservoir rates as one of the best lakes in the country for big fish. It has produced the current Pennsylvania records for walleye, 17 pounds 9 ounces, and northern pike, 33 pounds 8 ounces. It has probably given up more muskies over 40 pounds than any other lake in the East. Big brown trout, some more than 10 pounds, are almost overlooked. Smallmouth bass are plentiful, and the main targets for several bass tournaments each year.
Compared to other lakes of this size and quality, fishing pressure is light, except during the busiest summer holiday weekends. Stay for a week and you will have a lot of water to yourself.
Uncounted miles of freestone trout streams flow through McKean County. Access is generally excellent, especially in the Allegheny National Forest. Most famous of these is Kinzua Creek, which flows into the Allegheny Reservoir at Red Bridge. Like the other streams that are stocked with trout, it is a popular place from the opening of trout season through May. But during summer, you can fish most streams without seeing another angler.
Exceptional trout fishing opportunities exist at special regulations areas. Summertime fishing is particularly promising on the ‘Delayed Harvest- Artificial Lures Only’ section of Kinzua Creek, near Tallyho, and the ‘Delayed Harvest-Fly-Fishing Only’ section of Marvin Creek, near Smethport. Looking for big brown trout? Try the ‘Trophy Trout Program’ on East Branch Tunungwant Creek, near Lewis Run.
For anglers who want to get away from the crowds, there are numerous small brooks which hold populations of wild brook trout. Or, try float-fishing for smallmouth bass and muskies along the Allegheny River, between Port Allegany and Eldred.
Hamlin Lake – Smethport
Located in the village of Smethport, Pennsylvania is approved trout water fishing feed by two channels of Marvin Creek. Close to town, it is easily accessible by both young and old, and perfect for a family day of fishing.
Named after the Hamlin family who donated the land for its usage as a park, the area was redeveloped following the damage left by Hurricane Agnes in 1972.
There is ample parking everywhere near the lake. Non-motorized boating is allowed and ample free parking is available everywhere near the lake.
Trout are stocked at intervals throughout the season. The south channel of the lake is also a good place for fly fishing, especially in the early evening.