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SUGAR CREEK by Scott Wilson
Sugar Creek is one of the larger waterways located in Venango County. It's headwaters begin near the village of Townville in Crawford County. From there, Sugar Creek flows south through a mostly wooded area to the village of Fauncetown. This section of stream is narrow, with many areas only a few feet wide. Terrill Road is the first stop where the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission stocks trout in the spring. From Terrill Road, north, most of the trout that you will encounter will be wild brook and brown trout.
South of Fauncetown, Sugar Creek flows through farmland which is broken up by a few wooded areas. Sugar begins picking up water from State Game Lands #69 and the East Branch of Sugar Creek (Crawford Co.). The East Branch of Sugar Creek in Crawford County is classified as a Class A wild trout stream by the PAF&BC. As Sugar Creek picks up volume from these streams, it begins to widen to an average of ten to twenty feet. Some areas are very brushy making it very difficult to work a flyrod.
Once Sugar Creek flows south of State Route 27, the stream will average twenty to twenty-five feet. Just north of Williams Road, Sugar picks up the West Branch of Sugar Creek, which also begins on SGL #69. Sugar continues running south to the village of Bradleytown. A small no-name stream flows into Sugar Creek at the bridge in Bradleytown. If you walk a ways up this stream, you will eventually encounter many small brookies. Although most of these fish are less than five inches, you will hook a few fish over that mark.
From Bradleytown to Cooperstown, Sugar Creek averages twenty-five to thirty feet wide. This stretch is not as accessable as some other areas of the stream. This makes for a good place to catch some nice hold-over browns and an occasional wild fish. At the village of Cooperstown, Sugar picks up the largest stream on it's southward journey. The East Branch of Sugar Creek (Venango Co.) meets Sugar just north of Cooperstown. The East Branch watershed also includes Little Sugar Creek and Prather Creek. All of these streams are excellent for trout fishing.
After Sugar picks up the East Branch watreshed, it widens to about to about fifty feet but, not for long. Lake Creek joins in the village of Cooperstown. Lake Creek flows out of Sugar Lake in Crawford County. Although Lake Creek is a warmwater stream below the lake, it does pick up many spring runs and seeps that cool it down. If you are very patient and don't mind catching some creek chubs and bluegills, you will eventually be rewarded with some trout. Some of these fish could be over the twenty inch mark!
After flowing through Cooperstown, Sugar Creek will average fifty to sixty feet wide. Sugar also begins to flow through some more wooded areas which help to cool it back down a bit. Because of flooding, Sugar Creek will change year to year. A large pool that is there one year may only be a shallow riffle the next.
Just south of U.S. Rte. 322, Sugar picks up one of the last major water sources. Worden Run is a smaill stream with good numbers of brook and brown trout in it. Most of this stream is posted however. Sugar Creek then flows through the village of Sugarcreek. At this point, Sugar flows into French Creek.
Although anytime can be a good time to fish in Sugar Creek, spring and early summer is the most productive. There are many decent hatches with the biggest being the Grannom Caddis. The Grannom's come off around the end of April and into the first couple of days of May. Other good hatches are March Browns, Hendrickson's, Alderflies and Little Brown Stoneflies. The fall can be a good time of the year also. The browns will become active with spawning and will chase large streamers like Black Wooly Buggers and large nymphs. Also, there are a few Autumn Sedges that will bring trout to the surface on occasion.
Trout are stocked from Terrill Road south to the village of Sugarcreek. Fishing pressure is very high for the first couple of weeks and then dies off. After that, you can, and will, get into some very good fishing on the "Sweetest Stream" in Venango County.
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