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As I travel around North AmericaI I get to fish famous Freestone waters...


…and famous tailwaters

Green River


…but there is something special about Spring Creeks.

Big Spring, PA


This article is about playing the odds. What can you do to take full advantage of your time on the water? Fish a Spring Creek!

Spring Creek water maintains a stable temperature,flow, great numbers of small aquatic insects (i.e tricos and midges,) and is resistant to the heat of summer…


 and Wnters cold.


During my years on the Little Lehigh I took the water temperature every morning. I never saw the morning water temperature exceed 70 or go below 34.


Spring Creeks enhanced by Lime are called Limestoners.

Lime increases fertility and resistance to acid rain. Limestone spring Creeks are the best of the best.


Fifty percent of a Spring Creek’s aquatic insects are diptera, about 50,000 of them per square yard!*

The family diptera contains several non biting chironomids, in various colors, all year around, but intensely in the summer through early autumn.


Expect to see midges (diptera) all year. If there isn’t a larger food organism available, the trout have to eat them.

The most effective midge pupa imitation I know of is Al's Rat.


I imitate adults with Griffith’s Gnat.


My Spring Creek Fly box always contains  Gnats and Rats. in sizes 18 through 28.

SPRING CREEK RULE #1 Carry Rats and Gnats in sizes 18 thru 24 all year.


Baetis vagans

Baetis vagans appear in February, are multi-brooded, being an important hatch into July

These bugs are sometimes present without being apparent to the angler. Little Lehigh fly fisherman Gary Pyle has observed nymphs, duns, and spinners under the dry side of partially submerged rocks. Apparently the complete life cycle occurred out of sight of the angler.

I fish two #18 patterns, the Pheasant tail


…and a properly dressed Blue Winged Olive Emerger with no weight.


BWO emergers will usually out  perform a traditional dry fly. Try fishing one in shallow riffles and weed beds.

These little critters will help keep the trout fed and the Spring Creek anglers happy for SIX MONTHS into July.

SPRING CREEK RULE #2 Carry Pheasant tails and BWO Emergers in size #18.


Trycorythodes  stigiatus.

During my 20 years on the Little Lehigh the tricos. kicked in every year, but one, on July fifth. They continue swarming over the pools and flats in August and September as well as October and into November. Four months of fishing the “Gentlemans Hatch.”

SPRING CREEK RULE #3 Size #24 Al’s Ticos will cover your trico fishing.



Sulphurs round out the Mayfly menu in May and June.

My favorite pattern is a Sulphur Compara dun.


(When I fished Yellowstones Firehole I asked Blue Ribbon Flies for the best Pale Morning Dun imitation they had. They gave me my trusty Sulphur Compara Dun)

I fish the Sulphur Compara Dun to imitate the duns and Spinners.

I now carry it when I’m in Pale Morning Dun country.

I carry 14, 16 and 18’s

SPRING CREEK RULE #4 carry 14, 16 and 18 Compara Dun’s

My Spring Creek Fly Box always contains Adams of various sizes.

If you can’ match a Mayfly hatch, an Adams of the proper size will probably do the trick.

SPRING CREEK RULE # 5. Have a variety of Adams in your spring creek fly box


SPRING CREEK RULE # 5 include craneflies, ants, scuds and your Spring Creek fly box.


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I like a four or five weight rod that loads (bends) with just the leader. Short accurate casts are usually important.

The rod should be as long as the canopy will permit, up to nine feet.

SPRING CREEK RULE # 6 Use a rod suitable for short accurate casts.


Brightly colored fly lines are an excellent fish conservation tool, especially on Spring Creeks.

SPRING CREEK RULE # 7 Prevent line flash ,If you have a disco line dye it.


Leaders are super important.

SPRING CREEK RULE # 8 Make a leader with extra long tippet.

Magnifiers are available at your local fly shop. I buy strong reading glasses at the Dollar store.


Magnifiers are available at your local fly shop. I buy strong reading glasses at the Dollar store and wear them over my glasses.

Circuit testers make good grippers and hackle pliers. I save money by buying them at Radio Shack.


SPRING CREEK RULE # 8 Magnifiers and grippers make a spring creek fishermans fishing easier.

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