Falling Spring Fly Fishing Secrets
Eugene Macri Jr.

Fishing Falling Spring is different from fishing other streams especially freestone streams.  Yet most anglers don't get it. I have fished Falling Spring (Falling Spring Run) for over 35 years and some of the things that I have seen have made me wonder about fly fisherman and the guides who sometimes accompany them. To put it in a nutshell here are some of the most important aspects of fishing this limestone spring creek.  The stream is hard enough to fish but to ignore these points will usually lead to anything but a good day (In this photo below you can see the tricky eddies and subtle currents).

Falling Spring Creek Chambersburg Pennsylvania

  • The most important thing on Falling Spring is the light or shall I say the angle of the light.  If the day is cloudy you have a better chance, if not heed these warnings. No matter what fly you have it won't make any difference because the stream is relatively shallow and the play of light and shadows makes all the difference in the world if you spook these fish. Also the season that you fish the stream also makes a difference.  The easiest time is early season to mid season after that the light changes and so do the trout and they get warier. 
  • Falling Spring has few trees and little background.  The trout know this too. Too bad most fly anglers don't!  It is almost impossible to approach the stream in most sections from a down stream direction.  Furthermore, in the autumn the angle of the sun gives a glare on the stream and the trout can spot you before you spot them.  The same is true in the winter time.  For the most part approach upstream and keep an extremely low profile.
  • Also, in the late fall and the winter time there is less vegetation or macrophyte cover and the fish are spookier than normal.
  • The next problem is the subtle tricky currents.  Look carefully and you'll see a myriad of back eddies and current speed changes.  The trout know this and they know what floats properly and what doesn't.
  • Do not use leaders with a lot of knots because the knots will cause drag in these currents!
  • Since the hatches have declined the trout have become hardier to catch.  Look for trout in specific lies that appear to be feeding and that you can get a fly to without spooking them. Too many anglers fish for trout that they have already spooked.
  • Make sure you have a plan of attack before you begin fishing. Let the area settle down before you start your approach. Of all the streams I have fished the trout on Falling Springs appear to have the greatest vision range. Failure to understand this will lead to failure.

I hope these tips give you a starting point.  It's a beautiful stream but on most days it is very hard to fish.  So don't give away your approach because your fly and technique will be meaningless if you the trout see you first.


Late August to Late September

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