Copyright 2016 James Marsh
Fly Fishing Falling Springs Branch
Falling Springs Branch or Creek, whichever you prefer to
call it, is a great wild trout, small limestone spring creek
located near Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. It flows from a
spring for about four miles and converges with
Conococheague Creek. The stream has a population of
wild rainbows and browns and is not stocked by the state
from the spring to Interstate 81. Some of the rainbows get
to be as large eighteen inches. Below I-81 the state
There is a Heritage Trout Section that extends for almost
two and one-half miles from the Briar Lane Bridge
downstream. There is also a Delayed Harvest Section
below I-81 from Walker Road downstream that is
approximately one mile long. The Delayed Harvest
section has become a very popular fly fishing destination.
It is regularly stocked with trout.
This is a typical limestone stream with long pools and
short riffles between them. Its water comes out of the
spring at a constant temperature year-round. It is
excellent dry fly water.
Falling Springs has a very good population of wild trout,
not just wild browns, but large wild rainbows. It even has a
few wild brook trout. It probably averages about
twenty-five feet wide. The stream is usually only in the
sixties during the hottest part of the Summer. It has had
many problems over the years and unfortunately, some
of them still exist. The stream is still an excellent trout
stream, so don't take this the wrong way. The sad fact is
that it could be a great trout stream if some of the things
that has happened throughout the years could be
reversed. The local TU organization has done a good job
doing about all they can to help protect the stream. As we
said in the introduction, the upper part of the stream has
the wild trout and the lower part is stocked.
|Type of Stream
(Wild above I-81, stocked below
South Central Pennsylvania
Mid April through February
Fair to Good
State of Pennsylvania
National Weather Service Link
Fly Fishing Tackle, Gear and
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Recommended Tackle & Gear
4, 5 or 6 weight
Dry fly: 9 ft., 5 or 6X Nymphing: 71/2 ft.,
3 or 4X, Streamers 0-2X
Dry fly: 5 or 6X, Nymphing: 3 or 4X,
Best Fly Rods:
Perfect Fly Supreme Four, Superb Five
or Ultimate Six
For 4/5/6 fly line
Fly Floatants and Misc Items:
Floatants, KISS Strike Indicators
Tools & Accessories:
Nippers, forceps, retractors, etc.
Fly Fishing Guide for Falling Springs:
Fly fishing Falling Springs can be a challenge most of
the time. If a hatch is occurring, it makes it much easier
to catch trout. This stream used to be national well
known for its huge Sulphur and Trico hatches. These
mayflies still exist but not near the quantities they did at
Blue-winged Olives, consisting of several different
species hatch from around the first of April
until Fall. The heavier hatches usually occur in April
and early May and again in late
September and October.
Blue Quills normally start hatching around the second
or third week of April and last for about
a month. Light Cahill hatch is limited numbers starting
around the first of May. This hatch last
about a month.
Trout can be caught from Falling Springs
The fishing is usually excellent during the
Summertime is the best time to fish the
stream due to the hatches of aquatic
Sulphurs probably still provide the best
hatch of the season. It normally starts by
mid May and last until near the end of June.
The Trico hatch can also be good and last
much longer but the hatch isn't the large
hatches that once occurred on this stream.
It normally starts about the first of June and
can last until the first week or two of
October, depending on the weather.
Several different species of caddisflies are
present in the stream starting with April
hatches of Little Black Caddis. Cinnamon
and Spotted Sedges (net spinners)
represent the great majority of the caddisfly
hatches. They start in May and last through
September. Other minor caddisflies exist in
The way you should fish the two different
areas of water varies depending on the
area you are fishing. The stocked trout can
be caught using a lot of different methods,
especially not long after they have been
Catching the wild trout, is an entirely
different thing. They are no pushovers. It is
very possible to catch them but you are
going to have to use all your skills. You
must use light, long leaders and tippets.
You must match the hatch if a hatch is
occurring. The trout can become very
An effective way to fish is to fish to an
individual trout. This requires spending
some time stalking the trout but it can be
worth it. You can catch trout in the faster
water of the short runs and riffles, but they
are usually the smaller trout. It pays to just
water the water and make far fewer cast
than you would blind casting a typical trout
Like most spring creeks, cressbug
(sowbugs) and scuds are an important
source of food for the trout.
Terrestrials are very important during the
summer. From June through the first frost,
imitations of grasshoppers, beetles and
ants produce well. The stream flows
through a lot of grass providing an ideal
habitat for these insects.
We recommend our own "Perfect Flies"
because they are realistic and proven to
catch trout on spring creeks. Be sure to try
our Scuds and Sowbug imitations on this
Falling Springs Hatches and Trout
Our information on aquatic insects is based
on our stream samples of larvae and
nymphs, not guess work. We base fly
suggestions on imitating the most plentiful
and most available insects and other foods
at the particular time you are fishing. Unlike
the generic fly shop trout flies, we have
specific imitations of all the insects in
Falling Springs creek and in all stages of
life that are applicable to fishing. If you
want to fish better, more realistic trout flies,
have a much higher degree of success,
give us a call. We not only will help you
with selections, you will learn why, after
trying Perfect Flies, 92% of the thousands
of our customers will use nothing else.
From the end of March through the middle
of May, hatches of different species of
Blue-winged Olives hatch. These hatch
again from about the last week or two of
August until mid October.
Little Winter stoneflies hatch during
February and March. From about the last
week of March through the first three
weeks of April, you will find a few Quill
Gordon mayflies hatches in the fast water
areas of the stream. At almost the same
time, hatches of Blue Quills will be coming
off. It can last until the first week or two of
March Browns will also be found hatching
in the fast water areas from the first of May
throughout the month.
Eastern Pale Evening Duns, called Sulfurs
by many start hatching by the middle of
May and continue on through mid June.
Sulphurs start about the last week of May
and last through most of June. The Sulphur
hatch is a good one on Spring Creek.
Green Sedges hatch from the middle of
April through the middle of June. The
Green Sedge larvae are called Green
Rock Worms. Imitations of them will work
Cinnamon Sedges, net spinning caddis of
several species will hatch from about the
first of June through August. This is the
most common caddisfly on Falling Springs
Branch. There are other species of
caddisflies but these are the most
A very few LIght Cahills hatch during the
month of June. You will find them mostly
where there is faster water. Slate Drakes
hatch from about the first of August all the
way through the month of October.
Mahogany Duns, called Blue Quills by
many locals, hatch from about the middle
of July through September. There is more
than one species of these little mayflies.
Tricos, or the little White Winged Curses,
hatch from about the first of July through
September. They can be prolific.
Don't overlook midges. If you fish Spring
Creek during the early or late season
when the water is cold, imitations of their
larvae and pupae will produce for you.
Streamers are very important flies on this
creek because the large brown trout eat
small baitfish, sculpin and even small
Starting about the middle of June through
September, imitations of terrestrial insects
work. Imitations of grass hoppers, ants
and beetles are popular terrestrial insects.
One of the main sources of food for the
trout are scuds and sowbugs. The creek
has a good population of these
crustaceans, especially in the areas spring
water makes up most of the flow.
We recommend Perfect Flies. They have
been tested and proven effective on this
stream. They are by far the most realistic
flies you can purchase. If you haven't tried
our Perfect Flies already, please do so.
You will be very glad you did.
Early fall is a great time to fish the stream.
Winter can be good because of the
constant water temperature of the spring
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Thumbnail Images: Click to enlarge
|Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (firstname.lastname@example.org)
with the dates you will be fishing this
stream and we will send you a list of our
fly suggestions. Please allow up to 24
hours for a response.
2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will help
you decide which flies you need.
3. Email us (email@example.com)
with a budget for flies and we will select
them to match the budget and get them to
you in time for your fly fishing trip.
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