Copyright 2013 James Marsh
Fly Fishing Guide for Big Springs Creek Pennsylvania

This is one of the finest limestone streams in the United States. Its upper section is full of
beautiful, large brook trout. Unlike the brook trout you find in small mountain streams, these
grow large and become very selective in what they eat. You want catch these on an attractor
fly by the dozens. You probably want catch one that way. This stream challenges anyone.
When you can catch trout from its waters, you are able to catch trout anywhere. Unless the
trout are hidden under the grass, you can see them. The problem with that is that they can
also see you.

It also has a good population of wild rainbow trout. Some of these trout grow over twenty
inches long. It also has some large wild brown trout. These trout are also very difficult to
catch. You must make excellent presentation, use extremely light leaders and tippets,
choose your fly carefully and be able to land large trout on the light tippet. You must be able
to fish tiny midge larvae and pupae imitations as well as imitations of scuds and cressbugs
on the bottom using light leaders and tippets. The trout can be caught. It isn't as if it is
impossible. It just takes doing everything right. It is a great stream to learn to improve your
skill on.

As with most other spring creeks, it is best to actually spot the fish you intend to catch. If you
can find one rising, fish it for certain. You should know what the trout is eating and match it
with a good imitation. There is not a lot of different kinds of aquatic insects as you will see in
our hatch section on another page, so that part is not as difficult as you may think.

Fishing blindly to fish you can't see is tough. It works sometimes if you can keep the fly right
along the grass lines but also keep it from hanging up. It should go without saying that you
need a good pair of polarized glasses to cut the glare. If you can't see the trout, either the
water's surface is disturbed from wind or current or the light situation is completely wrong.

This stream stays a constant temperature at the spring and averages around 48-50 degrees
year-round. It had a good population of native brook trout until 1972 when the state decided
to open a hatchery. The wild fish population was almost destroyed and the hatchery effluent
was proven to have done it. In 1991 it was shut down. The brook trout population came back
and it is again one of the finest brook trout streams there are. The insect population also
rebounded.
Big Spring Creek
Pennsylvania
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Photos Courtesy of
Dennis McCarthy