Copyright 2016 James Marsh
Fly Fishing Letort Spring Run
The Letort Spring Run is a beautiful little limestone
spring creek located right in the town of Carlisle
Pennsylvania. In the upper section of the stream, it
is so clear that you can look at it in some ways as
not even being a stream because of the beds of
cress. In places it looks to be only a few inches
deep until you step into the water and find out it is
two feet deep. It probably only averages about
twenty feet wide. Some very large springs keep the
water flowing cool even during the hottest part of
A mile and a half of the little stream is catch and
release water only. The catch and release water
tends to have more larger brown trout than the
other water but it is more difficult to fish. The lower
end of the stream has some runs and riffles areas
and the faster water makes it a little easier to catch
trout. It has some open areas that are easier to cast
in and fish than the middle and upper areas of the
Fly fishing the Letort Spring Run will force you to
become extremely proficient in every thing you do.
A bad cast and you will need to move somewhere
else. Get a bad drift and you will need to cast to
another location. Let the trout see you and you are
finished in that area of the little stream. Hook a
good fish and you have yet another problem. You
usually have very light line and the brown trout has
all the cover it needs to wrap around and break
your tippet. They are very difficult to land in most
The Hertiage Trout Angling regulations (catch and
release with barbless hooks) covers a mile and a
half stretch from three hundred yards above the
bridge at route 481, down to the Reading Railroad
Bridge. The stream flows through Letort Spring Park
just below the Hertiage Trout Angling section. It
enters the Carlisle city limits just below the park.
There is another area of the stream that provides
good fishing upstream from where the Letort enters
Conodoquinet Creek. The lower section of the
Letort provides easier fishing.
Fly fishing Letort Spring Run is quite different from
fly fishing just about any other stream, including
most spring creeks. What makes it even more
difficult than normal is the amount of aquatic
vegetation in the water and the thick trees, bushes
and undergrowth along the banks. It is more like
fishing a jungle than anything I can think of. If they
had trout streams in the Amazon Forest, that would
probably be similar.
Letort Spring Run
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Recommended Tackle & Gear
4, 5 or 6 weight
Dry fly: 9 &12 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.
There is really no best time to fish the
Letort. It is fairly tough anytime.
Spring is the best time to fish the Letort
because there are more hatches and the
fish seem a little more aggressive during the
Summer can be okay. There are some
sulphur mayflies in the stream and there is a
trico hatch that occurs in late summer in
parts of the stream.
Fly Fishing Guide to Letort Spring
The water forces you to fish very light
leaders and tippets. It also becomes very
evident that the closer the fly you use looks
and acts like the real thing, the better your
chances of fooling a trout. The Letort's
brown trout have most likely seen about
every fly and every angler that comes near
its waters. They are not easy to catch. It is a
very small stream with bushes and trees
surrounding most areas. It is tough to cast in
its tight conditions. The stream has large
beds of cress that in some cases almost
cover the width of the stream. The fish hold
in very difficult places for you to get your fly
to, much less get a good drift. The cress
swirls the currents in a manner that creates
conflicting currents just about everywhere.
When you wade you have to be extra careful
because the water is clear, basically shallow
and the trout are difficult to approach. When
you do get into the right position, you must
make a very accurate presentation.
You only have an area of a few inches to
land you fly in at times in order to get the
drift you need to get. You have to be very
good at fishing very small flies. When
something is hatching and the fish are
rising to it, you must capitalize on it. You
want to take advantage of the hatch
because it is probably the easiest time you
are going to have to catch trout. You can
catch them in deeper water on nymph,
cress bug and scud imitations but it is
usually more difficult than it is fishing a
Cloudy days are always the best days to
fish the Letort. Bright, clear days add
another problem to the already tough
fishing situation. The trout will hide in
heavy cover out of the sun and that makes
it just that much more difficult to catch
them. You are far better off fishing low light
conditions. Early morning, late evenings
and cloudy, rainy days are best.
Letort Spring Run 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 the
Letort Spring Run 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.
There are few aquatic insect hatches on the
Letort Spring Run. Most of the food for the
trout consist of scuds and sowbugs. There
are also some sculpin and minnows.
The first hatch that takes place in some
sections of the creek are the Blue-winged
Olives. This occurs about the first of April
and generally last about the entire month.
From all we can gather, this is not a large
There is a minor Sulfur hatch that takes
place in some sections of the stream in May
and June. This is not a huge hatch and
according to many anglers we have talked
to, doesn't even exist anymore. We have
talked to some that disagree and say it still
occurs. I think it may be just a matter of the
location on the stream.
Midges hatch throughout the year and
maybe the most important aquatic insect.
You should have imitations of their larvae,
pupae and of the adult midges.
We think streamers are important flies to
have with you. I would suggest small to
medium size one that imitate sculpin and
The most important flies, according to the
local anglers, are terrestrial imitations. Ants,
grasshoppers and beetles are all present
and eaten by the trout. Some of the
patterns for these flies were developed on
this trout stream. Another local favorite fly is
the Jasid or leaf hopper.
We hope you will try our "Perfect Fly" trout
flies here. We have the best scud and
sowbug imitations you can buy. Our Trico
imitations cover every stage of the hatch
and include flies for the male and females
that are different colors. If you haven't done
so already, please give them a try. You want
Tricos are the most important mayfly hatch
that takes place. It starts in June and last
through the most of September but it
depends largely on the location.
The main food are the sowbugs and scuds.
They are very plentiful. You want to be
certain to have imitations of these.
There can be hatches of BWOs in the fall
that are good.
Warm winter afternoons can be okay on
Letort Spring Run Fishing Report:
01/06/14 Customer reporting he caught a
couple of nice brown trout yesterday on our
Perfect Fly scuds and ordered more. It was
nice and warm for a change and the water
had a slight stain to it.
Thumbnail Images: Click to enlarge
Thumbnail Images: Click to enlarge
Fishing Report Updated 09/18/16
(Bottom Of Page)
01/13/14 Stream is a little high but clear
and warm near the springs. No reports of
anyone fishing this past week.
01/20/14 No reports for the past week but
one customer ordering more scuds to give
it a try. Weather should be some better
for the coming week.
01/27/14 We didn't receive any reports
from anglers this past week but conditions
are good for fishing this spring creek this
coming week. Let us have your reports.
02/03/14 The Letort is in good shape and
the water is warm near the springs. We
have not had any reports of fish being
caught but anglers should give it a shot.
02/10/14 One customer ordering flies
reporting he caught a couple of decent size
browns this pas week. He is using our
Perfect Fly scuds.
02/17/14 Much warmer weather is on the
way with rain in the forecast. Conditions
02/24/16 Customer ordering Blue-winged
olives and scuds reported fishing was
good this past week.
03/03/14 No reports from anyone fishing.
Weather is cold but the water near the
springs is in good shape and its normal
temperature of warmer than the air.
03/10/14 One customer ordering BWOs
and scuds. After mid week, the weather
should be back on a warming trend.
Stream levels are in good shape.
03/17/14 Water is in good shape and two
anglers reported catching some trout this
past week. Conditions are improving.
03/24/14 Stream is in good condition and
according to our local contact, anglers are
still catching a few trout with midges and
03/31/14 The water is a little off color from
recent heavy rains as well as flowing high.
Suggest you wait a day or two.
04/07/14 The water is back near normal
and fishing should improve this week. We
have no reports from this past week.
|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.
All orders are shipped free in the
U. S. Orders over $50 are shipped via
04/14/14 Higher water levels and slightly
stained water has made it easier to catch
the Letort's brown trout. Two good
reports received this past week.
04/21/14 The stream levels are fine and
the forecast decent. Blue-winged olives
are hatching fairly consistently.
04/28/14 Sulphurs should begin to hatch
within the next week if not already. There
were some good reports last week from
customers catching more on BWO
05/05/14 Look for Green Sedges
(caddisflies) to start hatching any time
now. The Green Sedge larva, or green
rock worm imitatios, are very good flies for
05/12/14 Several anglers ordered flies for
the Letort this past week. Two of them
reported the fishing to be excellent.
05/19/14 No reports from anyone fishing
this past few days. There has been a lot
of rain and higher water levels but it is
falling fast. Sometimes, high water is
easier to fish on the Letort.
05/26/14 Letort is a little high but very
fishable. In fact, the higher levels make it
easier to fish. Customers ordering flies
are doing very well.
06/02/14 The stream is in great shape and
customers reporting they are catching
trout as well as ever, mostly on our Green
Sedge and Cinnamon caddis.
06/09/14 More good reports from Letort.
Often it is only the lower sections of faster
water producing trout. Recently, there
have been some good catching from the
upper slower, smooth water sections.
06/16/14 Still getting very good fishing
reports. It seems the rain and higher water
levels have helped the "catching".
06/23/14 More good reports from
customers. One angler doing well on
terrestrials already and one on Scuds. The
water is in good condition.
07/07/14 Stream level is back down and
in good shape and customers catching
some trout. Terrestrials are important.
07/21/14 Customers ordering lots of
terrestrials, ants, beetles and hoppers.
Scuds and sowbugs are also working.
07/28/14 More good fishing reports came
in from this past week. Some nice size
brown trout are being caught.
08/11/14 This little spring creek has
continued to produce some very nice
size brown trout.
08/18/14 Two more good reports came in
from our customers using Carpenter ants
and our Japanese Beetles.
09/01/14 A couple more good reports
came in from regulars that fish the Letort.
They are mostly using terrestrials.
09/15 More good reports. The Letort is
as good as it gets in the late summer and
early fall. Much cooler weather has the
browns turned on. .
09/22/14 One customer reported
catching a 17 inch brown. He was using
our Brown sandwich hopper. Great
conditions exist at this time.
10/06/14 No reports for last week but there
should be. Conditions are excellent. BWO's
should begin hatching again.
10/13/14 Conditions couldn't be any
better at this time of the year. One angler
reporting a nice 18 inch brown last week.
10/20/14 Cooler weather is in store for those
that fish the creek this coming week. Blue
winged Olive should be the main focus.
10/27/14 Good conditions still exist and
plenty of trout are being caught on this "not
so easy" to fish stream.
11/09/14 No reports recently but conditions
are good. This is one of the best spring
creeks to fish during cold weather.
12/03/14 Some warmer weather in the
forecast and always warm spring water
provides a very good opportunity for those
willing to try Use midges and small BWOs.
12/14/14 Those that think this creek is tough
to fish should fish it in the wintertime. Two
customers reporting catching several on
scuds and sowbugs.
12/22/14 Two more good reports from this
past week. The creek is fishing very good.
12/28/14 No reports but conditions remain
01/04/15 Two good reports over the
holidays. Anglers are catching a few brown
trout on scuds and midges.
01/25/15 No reports from the past week but
conditions are good. Fish as close to the
springs as possible.
02/01/15 We did get a good report from a
local angler who caught two nice size
browns last week near the headwaters. He
was using our scuds and sowbugs and
ordered more of them..
02/15/15 We only received one report from
anyone fishing the past two weeks and it
was three brown trout on Midges. There is
very cold weather ahead this week.
02/22/15 No reports but the weather has
been very cold this pas week. It should be
much better this next week.
03/01/15 Still no reports from anyone fishing
but much better conditions this coming week.
03/08/15 One report from a loyal customer
who caught three browns on our Scuds.
03/22/15 Another good report from a
customer using our White Belly Sculpin. The
water has been high but back normal.
03/29/15 No reports from the past week.
04/05/15 You may see some Little Black
Caddis and BWO's hatching during the next
04/12/15 We received a very good report
of several trout caught this past week on
our Streamers and BWO nymphs.
04/19/15 Another good report from the past
week. Good stream levels with a little cooler
weather on the way.
04/26/15 No reports but conditions remain very
good. Cooler weather and some rain expected.
05/17/15 Fishing conditions have been
excellent for the past two weeks and should
05/23/15 Great conditions with sulphurs
starting to hatch.
05/31/15 Conditions remain good with BWOs,
sulphurs, hatching. One customer reported
doing well using scuds/sowbugs,.Low and clear.
06/07/15 Good reports from local customers.
Good stream levels and lots of insects hatching.
06/14/15 It is getting to be hopper, ant and
beetle time on the Letort.
06/21/15 High water levels but sometimes that's
good. Streamers will work.
07/05/15 There is still lots of water but we got
one good report from a customer using
streamers. It will be back in good shape soon.
07/12/15 No reports from anglers but conditions
are still good although the levels have been up.
07/19/15 Still a little high but sometimes that
helps catch fish. Two good reports last week.
08/02/15 Stream levels are in good shape,
cooler weather forecast and terrestrials are
08/09/15 Fish terrestrials were they were
made famous - Letort Spring Run.
08/16/15 It is going to be hot again for the next
week but ants, beetles and hoppers will work.
08/23/15 Most non local anglers think of the
Letort Spring Run as a smooth, weedy spring
creek unaware it also has some fast water
sections much easier to fish.
08/30/15 Our Japanese Beetle is catching
lots of trout for one loyal customer. He is
using size 14.
09/13/15 Two good reports from local customers
came in during the past week. They are catching
some nice trout on ants and beetles. .
09/27/15 Excellent conditions exist. Don't be
surprised if a 20 inch brown comes up and eats
your Perfect Fly Japanese Beetle. They are
getting colored up for the spawn.
10/11/15 Now is a good time to catch a large
brown trout. They are in the pre-spawn stage
and aggressive. Use the Brown Sculpin.
10/25/15 Customers are reporting catching
some very nice size browns. Good stream
conditions and weather. Great time to fish the
Letort. Terrestrials, ants and beetles are still
working and BWOs are hatching again.
11/01/15 Excellent conditions with Blue-winged
olives hatching and ants and beetles still
working good. Browns near spawning.
11/15/15 The stream has been a high recently
but back down near normal levels. The higher
levels and slight stain actually helps. Hatches
are down to Midges and BWOs, but don't
forget scuds. They always work.
11/29/15 Fish the upper section of the creek
and stay hidden. It is really that simple. The
water temp will remain in good shape and the
brown trout hungry. Sight fishing is the way to
12/13/15 There is unbelievable weather and
stream conditions for December. Little BWO
nymphs, midges and scuds are what you need
to use in addition to the brown sculpin streamer.
12/20/15 The weather is unreal for this time
of the year and you have an excellent chance
of catching trout on the creek. Scuds and
little BWO nymphs would be good choices.
12/27/15 The creek is high but that only helps
Letort Spring Run. The slight stain helps fool
big fish with flies like our Brown Sculpin.
01/10/16 The stream levels are very high and
the water stained. You can still catch trout.
We recommend the White Belly Sculpin.
01/24/16 Stream levels are normal and the
water clear. The weather is looking fairly
good as well. Some big brown trout are
hidden looking for something to eat. It is a
good time to fool one of them.
01/31/16 Great conditions exist on the Letort.
Good levels with some rain through
Wednesday. Small (18's/20's) Blue-winged
Olives could hatch this week.
2/07/16 The stream is flowing high and with a
slight stain but that only makes it easier to
catch trout in the Letort.
02/21/16 We had two good reports of brown
trout being caught this past week. The water is
a little high and stained. The White belly sculpin
is a good fly to use under these conditions.
02/28/16 No reports from anyone fishing this
past week. The levels are up but that shouldn't
adversely affect the fishing.
03/06/16 The creek is in great shape from the
uppermost section to the lowest section. The
water is clear and a little warmer. The are great
conditions for this time of the year.
03/13/16 Great conditions exist. There's a lot
of rain on the way, and this is a good stream to
fish on high water levels.
03/20/16 Stream levels are fine. Blue-winged
olives and midges are hatching. Scuds should
work good at this time of the season.
03/27/16 Big brown trout await you little BWO
dun. Good stream levels and warmer water.
04/10/16 The cold weather is over and the rain
will cease on Tuesday. The stream is a little
stained and that just makes it easier to catch
trout on the Letort. Scuds and little BWOs.
04/24/16 Stream is in good condition with
Blue Quills, BWOs and little black Grannon
05/01/16 Two good reports from customers
using Scuds and Brown sculpin streamers this
past week. Look for higher water this week.
05/08/15 More good reports. Lots of hatches
taking place. Rain has water with some stain
and Sculpin Streamers catching big browns.
05/15/16 Great conditions for the little spring
creek. Good levels and lots of Blue-winged olive
hatches. Sulphurs are hatching good on the
lower end of the stream and soon everywhere. .
05/22/16 The upper end of the stream is
smooth flowing, clear spring water and isn't
exactly easy to fish. You have to stay hidden
from the trout. Some do and catch trout.
06/05/16 If you're having trouble fishing the
upper smooth flows, try the shallow riffles at
the lower end of the creek. It is easier to fish.
06/19/16 The creek is in great shape with
terrestrials becoming important. There are still
hatches but they will drop off during the coming
month. Ants, beetles and hopper will work good
in their absence. They made this creek famous.
07/03/16 Although there are still some
Sulphurs, Cinnamon caddis and other hatches
taking place, terrestrials are important - ants,
07/10/16 The Sulphurs are about done in the
lower river but there are some in the upper.
There are lots of Cinnamon Caddis.
08/07/16 Sorry for the missed reports. The
creek has been in good shape and customers
catching some nice trout. Japanese Beetles,
Carpenter ants and hoppers are working good.
08/14/16 Good conditions exist. Two good
reports from the past week.
08/21/16 The thing this creek was made
famous for is working great - grass hoppers.
Stay hidden and fish then near cover.
09/18/16 It is raining now, but ending today.
Terrestrials still working for those who can