Copyright 2013 James Marsh
Hatches and Flies for Spruce Creek Pennsylvania
This little limestone stream has a huge aquatic insect population. When major hatches occur,
the brown trout almost feed exclusively or selectively on the particular insect that is hatching.
That can be both good and bad. If you match it correctly, you can usually catch some nice
brown trout. If not, you can do a lot of casting and spook a lot of trout.
During the winter, midges are about the only game but imitations of them will catch fish most
any day of the winter. In the early Spring, the Blue-winged Olives start hatching around the first
of April and last past the middle of May. They will hatch a second time starting in September
and last until about the middle of October. They are one of the most important hatches on the
stream due to the length of time they hatch.
Other than the BWOs, the Blue Quills and Hendricksons are the first of the mayflies to hatch.
They both start around the first of April. Usually the Blue Quills are the first to hatch. Both
hatches last less than a month depending where you are fishing the stream.
Just prior to the start of these mayfly hatches you will find the Little Black Caddis or American
Grannom caddisflies hatching. The hatch last less than a month. The Green Sedges start
about the same time but last through the month of June. The Cinnamon Caddis hatch for about
two months starting around the first of June. There are several other minor caddisfly hatches
Slate Drakes and Sulphurs both start to hatch about the first of May. The Slate Drakes hatch is
off and on for the next five months or longer. The Sulphur is one of the better hatches on
Spruce Creek. It last until about the middle of June.
The big Eastern Green Drakes will hatch near the end of May and last about two to three
weeks. Light Cahills hatch starting about the same time and continue for approximately a month.
Tricos hatch starting around the first of July and last through August. About the time the hatch
ends the White Flies start hatching keeping some type of mayfly on the water during the late
summer and early fall. The White Flies, called White Drakes by some anglers, will hatch until
about the end of October.
The terrestrial season gets underway on Spruce Creek about the middle of June. Grasshopper
and beetles are usually the first insects you will notice but the ants get large enough to get the
trout's attention not long after that. Another thing you don't want to overlook is the little green
inch worms or moth larvae. They fall off the trees lining the stream and are eaten by the trout.
Caneflies are another insect you shouldn't ignore. They become important in the late summer
when few hatches are occurring.
The best procedure to use for selecting flies is to look at our "Perfect Fly" Spruce Creek Hatch
Chart and select the flies you need from it. Specific imitations of what is hatching and/or most
available are much better than generic or attractor flies on Spruce Creek. You may want to
carry a few streamer flies along. They are good when the water gets a little off color from heavy
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