Low Water & Wild Trout on Cumberland Valley Creeks

Christmas weekend 2016 just wrapped up and the air temperatures have been relatively mild for late December. Highs reached the mid 40s on Saturday and Sunday and they’re supposed to get as high as 50 degrees by this Wednesday. Today I decided to take a trip to Boiling Springs to fly fish the Yellow Breeches Creek (“the Breeches”). I arrived at the Iron Furnace parking lot at 10:30am and got rigged up. There was one guy fishing “the Run” and three other guys were walking back from the Breeches. Even from twenty yards away, it was apparent the Run was at a below average flow for this time of the year. When I’d driven by the Children’s Lake in town, I could see the water line around the perimeter was down considerably. After I was set to start fishing I headed straight to the Breeches and skipped the riffles on the Run. I started fishing just below where the Run dumps into the Breeches. I had a my 5wt Winston with me and I was fishing a #16 Beadhead Hare’s Ear nymph with a trailing #20 Black Midge nymph on 5X fluorocarbon tippet. The water levels were very low.

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Still Learning on Big Spring Creek

On Sunday morning I met up with my friend John at 6:30am and we drove west to Cumberland County to fish the limestone spring fed waters of Big Spring Creek. John is relatively new to the sport of fly fishing and this was his first time fishing Big Spring. I figured I’d introduce him to the good stuff! We arrived at “The Ditch” parking lot a little before 8:00am. The sun was still low and rising on the horizon and there was a slight fog hanging over the creek. I tied on a new 9-foot leader and 6X tippet. I stood and watched the creek for a bit and didn’t see any bug activity on the surface. I decided to tie on my Big Spring standby, the #16 Hunchback Scud, which imitates the freshwater crustacean known as the scud, common in the Big Spring Creek. John headed upstream and I stayed on the lower portion of “The Ditch” closer to the parking lot. There is a concrete wall there that you can sneak up on and observe trout that are cruising on the bottom. I saw maybe a half-dozen wild brook trout moving about in the gin clear water and there were a few wild rainbows mixed in as well.

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