The locals refer to the Falling Spring as “a little gem”. I know I certainly do, because it is not only a limestone spring stream but also one I can be fishing within 10 minutes after I leave my home. The town side has a delayed harvest section starting at 5th Avenue and upstream until it crosses route 30. From there, the stream flows through the meadow along the Falling Spring road. This is the Heritage section and is Catch and Release and holds wild fish (some over 2 feet). According to “The Wonderful World of Trout” by Charlie Fox, fingerling “steelheads” were planted in the Falling Spring which were the Shasta River strain. These rainbows naturally reproduce in “the Spring”.
In August of 2012, the Falling Spring Chapter of Trout Unlimited completed a improvement plan with the help of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission on the stretch along the private property of Carl and Becky Helman. Recently the historic water wheel on this stretch was refurbished and reinstalled which makes a neat showcase for this scenic area of the Falling Spring.
Fishing has been picking up on the Falling Spring. Over the last week, I have spent time on “the Spring” with Ron Hill, Tim Brookens, my son Craig, granddaughter and grandson. Caddis hatches are somewhat prevalent as well as midges. Even though the trout are not actively rising, we are catching some on the surface. Sulphur hatches will be coming soon and then Tricos, not to mention the ever present opportunity to catch rising fish on ants and beetles. Dry Fly season is on!!!!
After a weekend of little success on Conewego, the Falling Spring and Mountain Creek, Ron Hill (brother-in-law and fishing buddy) and I decided to drive to Huntingdon, Pa to catch the Grannom Caddis hatch. Our first stop was Topp’s Diner for breakfast and our second stop was Spruce Creek Outfitters (www.sprucecreekoutfitters.org) to get some input from Allan Bright (owner) who is always helpful. Allan used to stay with another old fishing buddy’s house (Levi Keefer) near my home in Fayetteville to fish the Falling Spring. The word from Allan was that the Grannom’s had come and gone in the stretch of water near his shop so we decided to drive upriver to the Vietnam bridge…above the bridge where the Little J crosses rt. 453. Fortunately, the Grannoms were on! There was a 20 minute window when the fish were in a feeding frenzy, but after that, even though the hatch remained consistently good, rises were sporadic. During the frenzy, we hooked up with a few fish, but for the life of me, it surprises me why the trout would even take an imitation with so many live caddis dancing on the water. We stuck it out until mid afternoon hoping for another frenzy, which never came…..and with only a handful of catches and misses, one catch made it all worth it. Ron made a great cast above an overhanging branch across a hard riffle allowing his Grannom to drift into the softer water on the far side of the riffle and hooked up with an 18″ Brown. Watching this beauty rise to Ron’s fly even had my heart pumping.
The Grannoms only last about a week on the Little J during the month of April. If you have the time, go to the stretch near Birmingham along rt. 453, within the next day or two. Or, put it on your calendar for next year. You won’t regret it!
Fishing is a lot like baseball. You can look like the World Series champion one day and then look like the worst team in the league the next. Every day you start out with no runs and no fish. So, here it is……after slaying the fish yesterday on Broad Run, we came close to getting skunked today. We did manage to catch 1 each on #26 midges. Tim “big fish” Brookens caught a 14″ Brook trout. The bottom line was…. very few rises and those were not consistent. Spotted a few Caddis and Hendricksons but not enough to get the fish active. We were a week late!!! We still had a good time and look forward to getting out next weekend and the slate will be clean.
Broad Run is a “class A” wild brook trout stream located in Lower Horse Valley. Since the water levels have come up in other streams, Tim Brookens and I decided to give this little gem of a stream a shot today. We caught over 40 of these wild beauties and a few in the 9-10 inch category. Small rods and short casts are the ticket and even then be prepared to catch some limbs based on the tight casting situations. Tim used a 6′ glass Cabela’s rod and I used my 7′ cane pole. To get there take the mountain road toward Bear Valley from Main Street Fort Loudon. Quiet, no people and lots of fish…give it a try!