Falling Spring Run Fly Fishing Guiding and Instruction

Chambersburg PA

Fly Fishing

At one time Falling Spring Run near Chambersburg Pennsylvania was perhaps the best little trout stream in the US. I know that's hard to believe for many people but consider that this little gem of a stream had one of the longest Sulfur hatches from mid-April to November and the perhaps the best Trico hatch of any stream in the country. The Tricos started in late May some years and went into November also. The stream attracted fly anglers from all over the country. It was like fishing a small English limestoner where largeEarly Season Sulfur Male Dun Falling Spring PA trout would rise all day. In fact, this is what made this stream such a gem: the fish would rise for insects throughout the day and into the evenings. To put it bluntly we were spoiled. We used nothing but bamboo rods and fine tippets. It was probably the best few years of fishing anywhere in the country. What happened to the stream? Well to put it bluntly this is not the place to go into all the things that contributed to the decimation of the stream including the politics and environmental destruction but a few things will explain Falling Spring' s down fall.(Mayfly shown is an early season Sulfur Dun (Male; Ephemerella rotunda Morgan; Copyright 2007 E. Macri).

The beginnings of Falling Spring' s downfall start with the farming practices that occurred for generations along the stream. This is extremely rich soil and produce some of if not the highest yields of corn and other crops in the state of Pennsylvania. The runoff from the farms was destroying the substrate on the bottom of the stream. The stream was getting wiped from sedimentation and the chemical from the fields. In 1979 a sewer Falling Spring Chambersburg PAline went in along the stream for miles that put the final touches on the stream. This sewer line is the reason that there is so much development now on Falling Spring. The local TU (Falling Spring Trout Unlimited) has done some good work with stream improvement and a greenway project and this has helped some but the stream never recovered no matter what anyone tells you. And those nicely manicured lawns are dumping more than water into the aquifers and creek these days. The cumulative and synergistic effects of all of this put an end to one of the best little trout streams in the world.(Photo shows Falling Spring in Chambersburg PA. Note the cress and typical English Spring Creek look; Copyright 2007 E.P. Macri)

Is Falling Spring still worth fly fishing? Absolutely! But please don't believe the lies that Falling Spring 2 Chambersburg PAmany guides and fly fishing people are telling about the stream and it's great hatches especially the Trico because you'll be sadly disappointed. You do get a few Tricos in the summer months in a few sections especially where Falling Spring goes through Chambersburg but these emergence are usually small and are hit or miss. At one time the Tricos were so thick on Falling Spring that they looked like clouds of smoke. Because there is not the impetus for the fish to rise, the fish are very spooky in most sections of the stream. This is important to understand because the stream is for the most part shallow and any approach other than perfect on bright days will put the fish down. (This photo shows the willows that line sections of the stream and springs that enter Falling Spring along its route; Copyright 2007 E.P. Macri).

Directions to Falling Spring

Falling Spring is right off of I 81 and Route 30 in Chambersburg. The following maps should get you there if you need more info please contact us. The maps are in PDF files.

Highway Map to Falling Spring


Falling Spring Evaluation

Score 2.7


Overall Ecological Condition: 1.9 out of 5

Fishery: 3 out of 5 (There is a good population of wild fish in many sections of the stream and few big ones also. Although poaching is still a problem on the stream).

Hatches: 2.4 out of 5

Fly Fishing Pressure: 3.5 (higher number indicates less pressure)

Fly Anglers' Success Ratio: 2.5 (Note: refers to a skilled fly angler)

Falling Spring Notes

[ADSENSE_0000000557]Falling Spring is a shadow of what it once was and it makes me want to cry. This little gem of a limestoner had some of the most prolific hatches I have ever witnessed on any water in the country. The cumulative affects of the sewer line and development has put an end to that. The best strategy on Falling Spring is to scope out an area and find a few fish. Watch the fish carefully. If the fish are on a feeding station or lie you can probably have a chance with a small nymph. If you get lucky you may get a few sulfurs or even a few caddis in the evening to bring the fish up. On some stretches you'll get a few fish rising for terrestrials. Fur ants and deer hair beetles usually work well and don't forget to try a Letort Hopper or Cricket. Midging trout against the banks can always be found if you have the patience and stealth to fish without spooking them.

You may use these articles. You can store them. You can read them. You may not change, republish, sell or redistribute these articles in anyway for any monetary gain. You may not add them to your collection and sell them etc. These articles are copyrighted and we will strictly enforce the copyright.

© 2009 E. P. Macri Jr.

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