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Spring Creek Preparation

Spring Creek Preparation

Get Ready for Spring Creek Fishing With Mike Heck



Preparing for a spring creek outing begins before you get to the stream. Pick out shirts and hats which are neutral or dull in color. At Precision Fly and Tackle, we carry a wide variety of clothing made from Simms and Orvis that will be perfect for blending in with your surroundings.

A quality pair of sunglasses is also huge benefit. Polarized sunglasses eliminate glare so it is much easier to spot these wary trout. I prefer amber lenses because they work well in any light condition.

And lastly, I would invest in a gaiter, which are beneficial for sun and insect protection while on the stream. 

Rods, Lines & Leaders

We all have are own preferences on rods and fishing styles. I fish with many lengths of rods. However, if it becomes too silty to safely wade and I happen to be using a rod under 8 feet, I’m now handicapped. Ideally rods from 8’6” to 10’6” work great. If you are into the Euro style of fishing, we have a great selection of rods to suit any budget. If you enjoy the more traditional dry fly, nymph or streamer fishing Precision Fly and Tackle locations have a great selection of Orvis, Sage, Thomas & Thomas, and more! Our staff will be more than happy to set up any rod you are interested in and cast it with you. This way you are ensured you are purchasing the right rod to suit your casting style.

One of the biggest issues I see as a guide is incorrect weight and color of fly line for spring creeks. Delicate fly presentations are needed especially as summer approaches. Lines that are too heavy or bright simply spook trout. The best line weights to use are 3 and 4 weights in neutral colors. Quality lines will also cast much better as well. We carry a variety of neutral color fly lines. Check out the Orvis Pro line, and the Infinity and Trout lines made by Scientific Anglers.

Leaders can either be built or you can purchase packaged knotless leaders. All our stores have leader spools of Maxima, Rio and Orvis to build your own leader from scratch. You will also find packaged knotless leaders made by Scientific Anglers and Rio. Generally speaking, tippet sizes depend on what you are fishing. For streamers, I use 3X, nymph fishing is 4X or 5X. With nymph fishing if you are using indicators, you will want one that lands delicately. I highly recommend the New Zealand Strike Indicators. I have been guiding with them for many years now. As for dry fly fishing, 6X for pattern sizes 18 and larger and 7X for any patterns smaller.


Anyhow, I always tell everyone to have shrimp and cress bug patterns. These two insects are a spring creek trout mainstay food source. The MH Simple Shrimp and Cress Bug patterns in olive and gray and sizes 14-18 are ideal.


If you are still finding these trout tough to catch, you're new to spring creeks or just want to “Up Your Game”, give us a call and talk with one of our guides. At our Lancaster location, we have Tom Herr who can guide you on streams like Lititz Run. I guide on many of the South-Central PA streams such as Big Spring, and Falling Springs, and a few streams in Maryland. Rachel Bernard from our Hagerstown, guides on Beaver Creek. We offer full day and half day trout trips.

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