Pennsylvania Fly Fishing 4 min read

DIY Guide to Fly Fishing Falling Spring Branch Creek in South Central Pennsylvania

Ken Sperry

Posted by Ken Sperry

September 14, 2019

Pool on Falling Springs Branch Creek

You might think you are an angler who has seen it all, but the trout in Falling Spring Branch Creek are guaranteed to give you a run for your money. 

You see, the trout in Falling Spring Branch Creek are no pushovers. They are very picky, so you must accurately match the current hatch.

The weeds in the upper reaches can make it difficult to lure the trout out.

The trout also have a tremendous natural food supply and they are learned in the ways of the average angler.

Ah, but you are not the average angler! At least, you won’t be after you read this guide!

About Falling Spring Branch Creek

Fly Fishing Falling Spring Creek

Falling Spring Branch Creek, also known as Falling Spring Branch, is a small limestone spring creek, located near Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. Like most limestone creeks, it consists of long pools and short riffles between them.

The Creek is around 25 feet wide and flows from a spring for about four miles before converging with Conococheague Creek.

The spring flow maintains a cool temperature throughout the year, staying within the 52 to 65 degrees range.

At Falling Spring Branch Creek, you’ll most likely see wild and stocked brown and rainbow trout. Below I-81 the state stocks trout, but the area from the spring to I-81 is not stocked.

The upstream reach is 2.5 miles and managed under Catch-and-Release – Flyfishing Only regulations. This area has not been stocked for almost twenty years. Here, they allow catch and release angling with barbless hooks.

The Delayed Harvest section near Briar Lane Bridge is about one mile long that is regularly stocked with trout.

The trout in Falling Spring Branch Creek can be as large eighteen inches or more, but they will make you work for it!

The Creek’s lush aquatic vegetation produces swirling, shifting currents, that make it difficult to cast accurately. The weeds also provide plenty of cover for clever trout.

But the greater the challenge, the greater the reward! If you are stealthy enough, you are sure to make some catches that you will never forget.

Falling Springs Branch Creek Map and Fishing Access Sites

map of fishing spots on Falling Springs Branch in Pennsylvania

Get Directions to the Fishing Access Points shown above with the DIY Fly Fishing Map

Best Spots to Fish Falling Springs Branch Creek

Falling Spring Branch Creek is easily reached by taking Exit 6 at Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, off of I-81.

The lower end of the Creek is more popular with fly fishermen, as it contains less weeds than the upper reaches. The entire stream is accessible to wade fishermen.

Most of the stream flows through private property, but the landowners are generally gracious in letting anglers enjoy the stream.

In the parking lot of Falling Spring Greenway, you will find a sign that shows all the access points of the stream.

Best Time to Fish Falling Spring Branch Creek

Because of the cool temperate of the Creek, it is possible to fly fish Falling Spring during any time of the year, even in the coldest winter months.

But the best time to visit Falling Spring Branch Creek might just be autumn, because of the beautiful foliage. Fishing during summer and spring is excellent as well, due to the large hatches of aquatic insects.

Best Flies for Falling Spring Branch Creek

At one time, Falling Spring Branch Creek was known nationwide for its Sulphur and Trico hatches. While these hatches still exist, unfortunately, the quantity has been greatly reduced.

But Falling Spring still has its fair share of hatches! Starting from the first of April to early fall, you’ll see Blue Winged Olives, with the heaviest hatches occurring in early May and late September.

Blue Quills start hatching in mid April and last for about a month. There is a light Cahill hatch in early May that lasts for around a month.

There are several species of caddisflies present starting in April, with Cinnamon and Spotted Sedges being the most common caddisflies you will see. 

Additionally, Sulphurs begin hatching in mid May, lasting until the end of June while the Trico hatch begins in early June and lasts all the way to October.

Stealth and accuracy are going to be key when tackling Falling Spring!

Regarding fly patterns, here is a list of some of the best flies for Falling Spring Branch Creek:

  • Flying Ant (black, #18-20)
  • Griffith’s Gnat (olive, #16-18)
  • Indicator Spinner Trico (black, #22-24)
  • Humphreys Cress Bug (olive, #12-16)
  • Flashback Scud Wet Hare’s Ear (olive, #14-18)
  • Cone Head Muddler Minnow (olive, #6-14)
  • Mike’s Baetis Nymph (olive, #18)
  • Mike’s Simple Shrimp (olive or gray, #14-18)
  • Mike’s Midge Pupa (olive, #22-24)
  • White Minnows (white, #8-10)

Gear Recommendations

A 9-foot 3-wt fly rod with floating line is perfect for fishing dry flies and small nymphs on Falling Springs.  A tapered 9-foot leader, with tippet size 4X to 6X to match the flies you are throwing, is pretty standard.

Falling Spring Branch Creek Fishing Reports

There are a number of area fly shops and on-line retailers that publish Falling Spring Creek Branch fly fishing reports. A few to check out are listed below.

Fishing Regulations

Pennsylvania requires all anglers 16 and older to have a standard fishing license, and a special permit for trout fishing, which can be obtained online or in most sporting goods stores in the state.

Falling Spring Branch Creek fishing regulations are available on the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission website.

Trip Planning Tips

The closest major airport to Falling Spring Branch Creek is Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport in Maryland. Hagerstown Regional Airport is even closer, as it is only 18 miles away from Chambersburg.

You could travel to any major or municipal airport in southern Pennsylvania and arrive at your destination within a few hours.

The Travelodge by Wyndham Chambersburg is an affordable option nearby that is pet friendly and offers free breakfast. If you are looking for a more rustic experience, Twin Bridges Campground has reasonable rates and a gorgeous country setting.

Looking for more places to fish? Visit our DIY Guide to the Best Fly Fishing in Pennsylvania.