Spring creeks are one of Mother Nature’s gifts to fly anglers the world over. Idaho in particular is blessed with many, particularly Southwest Idaho. Folks from all over America come to Idaho and Montana just to ply their skills on spring creeks such as the famed Silver Creek of the Wood River Valley. Among many fly fishing circles Silver Creek has earned the moniker of “The graduate school of fly fishing.” I personally don’t feel that way and I’m a fly angler that has been fishing “The Creek” for going on thirty years. Whether or not Silver Creek deserves to be labeled “The graduate school of fly fishing” is pointless when I have known many first time fly anglers who have fished that creek with great success.
There seems to be some snootiness coming from the so called “purests” in our sport who believe there should be a caste system in fly fishing and that for some reason you need to earn your stripes before attempting famed fly water. There is no room in fly fishing for this kind of thinking and if you are one of these guys or gals then you have missed the boat in fly fishing and probably will never feel the love that fly fishing can bestow to those who take to the sport for the sport of it.
I am the type of angler who just loves spring creeks for their beauty and the wild trout that live in them. I have never been to a spring creek where I didn’t feel special for just being there. Spring creek water is artesian water. It comes from mother earth and because it comes from the earth it is the most nutritious water on the earth. Because spring creek water is so nutritious it will create an incredible biomass of plant life, moss and algae. This in turn creates an incredible base of aquatic insects that will rival many of the earth’s most famous tailwater rivers. These aquatic insects emerge or hatch into incredible hatches where it may seem like a blizzard of insects buzzing all around your head. It is these hatches that make trout the happiest.
Having a large aquatic insect population creates even larger trout. This is the real reason many fly anglers love spring creeks. When you can get the sheer beauty of a spring creek and combine it with large feeding trout then mother nature has created something special. I’m drawn to spring creeks for this very reason. Spring creeks are no more complicated to fly fish then the trout that live in them. Trout themselves have limited or no cognitive thought. Therefore their prey image can be extremely narrow to only the aquatic insect that is emerging at that very second. If you are a smart fly angler and carry a large selection of artificial flies that imitate the emerging insect then you have a good chance of landing quite a few nice spring fed trout.
However, this is where most fly anglers who don’t do well on spring creeks fail. Only two things catch trout; your ability to make a good cast and the fly that you are casting is the right one. In other words only two things catch trout: the fly and the fly rod. We as fly anglers treasure the fly gear we own. For too many anglers it is the brand that matters and they will spend their way to success because that is what they have been led to believe via the commercial manufacturers the world round. If the above is true and you buy into it then your true expense in fly fishing should be a quality dry fly rod and literally thousands of flies. Of course this can only be carried out on your financial budget that you might give to fly fishing but the point here is to spend your money in fly fishing on the two things that catch trout. This in return will make your spring creek fishing more interesting.