Early Spring on The Big Spring Creek

Fell for a tasty streamer gently stripped while sight fishing

It was mid March on our new favorite spring creek in Pennsylvania. The recently restored Big Spring Creek. Rob and I were receiving expert consultation from Mark Sturtevant, the author of the Outdoor Column for the Public Opinion. A few months prior, Mark handed me a fly he designed, then showed me a very large shadow on the opposite bank under an overhanging bush. After a few false casts, I landed the fly in front of the submarine and began stripping it across the current. A 25-27″ rainbow bolted out, slammed my fly and I set the hook about as fast as my heart was racing; pulled it right out of his mouth. The peanut gallery chimed in immediately. Even though he had tasted the cold sting of steel I decided to cast again. Same drift, same strip, same interested trout. This time, my hook set was perfect. He bolted upstream and this time my poorly tied surgeon’s knot between the tippet and the leader failed with a crack. Cue the peanut gallery…

We were amazed at how enticing this pattern which we now dubbed the Sturtevant stryker. We took some pictures with Mark’s permission and promptly sat down at the tying bench. Pretty soon we had a variety of sizes and color and we were ready to entice these wily rainbows again!

Deer hair, chenille body, krystal flash and lead eyes

The fish above were caught on strykers from our own vices and still rank as the largest freshwater fish either of us has caught on fly tackle. Thanks to Mark for his patient counseling and new patterns!

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