There's a quote that suggests something to the effect of "your own advice is the hardest pill to swallow," a quote which I've realized holds some significant merit. Very recently, I published an article entitled Brookies for Beginners, in which I suggested that beginner fly fishermen, those that are faced with the frustrations and defeats presented by the challenges confronting the novice angler, head for the less demanding and often rewarding waters of mountain brook trout streams. So one might expect, during the early parts of a season in which my time to hit the water has been limited and what time I have had has brought frustrations of its own due to my repeated choice to snobbishly seek wild trout on technical waters, that I might have heeded the advice I felt comfortable to give to others.
Instead, given the opportunity for an afternoon on the water, I chose to visit for the first time one of my home state's most notoriously difficult and demanding waters. Falling Springs Branch Creek is one of the most storied streams on the east coast. Less than 10 feet across in spots, Falling Springs is a tiny, weed choked, classic limestone spring creek like its nearby neighbors Letort Spring Creek and Big Spring Creek. Polluted with food for fish, abundant cover and clean, cold water, Falling Springs grows large, spectacular, wild trout. These fish are educated and reside in a stream where aquatic vegetation strives to destroy every drift you attempt and where glass still waters render water droplets that sprinkle to the surface from your false cast a potential trout spooker. This is not easy fishing.