Nestled in a remote valley in Bath County, Spring Run flows peacefully out of the Coursey Springs fish hatchery to merge with the put-and-take waters of the Cowpasture River about 3/4 -mile downstream and offers anglers a prime catch-and-release alternative in the area. A variety of mayfly and caddis hatches occur, but this spring creek is home to tons of cress bugs and sowbugs; you can literally see millions of them clinging to the stream bottom on many sections of the creek!
Local guide tip: This section of spring creek is loaded with cress bugs! Take along some size 14 gray scud patterns and 4X fluorocarbon tippet. You will be surprised to see fully spooked fish commit to eating these flies almost every time!
Spring Run has runs, riffles, and long, slow pools and glides where rainbows, browns, and brookies of all sizes can be easily seen cruising and feeding –in other words, the sight fishing is incredible! This is a great place to fish dry-dropper rigs, allowing nymphs to drift through the abundant water grasses these fish use for hiding and ambush points. Also, try twitching a Kreelex, Near Nuff Sculpin, or another streamer pattern through the grass to coax some big boys out of hiding. Move slowly and stay low to avoid spooking fish and you can have a great day on this creek.
Aside from the fishing, the amount of wildlife in the valley will make you feel like you’re on a wilderness stretch of creek in Montana or Idaho; deer, bear, beaver, muskrat, heron, osprey, and bald eagle are some species that have been sighted while fishing this creek. Once, Wayne from the shop watched an osprey dive-bomb the water and emerge with an eighteen-inch brown in its talons as it turned and flew right over his head! Spring Run is sure to delight anglers who like to wet a line far from stoplights, sirens, and strip malls.
Directions from Mossy Creek Fly Fishing
- Take Interstate 81 South to Bridgewater Exit 40
- Take Rt. 257 West 3.3 miles to Bridgewater
- Turn left at the T-intersection onto Rt. 42 South. Take Rt. 42 all the way to Churchville.
- In Churchville, take a right onto Rt. 250 West. Follow Rt. 250 all the way to McDowell. You will pass through the small communities of West Augusta and Headwaters as you cross the mountains.
- In McDowell, turn left onto Rt. 678 South immediately after cross the Bullpasture River.
- Follow Rt. 678 through Williamsville, where you may choose to fish the put-and-take sections of the Bullpasture. Continue through Williamsville and look for Coursey Springs fish hatchery on your left a few miles out of town. Don’t turn into the hatchery; instead, look for the Spring Run Fishing Access on the left, right after the hatchery entrance.