A spring creek originates from an underground source - a spring. Because of their gentle gradients spring creeks are generally flat and smooth; they are found in valley floors rather than in steep canyons.
Spring creeks underground water source produces a constant flow volume, and seasonal variances are
slight. Usually spring creeks are not subject to the high run-offs which erode out the streambed channel. Instead, spring creeks have stable flows and stream bed channels.
Rooted aquatic plants favor spring creeks because they are free to grow sheltered from the scouring aftermath of high water flows. This allows plants to grow extensive rooted weed beds providing prime habitat for both aquatic insects and fish. The enhanced surface areas of the leaves and stems support an abundance of hiding places for insects to live and feed. Fish devour these insects.
Spring creeks are generally slightly alkaline in nature. This basic pH range favors plant, insect, and fish growth. A spring creeks underground water source filters through carbonates and alkaline elements enriching its water quality.
Spring creeks posses stable temperatures. The ground flows arise at a constant year round temperature which is generally between 50-55°F. The spring’s temperature is influenced by its downstream climatic conditions. This is a year round advantage because the energy required to alter the core temperature of a large volume of water is great. For instance, in the wintertime a spring creek enjoys warmer temperatures than its surroundings and in the summertime a spring creek savors cooler temperature. Hence a spring creek extended growing season favors fish because they are insulated from severe temperature variances. Much of the year a spring creeks temperature is near the preferred range for fish growth.
At times of extreme hot or cold weather, fish seek refuge in the proximity of a spring creeks source. Here the fish are sheltered from winter kill or summer heat die-offs.
In short, spring creeks favorable conditions of constant flows, optimal alkalinity, abundant vegetation, and stable temperatures all contribute to enhanced fish production. The only disadvantage I’ve found is that spring creeks are somewhat scarce and the good ones have already been discovered. Their reputations make them popular angler destinations resulting in crowded fishing. Just visit Idaho’s Herriman Park during its green drake hatch and you will be amazed at its popularity. Some spring creeks require reservations.
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