The effect of fine precipitates, excess dislocations and sub-boundary hardening on creep strain behavior in the transient region has been investigated for tempered martensitic 9%Cr steel at 600 and 650oC. The fine precipitates that form during tempering or during creep decrease the creep rate in the transient region, while excess dislocations produced by cold rolling promote the recovery of dislocations during creep, resulting in higher creep rates. The sub-boundary hardening is enhanced by fine precipitates along lath and block boundaries, which retards the onset of acceleration creep. The movement and annihilation process of dislocations in the transient region is controlled by not only the movement of dislocations in the matrix but also the absorption of dislocations at boundaries. The minimum creep rate is basically determined by the time to minimum creep rate.