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Artistic view of a Male Pteronarcys californica (Pteronarcyidae) (Giant Salmonfly) Stonefly Adult from the Gallatin River in Montana
Salmonflies
Pteronarcys californica

The giant Salmonflies of the Western mountains are legendary for their proclivity to elicit consistent dry-fly action and ferocious strikes.

Dorsal view of a Ephemerella mucronata (Ephemerellidae) Mayfly Nymph from the Yakima River in Washington
This is an interesting one. Following the keys in Merritt R.W., Cummins, K.W., and Berg, M.B. (2019) and Jacobus et al. (2014), it keys clearly to Ephemerella. Jacobus et al provide a key to species, but some of the characteristics are tricky to interpret without illustrations. If I didn't make any mistakes, this one keys to Ephemerella mucronata, which has not previously been reported any closer to here than Montana and Alberta. The main character seems to fit well: "Abdominal terga with prominent, paired, subparallel, spiculate ridges." Several illustrations or descriptions of this holarctic species from the US and Europe seem to match, including the body length, tarsal claws and denticles, labial palp, and gill shapes. These sources include including Richard Allen's original description of this species in North America under the now-defunct name E. moffatae in Allen RK (1977) and the figures in this description of the species in Italy.
27" brown trout, my largest ever. It was the sub-dominant fish in its pool. After this, I hooked the bigger one, but I couldn't land it.
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Troutnut.com User Jmd123 (Jonathon M. DeNike)

Troutnut.com User Jmd123 (Jonathon M. DeNike)

Real Name
Jonathon M. DeNike
Location
Oscoda, MI
Biography & Thoughts
Began fly fishing for trout in 1985 in the Maple River in northern lower Michigan, and warmwater fly fishing the very next year in my home town lake (Sylvan Glen, Troy, MI). I began tying my own flies in 1990 and have never fished with a fly I did not tie myself ever since. Native Michigander, born, raised, educated (BS botany, U of M; MS entomology, MSU), and living here until further notice. Currently living in Oscoda, on the edge of the Huron National Forest and ten minutes walk from the lower Au Sable River. I have also lived, and fly fished, in Missouri, Oregon, Georgia, and Texas. My favorite fly fishing is with dry flies for trout, panfish, and bass, and also streamer fishing for the same. I created a pattern of my own, called the "Killer Bass Fly", with which I have caught the two largest bass of my life on ANY tackle, amongst thousands of other warmwater species. I personally think if you are limiting your fly fishing only to trout, you are truly missing out on some serious fun. I also believe in fishing primarily local waters, relying on your own skills and experience, and spending as little on tackle and equipment as necessary (I don't make a lot of money and I have lots of other hobbies - see below).

I am a field biologist and environmental consultant by trade. My specialties are botany, entomology, wetlands, stream ecology, threatened and endangered species, herpetology, fisheries, and habitat mapping and evaluation. Other hobby interests include amateur astronomy, forest ecology, kayaking, cross-country skiing, mountain biking, aquarium keeping, geology, snorkeling, shooting, and military history. I have a strong conservation ethic and I am a compulsive recycler. I am a lover of all animals and I currently have one calico cat. I am a vegetarian cook. And I am a bachelor by choice!
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No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...

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