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Lateral view of a Female Hexagenia limbata (Ephemeridae) (Hex) Mayfly Dun from the Namekagon River in Wisconsin
Hex Mayflies
Hexagenia limbata

The famous nocturnal Hex hatch of the Midwest (and a few other lucky locations) stirs to the surface mythically large brown trout that only touch streamers for the rest of the year.

Dorsal view of a Epeorus albertae (Heptageniidae) (Pink Lady) Mayfly Nymph from the East Fork Issaquah Creek in Washington
This specimen keys to the Epeorus albertae group of species. Of the five species in that group, the two known in Washington state are Epeorus albertae and Epeorus dulciana. Of the two, albertae has been collected in vastly more locations in Washington than dulciana, suggesting it is far more common. On that basis alone I'm tentatively putting this nymph in albertae, with the large caveat that there's no real information to rule out dulciana.
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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Posts: 26
Mtskibum on Jan 18, 2008January 18th, 2008, 12:05 pm EST
I only kept trout once last year. They were wild fish, but i kept them to actually try and thin the fish out, its a fishery only a couple people fish. I kept enough 16-18" browns to smoke a handfull of fillets. I would recomend smoking trout as the best way to cook it.

Usually i fish a couple weekends a year on the upper bighorn river. Around 60-100 miles above the resevior that cools the water down for the trout. It is a superb walley and catfish fishery, and because the water is cooler than most catfish waters, we get good tasting cats. I know lots of people know about the trout stretch, but the walley stretch can be just as fun, and every year my entire family pounds the hell out of it to fish for eating fish. The largest walleys hit 4-5 pounds in the river. And we can have good days on the water and catch 20 of them. You would be alot happier with walleyes in your freezer than you would with fresh trout.

Do you guys have whitefish in PA? They are superb to smoke up as well. Supposedly the best tasting smoked fresh water fish. I know out here on some trout rivers they are plentiful.
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Jan 21, 2008January 21st, 2008, 4:48 am EST

We have no river whities like out in the West but I've been told there are whitefish (maybe another genus) in some deep cold water lakes and the Great Lakes. It is funny how lots of guys condemn whitefish when they catch them out West. Admittedly if you are from the East and have planned a trip all year it is no fun to just catch whitefish. On the other hand if the trout are off for a day or you want a couple of hours of fun all you need do is find a good riffle on the Madison and put on a couple of nymphs and BB's and you'll soon be into lots of 14" - 18" whities.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Cortland Manor, NY

Posts: 139
Mcjames on Jan 22, 2008January 22nd, 2008, 6:40 am EST
Ha that is funny Wbranch! My one and only time in Montana, I was on the Gallitin River in March in the middle of a snowstorm. I had hooked and lost 3 fish, my toes were numb, and I was tired of knocking the ice off my guides. But I promised myself I would stick it out until I landed one. The next one I hooked, I played it very carefully, backing all the way up into the shallows. Of course, it was a whitefish. Which meant I had to stay out another hour until I finally landed a trout.

But on the way home I was reading the little book they give you with your license, and I was fascinated by all the native species I had never heard of-- like burbot. So now I kind of glad I caught a species I won't ever see out East.
I am haunted by waters
Eastern Sussex co., NJ

Posts: 13
Andyg on Feb 24, 2008February 24th, 2008, 10:59 am EST
Paddlefish are usually caught by snagging with weighted treble hooks! You can see the hook scar on one of those fish.

My philosophy is that every fish removed from a body of water is a fish that will never spawn again. Unless a stream or lake is stocked on a regular basis and managed as put and take, successful spawning is absolutely necessary to maintain a good wild fishery; especially with today's fishing pressure. A bad spawning year or two can literally turn a wild fishery around. I like to catch lots of quality fish so I believe in catch-and-release, which is also the best cure for freezer burn!

I have yet to encounter a body of water with so many fish that they were stunted. However, in that case culling the population is what a fish and game department would probably recommend.

Posts: 26
Mtskibum on Feb 25, 2008February 25th, 2008, 12:22 pm EST
They manage the paddlefish population extremely well, I believe the last couple years have even been record harvests, even though we have been in a drought. And that is with keeping the amount of fish alive to spawn. They will close fishing down immediately once a strict harvest total is reached as well, and they keep good records of the number of paddlefish alive. Montana is one of a handful of states where we have enough paddlefish to fish for them.

Fishing for paddlefish or Sturgeon does not interest me however, its a lot of time spent hoping to get lucky.
Posts: 1
Salmosam on May 10, 2009May 10th, 2009, 2:39 pm EDT
I have never really worried about how a fish feels once it is out of the water. While camping, I will either toss them up on the shore line, far enough away where they won't flop in, or sometime I will cut an alder branch and use this as a stringer, leaving one branch as a hook to keep the trout on it. As for dispatching trout...simply flick their heads with a snap from your middle finger and it will instantly quiet them down. I agree with taking fish from a stocked river than from one that is producing naturally. Fresh caught trout cooked over an open fire in some bacon grease is the best. As for cleaning them, you can do it there if you have a long distance to travel, or wait if it isn't that far. I always keep a cooler filled with ice in my car to put the fish in, and then will keep the fish on ice in the fridge if I am going to eat them the next day. Freezing them, I will put them in a plastic freezer bag, and then fill it with water. This ensures an air tight seal.

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