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

General RegionYellow Breehes
Specific LocationKill water in Upper Allen Twp
Dates FishedApril 08
Time of Day1:30 - 4:45
Fish CaughtSeven browns - five 10" or less, two on top 13"
Conditions & HatchesClear water seemed quite cold. Grannoms and a smaller tan caddis were coming off in waves but very few fish were rising. Around 3:00 I started to see both Red Quill and Hendrikson duns, many stuck in the shucks. I'd venture to say the mayflies have just started and I expect a much heavy emergence tomorrow.

Details and Discussion

Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Apr 9, 2008April 9th, 2008, 1:30 pm EDT
From the amount of guys I saw today I can only imagine that this section must have been stocked today. I've been fishing this section for about four years now and today was the most crowded I'd ever seen. There were twenty guys visible in just a 1/4 mile stretch.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on Apr 9, 2008April 9th, 2008, 1:45 pm EDT
Early season on the Breeches is always a zoo, but the Hendricksons do seem to be staging a strong comeback (at least if last year's resurgence is any indication). Once they get going strong on the lower end, plan some time to try the upper water (many more wild fish there--send PM for specifics). Best of luck to you, Matt!

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