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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 Kogotus (Perlodidae) Stonefly Nymph from Mystery Creek #199 in Washington
This one pretty clearly keys to Kogotus, but it also looks fairly different from specimens I caught in the same creek about a month later in the year. With only one species of the genus known in Washington, I'm not sure about the answer to this ID.
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.
Troutnut is a project started in 2003 by salmonid ecologist Jason "Troutnut" Neuswanger to help anglers and fly tyers unabashedly embrace the entomological side of the sport. Learn more about Troutnut or support the project for an enhanced experience here.

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Big Spring Brookie
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York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Jul 25, 2008July 25th, 2008, 9:34 am EDT
Here is a picture of a truly wild, gorgeously colored, brookie caught at the flume at the top of the "Ditch" on Big Spring back in the early 1990's. I watched another guy, catch, and kill this fish. It was about 14" long.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.

Posts: 1
Hmilesjr on Jul 27, 2008July 27th, 2008, 8:23 am EDT
That's a great fish. Do you live in the area or were you there visiting. Do you have any recent photos?
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Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Jul 27, 2008July 27th, 2008, 8:47 am EDT
I live in York, PA. Big Spring is in Newville, PA about an hour and a half drive NW from my home. At one time there was a large PA fish hatchery situated at the uppermost end of Spring Crrek. Others here can correct me if I wrong but the hatchery was actually slightly above the springs that form Big Spring. The hatchery dug wells for the trout races and the water flowed out of the hatchery and into the stream. This outflow far exceeded the normal cfs rate of Big Spring and for many years the water literally gushed out of some sluice gates immediately below the hatchery.

I liked the flow then and while the "heyday" of wild brook trout thoroughout the creek was long gone there were still a surpising amount of wild brookies in the 10" - 15" range in the swift water and throughout the entire length of what is called "The Ditch".

Effluent from the trout hatchery degraded the natural ecosytem of the creek and the immediate land adjacent so after much verbal wrangling the state of PA closed the hatchery. I don't know the date of the closure but it was about four years ago.

I never liked the fishing in "The Ditch" when the hatchery was present and now after the closure the natural outflow of the underground springs are so minimal that there is very much less water flowing in the creek. I would never recommend Big Spring as a "destination trip" for anyone who lives more than half a day's drive away. In my opinion the fishing is boring, there is only about 150 yards of water that has any depth to it, and most of the fishing is done with midge nymphs and those stupid indicators.

Some proponents will likely say that there has been an improvement in the fish holding capability below the iron bridge but I've yet to see any fish in the crystal clear water rising or even just finning in the current.

No, I have no recent photos of this area.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.

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