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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.

Lateral view of a Psychodidae True Fly Larva from Mystery Creek #308 in Washington
This wild-looking little thing completely puzzled me. At first I was thinking beetle or month larva, until I got a look at the pictures on the computer screen. I made a couple of incorrect guesses before entomologist Greg Courtney pointed me in the right direction with Psychodidae. He suggested a possible genus of Thornburghiella, but could not rule out some other members of the tribe Pericomini.
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.

Troutnut's profile picture
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Jul 29, 2008July 29th, 2008, 9:05 am EDT
Here's a neat link to a new story about a guy who's caught 60,000 trout:


Apparently he's always fishing for numbers in small streams, rather than trying to mix it up and fish some larger rivers for larger fish.

I'm curious if anyone here does that, doing all your fishing with the goal of catching as many fish -- even if they're very small -- as possible.

Personally, I like to go for numbers like that once in a while, just as a novelty for a day trip, but then I mix it up the next day.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist

Posts: 115
Trtklr on Jul 29, 2008July 29th, 2008, 10:09 am EDT
If CATCHING TROUT was all that made my day I would just go to the planted ponds where you can pay to fish. I think I can speak for a whole lot of people when I say it isn't any one thing, when it's something you love to do it's about the whole experience.
I have seen nothing more beautiful than the sunrise on a cold stream.
Posts: 16
Dreedee on Jul 29, 2008July 29th, 2008, 10:57 am EDT
You can have John Gierach. That guy is the real trout bum. I could never get into the number thing like that. But to each his, etc. I just like the dude, have an affinity for blue-collar fly fishers.
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Jul 29, 2008July 29th, 2008, 11:54 am EDT
Well I wonder how he'll be feeling when the hordes come to Pohopoco Creek now that he is enjoying his fifteen minutes of fame. Each to his own madness I guess but I'd rather catch one 20" wild brown than 200 8" - 9" midgets.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 398
RleeP on Jul 29, 2008July 29th, 2008, 12:10 pm EDT
There are folks who do this sort of thing. You'll sometimes hear them disparaged by other anglers (particularly fly anglers, unfortunately) on the grounds that they've violated some tenet or another of the "mystical/anti-competitive/it isn't the destination, its the journey" credo of the sport.

While such intensive, regimented counting isn't for me, I don't mind it. We're all wired differently.

Back when I was a publications editor for TU in Pennsylvania, I met a pair (actually there are 4, as I recall, but I only knew 2..) of spin fishing brothers who were wild trout nuts and equally obsessive about counting fish. They were deadly on small water and often had combined days well in excess of 200 fish and annual catches often in excess of 5,000 trout. Each...

There was no small amount of animosity towards these guys in some TU circles for having the temerity to fish for wild trout with spinners and the gall to catch so many fish.

But here's the thing... They were both strong TUer's who put a lot of their personal time into working on behalf of the resource. One of the brothers was a TU chapter newsletter editor who won a Best In Nation award for his efforts as an editor. Both were keen observers and ardent appreciators of the wonders of the natural world around them as they fished, something that their detractors were convinced they could not be and still be that driven to catch so many fish. Both were some of the best two-legged friends wild trout had in Pennsylvania at the time.

Getting to know them was a lesson to me in learning not to judge a book by its cover..
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on Jul 29, 2008July 29th, 2008, 5:18 pm EDT
The fellows that Lee refers to above are the Nale brothers: Frank, John, Paul, and Mark. (I mentioned them in the tiger trout thread, "My Best Brook Trout Ever.") Although the brothers have occasionally been known to use a fly rod when hatching season is high, they catch most of their trout on UL spinning gear and homemade spinners. Their stream savvy and trout knowledge is truly remarkable, and they are dedicated advocates for wild trout and wild trout habitat. I completely agree with Lee's characterization that they have been "some of the best two-legged friends of wild trout" in PA. The Nale brothers are dramatic reminders that passion and excellence in trout fishing is not the exclusive domain of fly fishers.
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on Jul 30, 2008July 30th, 2008, 2:52 am EDT
I was once standing streamside with a flyfisherman I really respect but who is very opinionated. We watched as another guy got out of his car, grabbed a light spinning outfit, and walked past us toward the stream. The guy I was standing with said, "I can tell that guy has a lousy attitude." I resisted the urge to laugh at the irony, but I did turn away and indulge myself in a little grin.

Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis

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