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Lateral view of a Male Baetis (Baetidae) (Blue-Winged Olive) Mayfly Dun from Mystery Creek #43 in New York
Blue-winged Olives

Tiny Baetis mayflies are perhaps the most commonly encountered and imitated by anglers on all American trout streams due to their great abundance, widespread distribution, and trout-friendly emergence habits.

Dorsal view of a Zapada cinctipes (Nemouridae) (Tiny Winter Black) Stonefly Nymph from the Yakima River in Washington
Nymphs of this species were fairly common in late-winter kick net samples from the upper Yakima River. Although I could not find a key to species of Zapada nymphs, a revision of the Nemouridae family by Baumann (1975) includes the following helpful sentence: "2 cervical gills on each side of midline, 1 arising inside and 1 outside of lateral cervical sclerites, usually single and elongate, sometimes constricted but with 3 or 4 branches arising beyond gill base in Zapada cinctipes." This specimen clearly has the branches and is within the range of that species.
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: 16
Dreedee on Jul 31, 2008July 31st, 2008, 10:37 am EDT
An unnamed river, which I regularly fish, once teamed with trout 20" plus. In the past 8 years, those large fish have vanished. The DNR supervisor for this area of Wisconsin, says the trout are smaller, though more numerous, because the stream ecosystem has improved. He said, rightly, that a lot of the water was marginal. Now, there are more miles of trout water, and better mayfly and caddis hatches. But there are very, very few 20" inchers. The DNR guy's attitude is: "Just be glad that the river is improved. The small fish are a great benefit." I love a healthy river. But I miss those days to fishing it when I'd take a lot of browns in the 12-inch range, a few in the 14-16 inch range, and, on occasion the 20-incher. Do any of you knowledgeable anglers think I'm off base for being disappointed with the "improvements?" Yes, I know--there is a great irony at work here.

Posts: 115
Trtklr on Jul 31, 2008July 31st, 2008, 11:09 am EDT
can you move downstream, I find the closer I get to the mouth the water becomes more marginal. I made the mistake of telling the guy at the orvis shop where I was fishing a local river(i was really new to trout fishing then)and he said wow I always thought it was pretty chubby down there. I haven't caught a decent size trout in that section since. so maybe other anglers will get deterred by the small trout and not fish it as much and eventually you'll get bigger trout in there again. kind of reminds me of the 60,000 trout guy, whats important to you when you fish?
I have seen nothing more beautiful than the sunrise on a cold stream.
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 398
RleeP on Jul 31, 2008July 31st, 2008, 11:34 am EDT
Without knowing the river you are referring to and without knowing the difference in the composition of the fishery then vs. now, its hard, IMO, to say which is "better" and which is not. For example, was the river in question previously a Class II water under WI's system and supplemented with fingerlings, fish that often attain some pretty good size and is it an all-wild Class I fishery now with a more natural balance between fish size and available forage, and hence now carries on average, smaller trout?

If so, I would consider it "better" now than then...

But that is a subjective view on my part because I prefer smaller wild fish to bigger stocked fish (even if they entered the stream as fingerlings as is often the case in WI).

But if this is what happened (and I'm only offering it as one of a number of possibilities), I don't think you're "off-base" in your disappointment. You have every right to your own subjective feelings about the matter. It is after all, what keeps both mustard AND mayonnaise manufacturers in business wherever ham sandwiches are popular...:)

People differ.
Posts: 16
Dreedee on Jul 31, 2008July 31st, 2008, 2:46 pm EDT
Posts: 16
Dreedee on Jul 31, 2008July 31st, 2008, 2:50 pm EDT
It is a river that does stock fingerlings. And there has been much more natural reproduction. And it IS more of a dry fly river than it used to be. But, ah, there was a period when the hatches were good, as were the size of the fish. I guess I just miss that feeling of my heart pulsing in my throat when a trout the size of my thigh would swim into view.

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