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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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New London, CT.

Posts: 5
BrownTrout8 on Mar 13, 2009March 13th, 2009, 4:12 pm EDT
I just wanted to know if anyone has fished central PA. limestone streams with streamers and sculpin imitations. Do these work for the native brown trout there. Any info well appreciated.
St. Michael, Minnesota

Posts: 26
CharlieSawd on Mar 13, 2009March 13th, 2009, 4:56 pm EDT
I have not fished in central PA, but we have alot of limestone spring creeks here in SE Minnesota. I do use sculpin patterns in deeper pools in front of a variety of flies to get them down there. My sculpin imitation is a simple recipe. I basically tie a wooly bugger, with a tin eye dumbbell. Behind the eye, I wrap elk hair tips to imitate the gills. In front of the dumbbell, just behind the eye of the hook, I tie in a long clump of elk hair, extending over the eye and the body, to about the bend in the hook. This, at least I like to think, gives the fly more "body" breaking more water and looking like a back fin. I will try and post a pic once I figure out how.

Charlie Sawdey
Portage, PA

Posts: 437
Lastchance on Mar 14, 2009March 14th, 2009, 1:40 am EDT
Hi: I don't fish a lot of streamers and sculpins myself but there are people I know that fish them regularly in PA and do fine with them. I believe they do attract larger trout. I have some buddies that fish in the dark for the big browns that come out at night to feed.
Posts: 3
RiverBum on Mar 14, 2009March 14th, 2009, 3:19 am EDT
Streamers and Brown trout those two go hand in hand anywhere you go and anywhere you fish. Brown trout are predatious predators by nature and will eat a prey item half their body size as often as possible. Certainly Brown trout of all sizes will eat streamers but you will generally draw the attention of bigger fish. Talk of all this streamer, wild Brown trout and limestone streams is giving me quite an itch...central PA huh...well I live in Ohio if i leave now i could get some fishin in before sundown.

Hollidaysburg Pa

Posts: 251
LittleJ on Mar 14, 2009March 14th, 2009, 4:17 am EDT

I've started fishing streamers more in the past year or so, and I can say that I've yet to tie a streamer to big for brown trout. Half of the streamers I fish are better tossed like a baseball than cast, but seeing a big brown chase it down is a lot of fun. I also do better w/ streamers on wild fish than stocked.
New London, CT.

Posts: 5
BrownTrout8 on Mar 14, 2009March 14th, 2009, 4:23 pm EDT
I agree. When brown trout get big they go after larger food items such as baitfish, crayfish etc. I kinda like to do some of the streamer fishing on the Bald Eagle in latter May. Everyone seems to goes crazy and run for Penn's Creek for the Green Drake at that time. That stream will be way too crowded for my tastes. I like my peace and space. I know that the Bald Eagle, Logan Branch etc. do have some big brown trout, and yes they are predators.
My grandfather lived in Axeman and he fished Logans Branch. He fly fished for browns and nailed them in brushy cover. Don't know what flies he used. He also went for them at night and some large ones.

Here in CT. we are blessed with many streams and brooks that are accessible. Some in my area hold wild brookies and brown trout. On many occasions I have sensed the presence of brown trout but knew they were well in cover. Last spring as I was walking slowly up a wooded overgrown stream a large brown trout darted from a log along the stream. It was a beauty but I knew he saw me and at mid day with the May sun above that fish would give me the middle fin.

Thanks for the feedback everyone! Any more experiences with large browns and streamers/ sculpins would be welcome.
JOHNW's profile picture
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
JOHNW on Mar 15, 2009March 15th, 2009, 6:24 am EDT
To put it simply
Hell Yes they work and very well at that.
Look up the "Shenks Sculpin" or "Shenks White Minnow". These are just two patterns developed right on one of PA's most hallowed limestoners.

You will be surprised at how big a meal even an average brown trout will eat. Most of my "big trout streamers" start at #4 6xl and get bigger from there.
The best time I have found is during the start of a highwater flush after/during a big rain although I will also fish ig streamers in any "lower light" situation and particularly enjoy sighting big browns and then feeding them the fly.

"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn

Posts: 1
Loum on Mar 15, 2009March 15th, 2009, 9:00 am EDT
They work great on the Little Lehigh a SE Pa limestone creek especially after a rain in high discolored water.Most are fish between 12 and 20+ inches. I have been told they also work well in central pa streams.
tioga co. pa.

Posts: 33
Sandfly on Mar 16, 2009March 16th, 2009, 12:10 am EDT
go for it, LouM is right. sculpins are fantastic on spring creeks..Lou ties a great sculpin pattern. maybe He'll post a pic of it. Here on pine I fish it all the time for Brown and rainbows.try a gray ghost too.By the way I still think my sculpin is better than Loum's...lol
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New London, CT.

Posts: 5
BrownTrout8 on Mar 16, 2009March 16th, 2009, 4:08 pm EDT
Thanks for the info everyone. Yeah I've seen some of those Shenk's sculpins and white minnows. Gonna have to stock some in the fly box. Thanks!
JOHNW's profile picture
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
JOHNW on Mar 17, 2009March 17th, 2009, 9:38 am EDT
you may also want to try the shenks sculpin in all white (especially in streams with wild rainbows). Also check out Chucks Sculpin as it is another great sculpin pattern which is very open to color alteration to suit varied stream substrates.
"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn

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