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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.

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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Mpls, MN

Posts: 113
Ericd on Jun 1, 2009June 1st, 2009, 2:52 pm EDT
I've found a "classified trout water" that looks to be a perfect place for trout. It has pools, runs, rapids, insects, forage fish and other aquatic life. The water seems a bit warmer than the streams I'm used to, but I did not check the temp, nor the ph. It has a brown tint, but is still quite clear. I've fished a mile or two of the stream with no signs of trout. I can't give it up because it's such a beautiful stream. What other signs should I be looking for to NOT give up on it? Or, should I move on?
Thank you,
Taxon's profile picture
Site Editor
Plano, TX

Posts: 1311
Taxon on Jun 1, 2009June 1st, 2009
Hi Eric,

If "classified trout water" means this stream is reputed to have resident trout, I would suggest exploring closer to the headwaters, if that is possible.
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
Troutnut's profile picture
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Jun 1, 2009June 1st, 2009, 8:56 pm EDT
Taxon's suggestion is a good one.

I can think of some streams in northwest Wisconsin that fit your description very closely... relatively warm trout streams with a bit of a tea-stained tint, where the trout can be very hard to catch.

You might try going right at dawn or dusk, if you haven't done that already. If it's really warm, dawn should be best. Otherwise, maybe just keep trying. It took me many trips to the Namekagon before I started catching a decent number of fish. I know one nearby river with monster trout that's even harder to fish.

If it's a small stream and you can't find any verification that it holds trout, there might just be an unfishably small population, or one that used to be good but got wiped out by beaver damage or some other issue.

Don't hesitate to contact your local DNR office, too. They may have someone who knows your stream's situation.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
Cortland Manor, NY

Posts: 139
Mcjames on Jun 2, 2009June 2nd, 2009, 5:33 am EDT
This may seems obvious/simplistic, but have you googled the stream and looked past the first few results? I did this on a suburban stream in SE Pennsylvania, and found a population study that listed species count at specific locations-- i.e. "bridge at X Rd downstream to old mill, 10 brook trout, 4 brown trout, 2 rainbow"... The report popped up on 2nd or 3rd google results page, and looked very academic when I first pulled it up... something that would be easy to miss. It is a stream that is not stocked and is pretty much overlooked by trout fisherman, yet contains wild trout population. The only other fisherman I have ever seen on it was a local kid.
I am haunted by waters
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on Jun 2, 2009June 2nd, 2009, 1:32 pm EDT
Nice suggestions, guys. I've never searched for stream studies online, but it's something I might try in the future. I feel like it constitutes clever sleuthing and could add something to the stream-hunting experience.

Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
Wiflyfisher's profile picture

Posts: 622
Wiflyfisher on Jun 2, 2009June 2nd, 2009, 3:41 pm EDT
As Jason said... Talk with the local DNR office, they usually have some great data and are willing to share it. Also, if you Google a river you may find some stream reports but you need to dig, including DNR reports. Learn to use the advance search features too.

Lastly, this time of year hit the stream in the evening when a possible hatch is on. If a lot of bugs are on the water you should get a good idea of the trout population. I have been amazed at times when you hit the river just right and see what trout it really holds.
Flatstick96's profile picture
Posts: 127
Flatstick96 on Jun 3, 2009June 3rd, 2009, 3:25 am EDT

There are some very useful stream studies online; that's actually how I came across most of my information prior to our first visit to Kish Creek a few years back. The study I found had great detailed information on types, quantity, and size of fish broken down by stream section - it was quite helpful in determining not only whether Kish was worth a shot, but also in giving me an idea of where we should head to optimize our chances in the limited time we had available.

The internet is an amazing resource. Still, I'm glad it wasn't around in our youth; I loved spending days, weeks, months - heck, YEARS - exploring the creeks where we lived. I'm glad there weren't short cuts available that might have kept me from that experience.

But, in my situation today, with where I live, and the demands on my time, if it weren't for shortcuts helping me to prepare for my fishing trips BEFORE taking those trips, I'd hardly get any fishing done.

I guess what I'm saying is that I'm thankful for what the internet provides me now, but I understand the old school mentality of "Get out there and figure it out for yourself" - there really is no substitute for doing that.
Mpls, MN

Posts: 113
Ericd on Jun 10, 2009June 10th, 2009, 1:49 pm EDT
Thanks for the replies everyone. I've taken them all as confidence boosters. I have walked upstream until it's darn near impossible through the brush with my rod. Next time I'll wait to rig until I can get further. The stream has the same name as a couple other strea
Mpls, MN

Posts: 113
Ericd on Jun 10, 2009June 10th, 2009, 1:54 pm EDT
oops, time for a new keyboard, or fingers...
The stream has the same name as a couple other streams with more popularity, and fish, so googling it doesn't come up with the one I'm hunting. That may give it away. I'm also waiting for a response from the local fisheries biologist, but I have a hunch he's set up his email to ignore me. Thanks again everyone. I'll let you know if I find success with your tips.

Martinlf's profile picture
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Jun 10, 2009June 10th, 2009, 3:03 pm EDT
If you don't get an email response give the biologist a call. I've had some very productive conversations with local Fish Commission Biologists; they know things almost no one else does.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Mpls, MN

Posts: 113
Ericd on Jun 10, 2009June 10th, 2009, 3:35 pm EDT
Thanks Martin. I've been in contact with him many many times, hence the ignoring, possibly, but I may take your advice. Jason, I realized that I did not reference a region in my original post, but assumed that I did from your reply with northwest WI. Wow! I've posted on a few different forums and this one is the best.

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