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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
Baetis

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.

Case view of a Pycnopsyche guttifera (Limnephilidae) (Great Autumn Brown Sedge) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
It's only barely visible in one of my pictures, but I confirmed under the microscope that this one has a prosternal horn and the antennae are mid-way between the eyes and front of the head capsule.

I'm calling this one Pycnopsyche, but it's a bit perplexing. It seems to key definitively to at least Couplet 8 of the Key to Genera of Limnephilidae Larvae. That narrows it down to three genera, and the case seems wrong for the other two. The case looks right for Pycnopsyche, and it fits one of the key characteristics: "Abdominal sternum II without chloride epithelium and abdominal segment IX with only single seta on each side of dorsal sclerite." However, the characteristic "metanotal sa1 sclerites not fused, although often contiguous" does not seem to fit well. Those sclerites sure look fused to me, although I can make out a thin groove in the touching halves in the anterior half under the microscope. Perhaps this is a regional variation.

The only species of Pycnopsyche documented in Washington state is Pycnopsyche guttifera, and the colors and markings around the head of this specimen seem to match very well a specimen of that species from Massachusetts on Bugguide. So I am placing it in that species for now.

Whatever species this is, I photographed another specimen of seemingly the same species from the same spot a couple months later.
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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Jmd123
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Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Jul 23, 2009July 23rd, 2009, 1:42 pm EDT
This message goes out to any and all fellow Michiganders. Does anyone know of a DECENT trout stream in this area? I have tried a stream called Paint Creek off and on over maybe the past 15 years or so, and I have caught far more chubs than trout (and no trout over maybe 8"). I have heard others rave about this stream and I fail to see what all the excitement is about. I have never fished any other designated trout stream in this state (or elsewhere, for that matter) in which my chub catch has far exceeded my trout catch - ??? (Last time I was there, I saw a CARP.) And, on every other trout stream I have fished, throwing a dry upstream and swinging streamers downstream have both caught me plenty of trout, on streams of comparable size and water clarity (Rice Creek in southcentral MI, Klacking Creek up near the Rifle River, and Crane Creek in SW Missouri).

Any one have any recommendations? Or do I just need to go up north where there's REAL trout fishing??

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Strmfshr
Banned
Posts: 12
Strmfshr on Jul 24, 2009July 24th, 2009, 5:40 am EDT
no, not really. i'm guessing that paint creek will be best early spring and late fall. i guess you would know marginal trout water produces some huge trout. i'm interested in how you do on rice creek though. i've been there a couple of times. looked too straight and it was like chocolate milk of course that was after a decent rain.
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Jul 24, 2009July 24th, 2009, 4:07 pm EDT
From what I heard about Paint Creek this spring, it was high and off-color for a good long time - not conducive to good trout fishing. Plus, some folks that I met last year who live along the creek (they invited me up for a drink - Tres Generaciones tequila, no less, and I do like good tequila!) said that the opener is insane with fisherman - not just fly fishers either, as ALL tackle and bait is legal there (and quite possibly therein lies the problem, with lots of catch-and-killers). September, who knows?? All I can say is that I fished there recently, swinging my KBF (Killer Bass Fly - hooked & sadly lost a 20+" brown on the Pigeon last summer with it) patterns through great looking water - and came up with two creek chubs, 6" and 9" long...

I actually have not fished Rice Creek for many years, as in since 1991, but boy did I nail 'em there that summer! Elk hair caddis, tan/brown size 12, as well as hoppers (#8-10) and the occasional Royal Coachman, plus #10 White Wulffs after dark, hooked me up with numerous browns in the 9" - 12 1/2" range (undoubtedly there were bigger ones). I am talking about this time of year, too. I never found it to be a crystal-clear stream, always a little off-color (LOTS of farms in the area), but that just made it easier to take browns in the middle of a sunny day. I swung a blacknose dace streamer (#6) through there once and it got plenty of attention too. I have been meaning to get back there for years! That summer I had just graduated from my Masters program at MSU - entomology, in fact - and it was only about a 45-minute drive then. Now it's about 2 hours, and I could be in the Rifle by then (and will be in a couple of weeks - got a couple of days of wetland work in Midland coming up which will put me within an hour of that fabulous trout stream).

If you ever want to hit the Rifle, I fished it for 4 summers and it rocks - LOADS of browns, plus rainbows and brookies in the tribs, and great caddis hatches all summer long.

Good luck!

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Jul 24, 2009July 24th, 2009, 4:09 pm EDT
P.S. Even in the straight stretches of Rice Creek I did very well. Just shoot dries upstream along the vegetated edges and the brownies will come out to play...

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Strmfshr
Banned
Posts: 12
Strmfshr on Jul 25, 2009July 25th, 2009, 4:17 am EDT
i got to tell ya i was talking with a good friend of jim bedford and he was telling me how jim had caught like 20lbs of brown with five fish. all he would say is that he was in jackson county
Jmd123
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Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Jul 25, 2009July 25th, 2009, 5:18 pm EDT
Hmmmmmmmmmm - sounds suspicious...I haven't looked at the map in a while, but IS Rice Creek in Jackson County??? I used to fish off 20-Mile Road, upstream from the bridge. This is close to Marshall. Guess I had better check the map. Are there any other designated trout streams in Jackson Co.? They used to have the trout stream maps on the MDNR website, but for some reason I can't find them there and I don't have a paper copy.

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Strmfshr
Banned
Posts: 12
Strmfshr on Jul 26, 2009July 26th, 2009, 5:02 am EDT
there is one other creek and i was going to check it out last weekend but hit a small smallmouth creek by st johns instead. the other creek is in the northwest corner of the county. by my county map looks like it could hold something. have you ever fished coldwater river by hastings? i have pulled some monsters out of there but haven't lately.
Jmd123
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Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Jul 26, 2009July 26th, 2009, 7:58 am EDT
I haven't fished the Coldwater - is it trout water or smallie water? To be honest, either will do for me! My main stream fishing location for the past 4 years has been the Huron in the Island Park area of Ann Arbor. I used to live right across the street, and I still have a buddy in the apartment complex that I visit every couple of weeks or so. This area holds numerous smallies in the 5-13" range that love to hit chatruese woolly buggers, KBFs (my own pattern), and sometimes dries when there is a good caddis (white/light grey/tan/light brown, #12-14) or mayfly (whitefly or light cahills, #10-12) hatch in the summer (popped a 13-incher on a #14 white elkhair caddis last week). Bluegill and rock bass are also abundant there and just as aggressive at times as the smallies, with rockies up to 10" and 'gills up to 7-8". Just a bit of FYI if you ever find yourself near there with a 3-5 wt. - and, if you are so inclined, carp are available right now on purple deerhair mulberry imitations for 8-weights (I myself much prefer the smallies on lighter tackle...).

Where are you located? I am currently living in Troy with family due to a lack of work (field biology/environmental consulting).

Tight lines and dancing fish on the end of them to you!

Jonathon

P.S. How did you do on the smallies near St. John?
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Strmfshr
Banned
Posts: 12
Strmfshr on Jul 27, 2009July 27th, 2009, 3:12 am EDT
coldwater is an excellant trout stream. i have pulled more lunker fish from this water than any other. if you ever get up there try coldwater ave, morse lake and 100th avenue has a park and i often fish from downstream up to this park. and there is good water up from this park. baker ave, upstream from coldwater ave is where trout unlimited has property that is open to the public on the river front. an 8ft rod is what i feel ideal on this small river. wading can get tricky at times. and don't go after a heavy rain it'll be cloudy and in the spring quite deep. i pulled a stocking report from 07 and the coldwater system had been stocked with over 8,000 brown and there is carry over.

the small creek in st johns-i said i wasnt going to talk about it with many people but oh well, over 50 fish in 3 visits. the first time i caught over 30, the last time i went with 2 other people and still caught over 10 a piece. it doesn't look like much when you get to it but they are there.

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