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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.

Dorsal view of a Skwala (Perlodidae) (Large Springfly) Stonefly Nymph from the Yakima River in Washington
This Skwala nymph still has a couple months left to go before hatching, but it's still a good representative of its species, which was extremely abundant in my sample for a stonefly of this size. It's obvious why the Yakima is known for its Skwala hatch.
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.


Posts: 1
RiverRook on Mar 12, 2010March 12th, 2010, 6:45 pm EST
5th day in a row on the huron getting skunked... Not my idea of early spring fishing. Now that being said besides switching rivers up, Are there any tips anybody has that may get these cold fish to move at all? The river is rising fast due to the recent rains and runoff. I know that the river temp has to have drop considering the snows we had last month. In the past five days I have tried just about everything, drifted spawn, jigs, wax worms, and flies (not using a flyrod). I am not sure if these are right for early spring considering I am the river rook... Is there no ways to temp the rainbow in icy waters? Also been trying for walleye at night. Using jigs and glo jigs, and some flies. Nothing has been working. VERY FRUSTRATING! Im not sure where all the holes are but i fish between a fish latter, and in flows all the way to lake erie. The walleye i could care less about although i do like a good walleye dinner. My main concern is the trout. I have consulted the charts and figured out what flies to use however would i be better off fly fishing or drifting spawn, or using jigs? Or unless somebody has an another method, I am pretty much willing to try anything or any advice i would appreciate it.

Keystoner's profile picture
Eugene, OR - formerly Eastern PA

Posts: 145
Keystoner on Mar 19, 2010March 19th, 2010, 12:24 pm EDT
Hey Bud,

I'm a newbie myself, so I'm not sure how much help I can be. That said I have been fishing since the 5th, nearly every day. Now it might be a bit warmer down here in Easten Pa than were you are, however both trout that I have caught have been on a copper john 18 (nymph). I have also noticed egg imitations to be working well, although, I haven't gotten deep into that myself. All of this is being done on a fly rod.

It is frustrating!!! I can relate to you there. If I just keep plugging along, and keep my eyes open eventually I'll figure it out and start catching a lot more fish. At least, that's what I tell myself. Best of luck.
"Out into the cool of the evening, strolls the Pretender. He knows that all his hopes and dreams, begin and end there." -JB
Martinlf's profile picture
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Mar 19, 2010March 19th, 2010, 2:38 pm EDT
Keystoner, that's exactly what it takes. For early spring fishing egg patterns, sucker spawn, and hare's ears, rolled slow on the bottom are also good bets, as is the copper john. Make sure you are getting your fly down. If you're not getting hung up some you're not deep enough. I fish nymphs tied with tungsten beads and lots of lead or lead-free wire tied on scud hooks. They flip over hook up and when they get hung a jerk often frees them (no jokes from the peanut gallery, JAD, JW). If that doesn't work get parallel or just upstream and try another jerk. Best of luck; I'm tied up with work just now and wish I could be out there.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
CaseyP's profile picture
Arlington, VA/ Mercersburg, PA

Posts: 653
CaseyP on Mar 20, 2010March 20th, 2010, 1:39 am EDT
oh, goodie, not too late for eggs. hope to get out with the mobs this PM. we are all just so glad to have some nice weather!

"if you're not losing 'em, you're not using 'em." otherwise, it's the same mantra they teach rookie pitchers: Keep It Down!

but to get free, i hold the rod so it points right down the line, and then carefully pull the line with my hand. don't yank, just pull until it lets go. mostly you'll get a fly back; sometimes just the leader. once found a rather large fish on the other end that way!
"You can observe a lot by watching." Yogi Berra
Posts: 560
Sayfu on Mar 8, 2013March 8th, 2013, 5:16 am EST

Here is the key to rivers that I fish, and now, for the first time, I see a blurp in our Outdoor section of the paper as to where to look for fish in our cold water....DEEEP and SLOOOOW water!! They school up in deep, slow water. Their metabolism is low, and they don't have the energy level to fight current. I had some of the best fish days several years ago, floating through the moving/riffle/flowing water, and finding a deep, lake type area off the main current....fish, after fish, after fish. We only would fish the sunny, warmer part of the day, and would have a 20-30 fish outing, and off the water before the sun went down. Fish were very, very concentrated in these areas. I fished a white streamer on a sink tip line. White was dynamite in the cold, clear water.
The3Ps's profile picture
Norway, Maine

Posts: 3
The3Ps on Apr 14, 2013April 14th, 2013, 5:36 am EDT
Try what I call The Spring Special stone! Is a proven opening day fish hooker!
It's just goose biot (tail) larva lace body wrapped with a brown hackle! Easy to tie, easy to fish and very productive! I will never allow my box to be without them!
Patience, persistence, presentation!

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