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Artistic view of a Male Pteronarcys californica (Pteronarcyidae) (Giant Salmonfly) Stonefly Adult from the Gallatin River in Montana
Salmonflies
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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Report at a Glance

General RegionPennsylvania
Specific LocationNear Where Matt Fished for His Last Report
Dates FishedMarch 23
Time of DayNoon to Five
Fish CaughtFour Browns for Me; lost count of Shawn's
Conditions & HatchesDrizzly, Olives, Windy, Water was up a bit, etc.

Details and Discussion

Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Mar 24, 2010March 24th, 2010, 12:20 am EDT
Olives came in waves late in the day, after 3:00, and fish rose in some pretty swirly spots, so, with the wind pushing my leader around in the air, it took more than a little work to get drifts that the fish wouldn't totally ignore. Shawn arrived later in the day and proceeded to give me a nymphing clinic, hooking fish after fish in a run that another guy had fished a while before without even moving a fish. Shawn landed some nice ones and with one or two he gave the best instruction on the long line release I've ever seen. I was impressed with his technique and his knowledge of the spot, which will forever remain our little secret. Thanks for coming out and showing me how it's done Shawn.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Flatstick96
Flatstick96's profile picture
Posts: 127
Flatstick96 on Mar 24, 2010March 24th, 2010, 3:22 am EDT
Next time, Louis, you'll have to give him a clinic on fishing dries. ;-)

I still remember when Shawnny didn't even LIKE fly fishing - he's come a long way.

Glad to hear you guys got into some fish.
Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Mar 24, 2010March 24th, 2010, 4:49 am EDT
Louis,

I think you about nailed it here..."Drizzly, Olives, Windy, Water was up a bit, etc."...Perfect Baetis conditions, eh?! I remember a float trip with a guide friend on the South Branch of the Au Sable in MI in late May, years back, when it was so cold and over cast we almost called off the trip. At one point we took shelter under some sweepers when it hailed on us. The only thing on the water all day were these tiny little gray sailboats...Saved the day really.

We were out in it all day and stopped for some lunch...In the live well of the Au Sable riverboat I had a bag of ice (it never melted) and some beers. My friend looked at me shivering, as I was pulling a few out for us, and said, "Spence. Don't you have some hot chocolate in there?!"

My friend cursed the little buggers all the way down the river. I just thinned out the terminal end of my leader and tossed my plausible fake out there among the real ones as far out in front of the boat as I could. I actually caught my biggest Au Sable brook ever (until last year on the Mainstream) that day. I didn't have my microscope with me in the boat, but we took them for B cingulatus, so that was large brook trout on size #20/22 BWO dry fly...6x/7x tippet...No camera. I told Rusty at the Lodge this the next day and other than shaking his head about us venturing out on a day better spent in front of a fireplace he said, "No camera? I'd fire the guide!"

Give me a day, any time, where the weekend warriors stay home because of the weather and it's gray and the clouds seem only inches above your head. There was a decade or more there where most folks thought I was cursed. A huge cold front would settle in over Crawford county just as I was crossing the county line for a week of fishing. They started to joke that they wanted to know when I was going to be there and they would come the week after I left...I kept my little secret to myself...I would have the river pretty much to myself, the fish love Baetis, and I can't remeber much of a problem with the mosquitoes!

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
Flatstick96
Flatstick96's profile picture
Posts: 127
Flatstick96 on Mar 24, 2010March 24th, 2010, 5:57 am EDT
Spence, your last paragraph explains perfectly why I used to enjoy winter fishing so much when I lived in PA. Spring Creek is a zoo in May, but in January it's most serene; the fish may not be quite as feisty as later in the spring, but there are still plenty of them willing to dance if you ask them nicely...

Shawnny3
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on Mar 24, 2010March 24th, 2010, 7:00 am EDT
Glad you missed the last hour of the "clinic", Louis. I landed one more nice fish just after you left, then pounded the head of the run fruitlessly from that point forward. My day ended with both flies 15 feet up in a tree - not exactly poetry. But it was a good afternoon of Spring fishing.

As always, it was nice to see you again, Louis. I think my success had a lot to do with the conditions being tilted pretty well in my favor, my being a nymphomaniac and all. I seem to recall other times with you when things have not gone so well for me. I guess that's fishing, right? Don't worry - I'm sure you'll have a better day long before I ever get back onto the water. Thanks for the excuse to get out. Hope you didn't suffer too much wrath at the hands of the missus.

And keep working at the long-release - practice makes perfect. Remember to make late hook-sets and let all tension out of the line when the fish begins to approach you. I also find that if I tie on hooks that bend open under the weight of 10-inch fish, my release is that much cleaner. So perhaps you just need to make an equipment adjustment. Some tips to consider.

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
JOHNW
JOHNW's profile picture
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
JOHNW on Mar 24, 2010March 24th, 2010, 11:36 am EDT
Looks like I won't be blessed with great baetis weather Friday when I head up to Spring. Hopefully the troutsies won't read this to know that though ;)

Rumor has it that the other big early vernal Spring Creek hatch is well under way. In other words the suckers are procreating again!
JW
"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn
Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Mar 24, 2010March 24th, 2010, 12:52 pm EDT
Flatstick,

"but there are still plenty of them willing to dance if you ask them nicely..."

Damn! I wish you would of told me this years ago maybe I would of been more polite when I was on the stream and would of caught more fish! I'm usually cursing and mumbling under my breath all day. I need to turn on the charm...

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood

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