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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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Report at a Glance

General RegionMissouri Ozarks
Specific LocationLost Creek (not the real name of course)
Dates Fished8/26
Time of Day7 AM to 4 PM
Fish Caughtabout 25 Wild Rainbows, fingerlings to 14 inches
Conditions & HatchesWater temp- 62-67 degrees
Very low water
Hatches- heavy morning trico hatch, sparse hatch of various mayflies and caddis throughout the day, no one dominant bug after the Tricos tapered off about 10 AM
Lots of hoppers

Details and Discussion

Motrout's profile picture
Posts: 319
Motrout on Aug 26, 2010August 26th, 2010, 12:38 pm EDT
I hit the creek today that I was talking about in the thread "warm water and it's effect on a small trout stream". With much cooler days and pretty darn cool nights, water temps are not much of an issue anymore, even though the water is still quite low.

Apparently the rainbows made it through the hot weather okay , which was good too see. Started the morning off with a heavy trico hatch, #24-28 about. Very good numbers of fish were rising to the hatch. The fish are not selective here, so I was able to get away with a #16 Parachute Adams (I guess they thought it was a whole bunch of tricos, who knows and who cares...)

About 10 A.M, the tricos tapered off, but the grasshopper bite got going. This stream flows through some really tall grass, so hopper fishing can be really good some days. Today was one of those days. The fish were keyed in on the hoppers from the moment they started blowing into the water, so I didn't even have to bother with a dropper. Just a #12 Dave's Hopper, drifted from the shallow riffles down into the deep pools. It was really pretty easy, just typical small stream fishing. If I didn't spook the fish (and I did spook a lot of fish with the low water), I generally caught them. It was one of those days where you just didn't really have to be that innovative, these are just relatively unpressured trout, and they were feeding greedily on a menu item larger than they usually encounter, and as such weren't being especially careful.
It was really a great day- you have to love catching wild trout in total solitude- in Missouri no less.
"I don't know what fly fishing teaches us, but I think it's something we need to know."-John Gierach
Martinlf's profile picture
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Aug 26, 2010August 26th, 2010, 3:51 pm EDT
Good for you Motrout. When I can't fish, I love to hear about others having a good day. Sounds like you've found a good spot.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on Aug 26, 2010August 26th, 2010, 4:08 pm EDT
Congrats. Sounds like a pleasant day of fishing.

Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Aug 27, 2010August 27th, 2010, 6:37 am EDT

The temps have fallen a bit here in Michigan as well. I got out on a local small-mouth stream here last Wednesday evening after work. I have noticed over the years that the small-mouth like shade on sunny days and a little cover. They also like to cosy up in troughs near the banks just down from brush and wait for something/anything to fall in to the water and will smash it.

I was getting bored early with tossing streamers and decided to try this fly I had purchased up in Grayling this past July on my way to Beaver Island...I was looking for some gaudy stuff in hopes of tempting some large-mouth up there...The fly I chose was basically a hopper with a green body, green rubber knotted hopper legs and a deer hair wing like a Madsen Skunk...

I was just playing around and didn't know if this would work...On my first cast up near the bank, just below an overhanging shrub, my fly landed and I rolled the biggest bass of the season...He just slashed at it! I'm not sure why I missed him...I was thinking that maybe I wasn't actually "fishing" this fly in my mind yet and wasn't prepared for it to actually pull up a fish like this...Or maybe it landed somewhat behind him and all the commotion of his turning on it etc I may have tried to set the hook before he actually had the fly...I know where he likes to hunt now and will see if I can't rattle his cage again before it snows...

It was a pleasant evening none-the-less...I had visited this same stretch with Jon (jmd123) the Friday evening before and I sweated like crazy in my waders, it was so hot, wading back up to the car. This night I had a near full moon and would of stayed out later except it was a work night.

Sometimes hopper fishing is just what the doctor order, eh...You don't have to worry too much about all the things we anglers usually angst over...Hell a liitle plop and drag may even be helpful here. These aren't sipping rises...The fish usually hammer a fly like this and it gets the blood flowing...

Good stuff mister! I guess that hopper you were throwing was like a big old steak to those fish after a light breakfast of Tricos...:)

"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
Motrout's profile picture
Posts: 319
Motrout on Aug 27, 2010August 27th, 2010, 1:16 pm EDT
"Good stuff mister! I guess that hopper you were throwing was like a big old steak to those fish after a light breakfast of Tricos...:)"

You're not kidding about that. While this creek doesn't look anything like a spring creek, it is heavily spring-fed and like most spring-creek like streams, the vast majority of the food is very small-the fish are used to eating little tricos, blue-winged Olives, midges, and small caddis. They usually only get a chance to go crazy about twice a year, August with hoppers and September with brown drakes.
"I don't know what fly fishing teaches us, but I think it's something we need to know."-John Gierach
PaulRoberts's profile picture

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on Aug 27, 2010August 27th, 2010, 6:35 pm EDT
Sounds like a great time. What a great game fly-fishing is. It can certainly keep you on your toes -a true meritocracy. And sometimes it's just plain fun. Glad you're having a good hopper season. Nice to pitch big flies, esp on top.

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