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Lateral view of a Female Hexagenia limbata (Ephemeridae) (Hex) Mayfly Dun from the Namekagon River in Wisconsin
Hex Mayflies
Hexagenia limbata

The famous nocturnal Hex hatch of the Midwest (and a few other lucky locations) stirs to the surface mythically large brown trout that only touch streamers for the rest of the year.

Lateral view of a Clostoeca disjuncta (Limnephilidae) (Northern Caddisfly) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
This one was surprisingly straightforward to identify. The lack of a sclerite at the base of the lateral hump narrows the field quite a bit, and the other options followed fairly obvious characteristics to Clostoeca, which only has one species, Clostoeca disjuncta.
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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JAD
JAD's profile picture
Alexandria Pa

Posts: 362
JAD on Nov 10, 2010November 10th, 2010, 11:53 am EST
I thought you might want to see this, They say they might be over 20# in a few years. I think I will start a all male escort business, that's room and board + fishing only :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFfodbvv9A4&feature=player_embedded

Best
JAD


They fasten red (crimson red) wool around a hook, and fix onto the wool two feathers which grow under a cock’s wattles, and which in colour are like wax.
Radcliffe's Fishing from the Earliest Times,
PaulRoberts
PaulRoberts's profile picture
Colorado

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on Nov 10, 2010November 10th, 2010, 12:06 pm EST
Maybe Erie is different, but there are LOTS of browns that size in the lower GLs. Tough to tell (camera lens distortion) but that one looks to go ~12lbs +/-2lbs. 20#s is a rare one though. But when things fall into place, trophically speaking, GL trout can get HUGE. I've caught browns to 14# in Lake Ontario tribs and once saw one that weighed 23#.
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Nov 10, 2010November 10th, 2010, 10:43 pm EST
I've only fished the Erie tribs for three years. This year though I caught a 22" male brown on Elk and a 26" male on one of the Mile creeks. I read somewhere that PA is trying to establish a significant lake run broun trout fishery in the fall to augment the already stellar steelhead runs. Although due to the lack of rain this season fishing has been much less than stellar.

I've caught browns to 18# on the Salmon River and many in the 8# - 10# range. Most in the upper river.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
PaulRoberts
PaulRoberts's profile picture
Colorado

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on Nov 10, 2010November 10th, 2010, 11:30 pm EST
Wbranch, 18#'s is one heck of a brown. On the creeks I fished, they averaged 3 to 6lbs. Anything over 8 was a good one. I also fished them in the finger lakes tribs -same game, similar sized fish. Man they are gorgeous fish.

Yeah, flow is the wild card,especially on the smaller creeks. The bigger rivers were more consistent producers. Oak Orchard was especially consistent, but often crowded. I'd never go on a weekend.

I fished the small tribs often. Most years the rain came really late; Some it didn't come at all. We had to search out the areas where trout would stage; On the smaller creeks that could be in the lake itself. I remember one night when rain was predicted after a prolonged drought, when the little creeks were very low -they still had their store of fresh autumn leaves. The browns were cruising rolling and fighting in the surf that evening. They'll spawn in the surf too, if that's all they have. The rain came heavy at dusk and we knocked off for the night The freshet developed overnight flushing leaves into the lake and sucking browns up in. I was back early in the AM and the creek was full to brim with browns. Doing that kind of fishing has made me hip to trout migration in many non-lake run stream populations since.
RleeP
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 398
RleeP on Nov 11, 2010November 11th, 2010, 2:15 am EST
I think this is the 2nd or 3rd try (over the past 20 years or so) to establish a brown trout fishery in Lake Erie that was of sufficient magnitude to produce a run into the streams and augment the steelhead fishery. It hasn't worked before, but then again, I don't think previous efforts involved the large number of fingerlings or level of commitment on the part of the PFBC that characterize this effort.

So, we'll see how it goes this time.

With the exception of the steelhead fishery, for some reason, Erie isn't quite like the rest of the Lakes when it comes to establishing and maintaining these planted Salmonid fisheries. PA had a robust, high density Coho program back in the late 70's and also a lesser effort to establish Chinooks. In both cases, the fish returned well for a few years and then basically vanished, at least from the streams. Charters/downrigger anglers continued to do ok on these fish until both programs ended. Now, both species are largely incidental in Lake Erie and what fish there are are generally found in the colder, deeper eastern basin (basically from Buffalo west to Fredonia).

So, we'll see if the PA brown trout fishery develops. I have my doubts it will amount to much of anything, at least for the stream anglers. I don't think it coincidental that a lot of the pressure on the PFBC to give the browns another try came from the PA-based charter captain businesses. This is where the majority of the (in terms of commerce) benefit is likely to be, if history is any guide.

But, we'll see..
PaulRoberts
PaulRoberts's profile picture
Colorado

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on Nov 11, 2010November 11th, 2010, 3:24 am EST
Thanks RleeP. Seems Erie is a better warm/coolwater fishery.

The charter boat and guides associations were a very powerful lobby in NY. Not always to good effect -at least for tributary anglers. They kept the snagging going much longer than it should have (I was impressed with PFBC never letting it take hold), and from what I understood at the time were involved in nixing the Atlantic salmon program in NY. There were biological issues too I remember, but the will was toward MORE AND MORE CHINOOKS. I hated chinooks as a stream fish. Mud sharks we called them; Then they died and stunk everything up. A bright one could be predacious in the large river mouths -that could be pretty heady -but the tribs were generally not large enough, or cool enough, to draw them that early consistently. Chinooks weren't spectacular fighters without room to run either. They were big, but not much different than being hooked to a 55gal drum washing downstream. Except in the lake proper, Chinooks represented ugliness in my mind.

Bows, Browns, and Coho were all great stream fish though.
RleeP
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 398
RleeP on Nov 11, 2010November 11th, 2010, 3:57 am EST
Hi Paul..

>>They kept the snagging going much longer than it should have (I was impressed with PFBC never letting it take hold)>>

I think the small size of the PA streams as well as lessons learned observing the zoo created in other states that allowed snagging were major factors in this decision. But I'd also suggest that the time period when this was going on was marked by excellent PFBC leadership, particularly Executive Director Ralph Abele. The folks staffing the Lake Erie Unit of the Commission were also excellent and I think that between them and Ralph's office, snagging never stood a chance of becoming institutionalized. Another factor of course was that the salmon "heyday" on Lake Erie trib streams was a pretty short window, lasting less than a decade. By the time the forces that might have championed another look at snagging could have re-marshaled themselves, the matter had been rendered moot by the lack of salmon.

One of the things that I find very encouraging about the Commisssion today is that the new Exec. Director, John Arway, has the potential to be the next Ralph Abele. He's the best thing to happen to them since Ralph retired.
PaulRoberts
PaulRoberts's profile picture
Colorado

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on Nov 11, 2010November 11th, 2010, 5:04 am EST
Great news for PA. Nice to know there are still some good people in the works. You know, every time I fly over PA (never lived there, but have fished there), and see all that (relatively) intact landscape I think "Gifford Pinchot".
JAD
JAD's profile picture
Alexandria Pa

Posts: 362
JAD on Nov 11, 2010November 11th, 2010, 2:32 pm EST
Ive caught browns in the Erie tribes the last few years, According to the Erie boards they are catching them now and their trying to get every one to put them back for future years.
I took a class at Pen State with Mr Abele he was fun to be around and just a ordinary fellow.

Best

JAD


They fasten red (crimson red) wool around a hook, and fix onto the wool two feathers which grow under a cock’s wattles, and which in colour are like wax.
Radcliffe's Fishing from the Earliest Times,
PaulRoberts
PaulRoberts's profile picture
Colorado

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on Nov 13, 2010November 13th, 2010, 9:34 am EST
Congrats JAD. That is fun fishing. I miss it. Not that I couldn't find something akin here. Doesn't take one of the Great Lakes to produce big browns.

I always think of browns as just on the cool side of smallies. Out on LO we'd find browns and smallies using the same structures, depending on temperature. A July seiche could replace smallies with big browns.

If those little Erie tribs aren't moving enough water to take in fish, don't be afraid to fish the lake shore itself -almost anywhere (nearby they are known to return), but a trib can focus activity. Browns get active under low light so dusk thru early morning is the time. Some of our really little LO tribs would get the mouth closed off by wave action creating a cobble dune. We'd get out there and tear them open and watch browns nose up after. Pretty cool. Outside of that, pray for rain.

Good luck!
JAD
JAD's profile picture
Alexandria Pa

Posts: 362
JAD on Nov 16, 2010November 16th, 2010, 9:02 am EST
That pic always tickles me , a lot of people talk about the crowds. Just the fish and I, Love it.

Best
John

They fasten red (crimson red) wool around a hook, and fix onto the wool two feathers which grow under a cock’s wattles, and which in colour are like wax.
Radcliffe's Fishing from the Earliest Times,
PaulRoberts
PaulRoberts's profile picture
Colorado

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on Nov 16, 2010November 16th, 2010, 9:57 am EST
Yeah, if you can be on to them. A big part of the game is timing. Religiously watching the weather, knowing your waters, and then having lots of time off to make good on those windows of opportunity. I've always managed to have jobs with flexible hours -until parenthood. Mixed blessings there.

Hit it wrong -like when a good spate hit on a weekend -and ....#$@%@#%!!!
I could tell stories, and show photos, that could almost turn ethical Anglers (notice the capital A) stomachs. I DON'T miss that.
DocWet
Erie, PA

Posts: 15
DocWet on Aug 23, 2012August 23rd, 2012, 7:10 am EDT
We clipped and stocked lots of nice 6-11" browns(3CU) and loaded them into Lake Erie at Trout Run every year...but the returns are spotty at best. They seem to head east into the deeper waters, but they really can go everywhere and anywhere...even over Niagara Falls. The Lake Ontario browns are the fattest trout that I have ever seem anywhere...even a 16-17" one can weigh over 3+ lbs.
A 3 year stocked brown trout was caught near shore this past July and weighed over 12 lbs.
My favorite trout stream picture; below, shows what a first class trout river looks like. The lack of stream gradient means that this river is not subject to the roaring scouring floods so common here in PA. that wipe out everything in the river.
Sayfu
Posts: 560
Sayfu on Aug 23, 2012August 23rd, 2012, 7:20 am EDT

Red wool, and two feathers aye. I can do that, and with my little bead at the head. :)

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