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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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PaulRoberts's profile picture

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on Dec 17, 2010December 17th, 2010, 3:38 am EST
It's ALL good in my mind. For me, it started with a tug on a braided nylon line tied to the end of a sapling my Dad cut. I was 5, and remember it all SO well: My Dad cutting the saplings for my brother and me, the worm guts on the hook, and that tug that pulled me out of my self-concern over the boat rocking under my feet, and woke something in me I carry to this day. I remember the feeling although there were likely few words -"There's something ELSE alive down there!! HOW could that be??!" That tug turned out to be a rock bass. I suppose it would be nice to be able to say, or brag (if that's what one requires), that it was done with a fly rod. But I'm well aware that it wasn't the sophistication of the tackle that opened my eyes and mind to wonder outside myself.

I myself have been on a "fly rod only" kick for the last three years. Not that I won't ever pick up a spinning rod again....

FF is truly satisfying. If you enjoy a challenge in your fishing, and pursue it, FF will carry you all the way through. I went through a FF only period. But I'm distractable or the world's too big. Sadly, I just don't have time for it all. I love to hunt too... on and on... Guess I'm just in love.

As to FF at 2... That's ridiculous -that's a (pretty unsophisticated) boast. Guess I'll start another thread, instead of going too far OT on this one ...
Altoona, PA

Posts: 25
Bippie on Dec 19, 2010December 19th, 2010, 1:42 pm EST
I'd have to say Donegal Springs Creek in Lancaster County, speaking of the upper end of the fly section. Twenty years ago when I lived in the area I fished it frequently because it was 15 minutes from where I lived. It was slow, the banks were sludgey, often various trash debris in the water, and always a slight foul odder.
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Dec 20, 2010December 20th, 2010, 2:58 pm EST
I'd agree that Donegal Springs is a real Hellhole and about as far removed from what I'd called a pretty trout stream as I've ever seen. The water adjacent to the old quarry is especially unappealing. About twenty years ago it had enough 12" - 15" trout to let me forget about the unpleasant surroundings. The last time I fished it was about five years ago and I told myself I would never go back.

Another stream that ranks right up there with Donegal Springs is the Quitiphilla, don't know if the spelling is correct, but many just call it "The Quitty". It too was likely never a trout stream, at least not in the past century. The banks are mostly clay and the bottom is a mixture of sludge mixed in with some rocks. Maybe it is okay of you have no other place to go but I'd rather have a tooth pulled without novacaine than ever go back there.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Altoona, PA

Posts: 25
Bippie on Dec 21, 2010December 21st, 2010, 1:50 am EST
I haven't been to the Donegal in many years. You are correct, the section near the old quarry was disgusting; sludgy bottom and banks, trash in the water, back water pockets full of scum and slim, and the oder was repulsive. A short section above the quarry section ran through a meadow and it was tolerable. And it seems I always ran into spin guys chucking meat and hardware right through the fly section.

I had heard that the Donegal Chapter of TU was trying to do some stream improvement, not sure if that ever transpired.
Harrisburg, PA

Posts: 3
Flytier37 on Dec 22, 2010December 22nd, 2010, 8:30 am EST
I've caught many trout out of the Little Conemaugh River, in Indiana County, PA, and I wouldnt have expected to even find chubs in this creek. The water is stained orange, and clumps of green sulphur float downstream as you fish. The water smells like strong rust, and you can smell the scent on your fly even after its dry... But, it is recovering, and I catch many medium sized rainbows in it on Wooly Buggers.
Flies and fins, they're all I have, and some folks think that it's so sad, I could've been a politician, or a scientist
Altoona, PA

Posts: 25
Bippie on Dec 25, 2010December 25th, 2010, 2:07 am EST
At one time.... many decades ago the Little Conemaugh was a great trout stream through Cambria county. My grandfather used to tell stories about fishing for trout in the Little Conemaugh. During my childhood days we used to play in that creek and called it the Sulphur Creek.... not because of a Sulphur hatch but because it was extremely polluted with deep mine drainage, it was a slimy, smelly orange that stained your skin or anything else it came in contact with. In recent years sections of this creek are seeing a turn around in the water quality.

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