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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 Zapada cinctipes (Nemouridae) (Tiny Winter Black) Stonefly Nymph from the Yakima River in Washington
Nymphs of this species were fairly common in late-winter kick net samples from the upper Yakima River. Although I could not find a key to species of Zapada nymphs, a revision of the Nemouridae family by Baumann (1975) includes the following helpful sentence: "2 cervical gills on each side of midline, 1 arising inside and 1 outside of lateral cervical sclerites, usually single and elongate, sometimes constricted but with 3 or 4 branches arising beyond gill base in Zapada cinctipes." This specimen clearly has the branches and is within the range of that species.
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 RegionCatch and Release area
Dates Fished9/16/06
Time of Day9:00a - 1:30p
Fish CaughtSeveral nice Rainbows (12" - 15") and a couple small Browns
Conditions & HatchesThere was a big Trico hatch that started at around 10:00a and spinner fall began around 11:00a. The flow was hovering around 100cfs, the clarity was great.

Details and Discussion

Littleton, Colorado

Posts: 35
Sundula on Sep 16, 2006September 16th, 2006, 5:03 pm EDT
I used a #22 Mercury RS2 dropped behind a #20 chartruese vinyl midge, I only witnessed a couple of riseing trout sipping on Trico spinners, the reason for this, I beleive is the spinners that were in my area were blown well down stream when the wind piced up around 11:30. The fishing really got tough when the wind picked up in the early afternoon, before that it was fishing excellent. They were taking both flies with a good dead drift, I was only able to sight nymph two fish. The majority of the fish I caught were feeding deep in the tailouts and in the deep seams.
Troutnut's profile picture
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Sep 16, 2006September 16th, 2006, 6:18 pm EDT
Good fishing! I'm going to give the RS2 a try soon on one of my local small streams. They're not quite so demanding of finesse as a tailwater... so I'll probably be fishing it under a size 16 Royal Wulff.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist

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