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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.

Artistic view of a Perlodidae (Springflies and Yellow Stones) Stonefly Nymph from the Yakima River in Washington
This one seems to lead to Couplet 35 of the Key to Genera of Perlodidae Nymphs and the genus Isoperla, but I'm skeptical that's correct based on the general look. I need to get it under the microscope to review several choices in the key, and it'll probably end up a different Perlodidae.
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 RegionGod's Country
Specific LocationGrayling area...
Dates Fished04-29-2011 to 05-01-2011
Time of DayMostly afternoon.
Fish CaughtBrowns/Brooks
Conditions & HatchesHendrickson's, Baetis, Little Mahoganies, a spattering of early season stones...

Details and Discussion

Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on May 2, 2011May 2nd, 2011, 9:19 am EDT
We arrived in Grayling at 8:00am rip-roaring and ready to go only to find the river and all it's branches were at flood stage. I have seen the river in spate before, but never as high as this...The bridge on the South Branch called Chase Bridge was for a period under water...Most days, when canoes are going under the bridge, the passengers cannot touch the underside of the culvert...When I drove over the bridge on Saturday afternoon you still couldn't see the opening where the river flowed through or was supposed to flow through under the bridge to the other side.

Every low area near the river was underwater along with every access site.

Most of the saner anglers resided themselves to Scotch and fly-tying and tall tales back at the Lodge, or in one of the watering holes in town. Those of you who have ever read one of my posts and truely doubt this characters sanity know that I made attempts to fish.

The good thing was that I had two guys with me, one I left ashore with his bad back, and another a good distance shorter than me that I never let get out of my draft as we waded upstream...I was afraid he would float away otherwise. If I'd been alone I may have tried something dangerous and stupid and watching over them reeled me in a bit and may have saved me from making the evening news and my drowning would have saved you fine sports having to read this! :)

Saturday on the Mainstream of the Au Sable (the Holy Water to some) turned out to be the better day for us in terms of fishing. The only problem was I felt like I was in the Madison at $3.00 Bridge instead of the Au Sable which is normally a damn site tamer than in was this past weekend. My legs are still sore and I visit the gym 3-4 times a week.

As we were wading upstream from the access site I spotted what I thought were either Baetis or the Little Mahoganies in the air and I turned to tell my angling buddy but all he was concerned with was whether or not he was going to drown today and was looking down at his feet and hoping they were going to hold and thinking of his lovely wife and kids he'd be leaving alone if he wasn't really careful. "Does Spence know what the hell he's doing here or am I an idiot for following this wack-o upstream???!!!"

I saw him peeking in to his box of flies as he tried to hold his place in the river..."Spence. Do you think this one will work?" I waded down to him and placed a fly in his hand and headed back upstream...Just about the time he got it tied on his tippit I was shouting, "Hennies! Hennies!" I had caught a couple small fish on the Baetis and he had waded up to me only to have me stick a different fly in his hand and I said, "This one now!"..."But Spence, I haven't even wetted this one yet!" "Don't make me push you under! Tie the damn thing on...Now!"

Well the flies were rolling off now and it was a really solid hatch that had the river been in a better mood would of meant a wonderful wade and fish caught etc. Finally! A few fish started to feed and we caught a few small Browns and Brooks with my friend catching an 11" Brown that may have been the fish of the weekend...This was an easy feat to pull off since the other 18 folks back at the Lodge never got their waders on...

Any way...We survived somehow and made it back to the boys in the Lodge in one piece to watch the Wings on the satelite TV...Oh well! They were skunked as well...


"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
Posts: 30
Flyman85 on May 12, 2011May 12th, 2011, 3:38 pm EDT
gud job for sticking out, when a man needs to fish he needs to fish!haha
good report too

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