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Artistic view of a Male Pteronarcys californica (Pteronarcyidae) (Giant Salmonfly) Stonefly Adult from the Gallatin River in Montana
Salmonflies
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 Epeorus albertae (Heptageniidae) (Pink Lady) Mayfly Nymph from the East Fork Issaquah Creek in Washington
This specimen keys to the Epeorus albertae group of species. Of the five species in that group, the two known in Washington state are Epeorus albertae and Epeorus dulciana. Of the two, albertae has been collected in vastly more locations in Washington than dulciana, suggesting it is far more common. On that basis alone I'm tentatively putting this nymph in albertae, with the large caveat that there's no real information to rule out dulciana.
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.
Troutnut is a project started in 2003 by salmonid ecologist Jason "Troutnut" Neuswanger to help anglers and fly tyers unabashedly embrace the entomological side of the sport. Learn more about Troutnut or support the project for an enhanced experience here.

Report at a Glance

General RegionDauphin County
Specific LocationUpper end of C&RFFO
Dates FishedMay 07
Time of Day8:00 - 3:00
Fish CaughtMostly small browns
Conditions & HatchesMostly adult midges

Details and Discussion

Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on May 7, 2011May 7th, 2011, 4:52 pm EDT
Started at upper end of the C&RFFO water at 8:00 and fished until 3:00. Water was higher than I remember seeing it in years but it was quite clean. It had a good two feet of visibility. I had high expectations and was anticipating a twenty fish day as I have had them in the past in early May.

Water was only 46 degrees at 8:00 and 50 at 3:00. Zillions of adult midges all day but very few rising fish. Landed three on a #20 CDC caddis. Saw only one mayfly all day and it looked to be about a #12.

Landed a dozen, four brookies and the rest browns. Two of the browns were 5"- 7" and appeared wild. Caught all fish, other than the three on top, on either #12 BH Green Weenie, #14 LaFontaine emergent pupa with olive body, or #18 Brown soft hackle. IMO not that many fish in the creek. Only saw two guys all day but there were eight cars in lot in the morning and only one when I left - figured no one was having very much success.



Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Troutnut
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Administrator
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on May 8, 2011May 8th, 2011, 11:56 am EDT
That's a nice brookie! Thanks for the report.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on May 8, 2011May 8th, 2011, 2:45 pm EDT
Louis Martin is likely going to giving me the rasberry as I've often teased him about the infamous Green Weenie!
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Martinlf
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Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on May 8, 2011May 8th, 2011, 5:51 pm EDT
Matt, I'd never tease you about fishing a green weenie, since I only fish a sinking inchworm, and disdain the green weenie myself. ;>
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on May 8, 2011May 8th, 2011, 6:40 pm EDT
Your a funny man Louis!! I tied six for the trip thinking it was more than enough but lost them all. Now I'm tying a dozen hopefully enough to last all season. I've not been up yet as the rivers are all too high.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on May 8, 2011May 8th, 2011, 7:12 pm EDT
Matt,

I know you discussed the Bow you caught on another thread, but tell me something about that Brown...It is heavily spotted and some of the spots appear like x's...Is that a stocked Brown? It has interesting markings.

The Brook is sweet!

Spence
"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
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on May 8, 2011May 8th, 2011, 7:55 pm EDT
Spence,

Are you referring to the little brown in the picture? I'm not positive, it might be a wild fish since PA stockies often have one, or both, pectoral fins cut off. This fish however is not as heavily marked with the orange spots and blue halos that I often see on some wild browns in PA and NY. Maybe one of the other forum members would like to pipe in on the lineage of this little guy.

There is just so much color and spotting variation among brown trout that the average fly fisher without a fisheries degree just isn't usually going to have enough knowledge to positively identify where a fish is stocked or wild.

Here is a fish that I think is wild but I say that based solely on it's size. It may have been stocked in any one of the small creeks and streams that flow into the main stem Delaware in NY or PA as a 8" dink and as it grew settled in the huge pool where I eventually located it.



Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Oldredbarn
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Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on May 9, 2011May 9th, 2011, 5:51 am EDT
Matt,

Our Browns in the Au Sable look more like the one you are holding in your ID photo...Buttery yellow below and colorfully spotted like you said...They have all been so hybridized (sp?) over the years that it may be impossible now, without DNA testing, to figure out their lineage...Loch Leven vs German Brown or whatever.

It could just be a lighting thing and the fish may appear differently in another photograph. I think maybe that because some of it's spots appeared (x) like it caught my eye...I'll have to dig out "Trout & Salmon" by Robert Behnke...:)

I have noticed here in Michigan, on different sides of the state that the Brookies can vary in coloration. In the stream I fished as a kid on the west side of Michigan near my grandmothers farm they were as dark as could be. In the Au Sable they seem to be a bit lighter.

Spence
"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
Martinlf
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Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on May 12, 2011May 12th, 2011, 7:19 pm EDT
I think the brown from Clarks is a stockie. Note the washed out orangish spots and lack of a larger black or purple/navy eyespot (see Lloyd's book on this). The wild browns in Clarks have bright red spots and a larger dark eyespot. The Delaware brown seems to be one of the Loch Leven strain. A guide told me years ago that there are two strains in the D, one with red spots (Von Behr lineage) one with only black spots (Loch Leven lineage).
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell

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