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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.

Lateral view of a Female Sweltsa borealis (Chloroperlidae) (Boreal Sallfly) Stonefly Adult from Harris Creek in Washington
I was not fishing, but happened to be at an unrelated social event on a hill above this tiny creek (which I never even saw) when this stonefly flew by me. I assume it came from there. Some key characteristics are tricky to follow, but process of elimination ultimately led me to Sweltsa borealis. It is reassuringly similar to this specimen posted by Bob Newell years ago. It is also so strikingly similar to this nymph from the same river system that I'm comfortable identifying that nymph from this adult. I was especially pleased with the closeup photo of four mites parasitizing this one.
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.


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By Troutnut on May 18th, 2011
I went burbot fishing last night, checking out a spot I had unsuccessfully fished with my setlines. The problem with those was that my lines got caught on the rock riprap at the end of the dike, so I thought with rod & reel I might have a chance to get out past the rocks. Unfortunately, the current of the eddy kept pulling the bait back into the rocks, so I went through about $5 in tackle and bait before I even found a position where my bait would hold still and I could actually fish.

Then I didn't catch anything.

Oh, well... it was a great sunset!

Photos by Troutnut from the Tanana River in Alaska

The Tanana River in Alaska
The Tanana River in Alaska
Cut herring bait dangles from the tip of a spinning rod... not my usual gear!

From the Tanana River in Alaska
The Tanana River in Alaska

Comments / replies

JOHNW
JOHNW's profile picture
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
JOHNW on May 20, 2011May 20th, 2011, 5:50 pm EDT
Jason,
I'm curious about the burbot are they strictly sport or is there a food value to them? They sort of remind me of Bowfin down here in the Lower 48 very prehistoric looking indeed.
JW
"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn
Troutnut
Troutnut's profile picture
Administrator
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on May 21, 2011May 21st, 2011, 12:41 am EDT
Almost all food, very little sport -- at least in the setline fishing I'm doing. Catching them with a rod & reel can be very sporting, but I'm finding that setlining has plenty of its own little challenges.

They're not very closely related to bowfin, despite their superficial similarities. They're actually the only North American species of freshwater cod. They taste much better than store-bought cod, though, and even better than fresh-caught Pacific cod from Alaska for that matter.

They're filleted in sort of an interesting way, and the different cuts have different textures. There's one normal fillet on each side, which is comparable in both taste and texture to walleye. There's also a belly fillet, which has a similar flavor but a slightly more rubbery texture, more comparable to lobster or really tender calamari.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist

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