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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 Grammotaulius betteni (Limnephilidae) (Northern Caddisfly) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
This is a striking caddis larva with an interesting color pattern on the head. Here are some characteristics I was able to see under the microscope, but could not easily expose for a picture:
- The prosternal horn is present.
- The mandible is clearly toothed, not formed into a uniform scraper blade.
- The seems to be only 2 major setae on the ventral edge of the hind femur.
- Chloride epithelia seem to be absent from the dorsal side of any abdominal segments.
Based on these characteristics and the ones more easily visible from the pictures, this seems to be Grammotaulius. The key's description of the case is spot-on: "Case cylindrical, made of longitudinally arranged sedge or similar leaves," as is the description of the markings on the head, "Dorsum of head light brownish yellow with numerous discrete, small, dark spots." The spot pattern on the head is a very good match to figure 19.312 of Merritt R.W., Cummins, K.W., and Berg, M.B. (2019). The species ID is based on Grammotaulius betteni being the only species of this genus known in Washington state.
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 RegionWest Branch of the Delaware
Specific LocationUpper and Lower sections
Dates FishedJune 8 and 9
Time of Day3 to dark
Fish Caught4 browns and a rainbow
Conditions & HatchesSee below

Details and Discussion

Martinlf's profile picture
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Jul 9, 2011July 9th, 2011, 10:47 pm EDT
July 8, 2011 Air high upper 70’s, cloudy with some rain Hale Eddy 3.9 and falling to 3.7 by about 10:00 p.m., 1,200 CFS and falling to about 1,000 by about 10:00 p.m. 9 C falling toward 8.5 C, Fished Lower West Branch. Caught one brown about 12” on olive parachute emerger, then circled upstream to fish two fish feeding near the bank. Stuck one of them (about 18”) that jumped made several runs, and pulled out the hook. Lnnded a 14” brown on a thorax olive emerger, then a 17” rainbow. Left at dark. Flies on water: size 18 sulphurs, 18 olives, 20 sulphurs, 14 sulphurs, 22-26 olives.

July 9,2011 Air high mid 80’s, mostly sunny. Hale Eddy 3.7 and falling to about 32/ by 10:00 p.m., about 900 CFS falling to 739 by about 10:00 p.m. 8 C rising to 13C then falling toward 9 C, Floated the upper West Branch with Wayne Aldridge. Started at 3, Landed a very pretty 13” brown with white halos around red spots, then another pretty brown 15”. All on Wayne’s CDC tan caddis. Cast to a 20+ fish feeding sporadically under an overhanging bush for abut 30-40 minutes. Fun, but no hook up. Flies I saw on water: 18 sulphurs, 18 olives, 14 sulphurs, 16-18 Tan caddis.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on Jul 9, 2011July 9th, 2011, 11:38 pm EDT
Hey, Louis, it's good to hear from you! Sounds like that's an unedited excerpt straight from your fishing log. Glad to hear that you're still getting out and catching fish. I assume that all of the "olives" were two-tailed, but were the "sulphurs" two- or three-tailed?
Adirman's profile picture
Monticello, NY

Posts: 479
Adirman on Jul 10, 2011July 10th, 2011, 4:40 am EDT

Very nice report!! Appreciate the details you provided!!
Martinlf's profile picture
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Jul 10, 2011July 10th, 2011, 9:02 am EDT
Sorry Lloyd, as usual, I was too engaged in fishing to do due diligence on the bug ID. I think the smaller sulphurs were dortheas and the bigger ones cahills, but don't quote me on that--they could have been invaria. As for the olives, well who knows? Larger generic baetids, and the little ones baetids of the acentrella clan I'd guess.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell

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