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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.

Case view of a Pycnopsyche guttifera (Limnephilidae) (Great Autumn Brown Sedge) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
It's only barely visible in one of my pictures, but I confirmed under the microscope that this one has a prosternal horn and the antennae are mid-way between the eyes and front of the head capsule.

I'm calling this one Pycnopsyche, but it's a bit perplexing. It seems to key definitively to at least Couplet 8 of the Key to Genera of Limnephilidae Larvae. That narrows it down to three genera, and the case seems wrong for the other two. The case looks right for Pycnopsyche, and it fits one of the key characteristics: "Abdominal sternum II without chloride epithelium and abdominal segment IX with only single seta on each side of dorsal sclerite." However, the characteristic "metanotal sa1 sclerites not fused, although often contiguous" does not seem to fit well. Those sclerites sure look fused to me, although I can make out a thin groove in the touching halves in the anterior half under the microscope. Perhaps this is a regional variation.

The only species of Pycnopsyche documented in Washington state is Pycnopsyche guttifera, and the colors and markings around the head of this specimen seem to match very well a specimen of that species from Massachusetts on Bugguide. So I am placing it in that species for now.

Whatever species this is, I photographed another specimen of seemingly the same species from the same spot a couple months later.
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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Strmanglr
Strmanglr's profile picture
Posts: 156
Strmanglr on Nov 7, 2011November 7th, 2011, 6:38 am EST
A person had asked me where I'm from here so I thought I would introduce myself.

I'm from mid-Michigan and I have been enjoying fishing since I was old enough to use a cane pole. I discovered trout and stream fishing much later and have been doing so for about 8 years now.

I developed an addiction one cool northern Michigan morning. As I stood in a cold, strong current, seeing my breath before me. I made the cast as far and close to dew laden leaves hanging just over the water, with only a few turns of my reel the most beautiful creature slammed my little stick bait. It fought for it's life, slowly approaching me in a hard boil. I netted and saw the iridescent serpent, a 16 1/2 inch brown. I walked to the side of the river and cleaned the fish, cutting not only the fish but myself as well. A small cut, but with a filet knife, wow did it bleed. With the fish cleaned I put it into a ziplock and into the back of my vest. As I got back into the water I looked around and the beauty of the morning fog lifting, the great sense of accomplishment I felt for bagging the nice brown, it fell over me like a blessing, I was the one who just got hooked. It was only the second brown I had ever caught and the week before was the first. A small 10 incher that my friend had directed my casting of.

Since then I have been fishing every week that I'm able, sometimes twice a week. Although gas prices have been slowing me down a little the last year or two. Trout and Salmon have taken me all over the great state of Michigan but I still have so much more investigating to do. I absolutely love the water and now I have met a part of me I was missing for a long time.

I never wanted to fly fish, I thought it was too much work, too expensive and a waste of effort. Until I came upon a rising group of fish that wouldn't touch my lures. I had bought a cheap fly pole before that was in my car at that moment. I had also bought a few flies. Why? Because it was a steal of a deal on the starter pole and reel I couldn't refuse. My casting was beyond atrocious, with a dry fly on trying to manage the line, my little fly drifted below me, throwing a wake, and bam! A little brookie. OMG, I have a whole new addiction!

I went to the store after fishing and saw the price of flies and thought I'll buy them this time, but I know I can learn to tie. I had already made a couple poles and figured I could tie flies. It took me a little while to learn to tie, but I did and do so now. Mainly my fly boxes contain dries, spiders, nymphs and light weight streamers. Fishing mainly trout, steelhead, salmon and smallmouth. I also still lure fish, but now only with spinners that I make.

I don't keep a whole lot of fish, usually one steelhead, one brown, and a couple salmon a year. Although, the salmon may change now that I have encountered smoked salmon and know someone who can do it for me. I don't have a hang-up about people who keep fish, for the most part it's their tax dollars, it's their money and effort to get to the river and with the economy I don't blame them one bit. I don't have any hang-ups about the type of fishing people do either, so long as it's legal.

Well that's me in a nutshell.

btw, I know I may have come off a little abrasive to begin with and I apologize. I don't go looking to stir things up, but I do respond in kind, I tend to give back what I receive from people and I don't want to be pushed around. Spence and I are good, and as I told him I really am a pretty easy going character. I've been posting on Pool.bz under the same name for years and I don't think I've ever gotten snotty with anyone. Pool is my relief or diversion when I'm fishing maybe too much.

Strmanglr
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Nov 7, 2011November 7th, 2011, 6:44 am EST
Do you kill wild trout every time you fish?
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Strmanglr
Strmanglr's profile picture
Posts: 156
Strmanglr on Nov 7, 2011November 7th, 2011, 7:03 am EST
No, as I said, I keep about 3-4 fish a year, and of course I don't kill fish and leave them there. I fish every week between march and early november catching fish most every time I go out so I probably have a release rate over 99 percent.
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Nov 7, 2011November 7th, 2011, 4:25 pm EST
Where in mid-Michigan? I just moved up here to Oscoda in January of this year. This place is a fly-fisherman's paradise! And not just for trout, I've hit some good smallmouth and largemouth too and some nice panfish as well (search my posts, many have photos). And I've barely scratched the surface...

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Strmanglr
Strmanglr's profile picture
Posts: 156
Strmanglr on Nov 8, 2011November 8th, 2011, 5:46 am EST
Yeah, your in a great place. Have you had a chance to fish the Au Gres or the Rifle yet? I went to the Rifle twice in the spring to fish steelies and both times it was nestle quik. I kinda knew it would be that way but I had to explore. I love to explore, I'm constantly looking at my county map and saying to myself, 'oooh, I haven't been there I wonder'. Been wanting to check out the Thunder Bay R for awile.

I take a trip up in the 3rd week in June and stop at the s. branch and then later in the day I go to the N. branch and hit up a few tribs in the area. I found this motel in Lewiston that charges less than $31.00 with taxes a night for a full bed, ac and cable. Each year I go up I keep thinking it's going to be more but it hasn't changed in years. Nice little town.

I like fly fishing the Au Sable and all it's branches but I debate every time I start out in the morning. Do I wanna go there or do I wanna go to the Pere Marquette, or something else in that area of the state. It's nice fishing the Au Sable because it's so big and I enjoy fly fishing it more than the west side, but I find the fishing a little better on the west side and the fish I catch tend to be bigger.

I've been getting into smallmouth more and more the last couple years. Mainly because I found a couple tiny creeks just loaded with em. I love it, they look more like drains than something that would have fish. Most people would just drive right by and not even give em a thought. To all the folks out there, I'm sure some of you have already encountered things like this but if you haven't, start looking around you, you just might be surprised. I don't talk of the names of these little gems, people ask and I just say 'I won't tell you where it is, but if you want to go with me I'll take you there'. I only have a couple fishing buddies that actually go.

Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Nov 8, 2011November 8th, 2011, 7:06 am EST
I love the Rifle! I started fishing there back in '98, when I moved to the West Branch area (Skidway Lake to be exact) and fished it regularly until I moved away in '01. After moving up here to Oscoda this year I went back to hit my favorite spots on it again and it's still a great place for brown trout on dry flies - the Light Cahill hatch there is just as good as the Hex anywhere else as far as I'm concerned, it brings every fish in the river to the surface! And I have only fished the Au Gres for trout a few times, but I have also fished the mainstem for the late spring smallmouth run in June, hooked and lost a nice one (probably 15-16") this year. Cooke Pond is my favorite place for smallies around here so far, but as I've said I have plenty more exploring to do. I did hit a Hex hatch there on July 1st and boated an 18" smallie on a Hex imitation! I have also been exploring the Pine River system and found some really nice brook trout waters there, plus some smallish browns and rainbows (that were still lots of fun on my 3-weight). I am within walking distance (a beautiful 45-minute hike) of some panfish/largemouth waters that are good in the spring and for a while in the fall (too shallow and weedy in summer). There's more fishing around here than I can do! I haven't fished the Au Sable much because the Pine and Rifle are closer, plus there are some lakes and ponds with trout in them too...

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...

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