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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 Holocentropus (Polycentropodidae) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
This one seems to tentatively key to Holocentropus, although I can't make out the anal spines in Couplet 7 of the Key to Genera of Polycentropodidae Larvae nor the dark bands in Couplet 4 of the Key to Genera of Polycentropodidae Larvae, making me wonder if I went wrong somewhere in keying it out. I don't see where that could have happened, though. It might also be that it's a very immature larva and doesn't possess all the identifying characteristics in the key yet. If Holocentropus is correct, then Holocentropus flavus and Holocentropus interruptus are the two likely possibilities based on range, but I was not able to find a description of their larvae.
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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Wbranch has attached this picture to this report. The message is below.

Report at a Glance

General RegionCatskills
Dates FishedMay 01 - 03
Time of Day10 - 4
Fish CaughtBrown trout
Conditions & HatchesHeavy mist in the morning followed by bright sun and big white clouds. Good numbers of Rusty spinners and Paraleps. Some tan caddis. water 47 - 55 degrees.

Details and Discussion

Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on May 6, 2012May 6th, 2012, 11:42 am EDT
One of several large browns, and rainbows, that have come to my net in 2012.
All of the rivers in the Catskills have large trout so naming where this fish was caught is unecessary.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.

Posts: 29
Orn on May 6, 2012May 6th, 2012, 12:46 pm EDT
Very nice, good job! Nice to finally get some fish pictures in amongst all the bugs! I thought this was a trout forum after all :P
Jesse's profile picture
Posts: 378
Jesse on May 6, 2012May 6th, 2012, 12:55 pm EDT
Haha funny stuff Orn i like to see the trout shots once and a while myself. And Matt, beautiful trout congratulations. Can't beat a day like that one.
Most of us fish our whole lives..not knowing its not the fish that we are after.
PaulRoberts's profile picture

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on May 6, 2012May 6th, 2012, 2:51 pm EDT
Congrats, Matt. Another big Catskill trout.

Wish I could help everyone out with the eye candy, but from where I'm located I'm more into fishing than driving. So I stick close to home where the trout are small.
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on May 6, 2012May 6th, 2012, 5:21 pm EDT
Good stuff Matt! Looks like you will be in good form by the time you make it west this year. :)


"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
Cutbow's profile picture
Post Falls, Idaho

Posts: 38
Cutbow on May 7, 2012May 7th, 2012, 7:53 am EDT
Very nice, good job! Nice to finally get some fish pictures in amongst all the bugs! I thought this was a trout forum after all :P

Hahaha, maybe we should rename this site bugnut.com?
"Once you catch your first fish on a fly you won't care about any other kind of fishing!"
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on May 7, 2012May 7th, 2012, 9:16 am EDT
Hey guys - no bugs, no trout...:)
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman

Posts: 95
Shanti on May 8, 2012May 8th, 2012, 1:29 pm EDT
Sounds like a great day, Matt! Hoping for something similar on my home-river tommorrow. Or at least something close to it.
The dry, sunny weather we're having here bring on sparse and fast passing hatches.
Somewhere, right now, a fish is rising.
And you´re at the computer..
GldstrmSam's profile picture
Fairbanks, Alaska

Posts: 212
GldstrmSam on May 9, 2012May 9th, 2012, 9:47 pm EDT
Hey Matt,

How close to a bottom release dam was that? What was the exact toxin amount? How much heavy metal build-up was there? :)

By the way nice fish!
There is no greater fan of fly fishing than the worm. ~Patrick F. McManus
Youngfish's profile picture
Manistique, MI

Posts: 20
Youngfish on May 10, 2012May 10th, 2012, 9:58 am EDT
Wow, nice job! Congrats on some beautiful fish!
Kyle McClelland
Manistique, MI
XXL Chrome Chasing- www.facebook.com/XxlChromeChasing

Posts: 29
Orn on May 12, 2012May 12th, 2012, 8:22 am EDT
Hey guys - no bugs, no trout...:)

Haha yeah, I get that :) But in about 12 hours I'm off to Asia on a three week graduation trip. After I return I will go straight back to my river where I will spend summer and hopefully I'll be able to practise what I preach and give you some photos of beautiful brown trouts and arctic chars :)
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on May 12, 2012May 12th, 2012, 9:42 am EDT
Goldstrmsam wrote;

"How close to a bottom release dam was that? What was the exact toxin amount? How much heavy metal build-up was there? :)"

Well I don't know exactly how much toxins in the water but your not allowed to eat any of these trout. Also the air within 1/4 mile of the river has a high acidic concentration that peels the paint off of the houses. I can't devulge how close I was to the bottom release dam as I can't let my secrets be known to the lurkers on this board.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on May 12, 2012May 12th, 2012, 9:46 am EDT
That's a mighty nice looking brown there, Matt. What fly exactly did he take? I'm still working on catching fish that big...I tend to fish smaller waters close to home with little competition from other fisherman. Saves on gas money too! And a 3-weight makes them all feel bigger.

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on May 12, 2012May 12th, 2012, 4:11 pm EDT
Jmd123 wrote;

"What fly exactly did he take?"

That was an exceptional day! It was a week ago Thursday. I landed eight browns. One 15", two 16", two 18", one 20", one 21", and one 21.5". I measured the last three but guesstimated the smaller fish.

I caught all but one on a #18 P. adoptiva dun (blue quill) with slate gray CDC wings, gray trailing shuck, stripped peacock body ribbed with Xfine gold wire, and medium dun Hoffman saddle clipped on the bottom.

When I was young I was strictly into numbers. I didn't care how big they were as long as there were lots of them. Even in my late twenties I can remember many days of twenty + trout. As I got older I became less interested in how many fish but more interested in bigger fish. I was very fortunate to be able to spend June - August in Montana for four years. During those four years I was able to indulge in the sheer joy of catching many big fish. Often I would catch at least twenty fish no less than 15" long.

Now I only dry fly fish and then only to rising fish. Not just any fish either. It has to create a riseform befitting that of a large fish and it has to be a bank feeder. Preferably rising no further than 3' from the bank. In the river I prefer to fish I have found that invariably any fish rising on, or near, the bank is going to be at a good fish. I like to sneak on to them either by wading or positioning my Hyde so my cast is no more than 20'. If I'm quiet the fish will continue to rise and often I can actually see the fish as it rises and takes a fly.

Somedays I do extremely well. Other days, like this past Wednesday, I don't do that well at all. I had shots at four fish at least 20" long. One I had to light a set and the hook came out. On another I struck late and tail hooked this huge brown and in a few minutes the hook pulled out. On the other two I was sleeping and even though I saw a take for whatever reason I didn't set and had to ask my partner "did that fish eat my fly"? Duh! LOL.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Martinlf's profile picture
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on May 12, 2012May 12th, 2012, 5:12 pm EDT
Matt, thanks for sharing that last bit of information. Here's my log entry for last Tuesday:

" . . .the only fish I found rising after the rain let up was a
big cruiser in the XXXX hole. I stalked it for about fifteen or twenty minutes, correctly determined it to be eating apple caddis cripples or emergers (it totally ignored adults drifting over), greased up an
apple caddis wet fly, and on the second cast, the fish ate. With all the adrenaline built up figuring out the fish and getting close enough for a cast to a fish that was moving around I may have set too soon, or held the line too firmly, but it didn't surge and with two head shakes on the surface the barbless fly (TMC 100 super point) was out."

I've been kicking myself for a couple of days on that hookset, especially because it was a big fish (if the riseform was any indication) and the only one I had a shot at that day. I think a bit more delay and a sweeping hookset downstream might have been what I needed. It makes me feel a little better to know that even you have your misses, since I consider you one of the best fly fishermen I know. I'm teaching a friend to fly fish, and he said the same thing one day when I put a cast in a tree. I assured him that I screw up all the time. But then, there are the good days. We just have to celebrate those and build on them.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell

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