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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.

Ventral view of a Hydropsyche (Hydropsychidae) (Spotted Sedge) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
With a bit of help from the microscope, this specimen keys clearly and unsurprisingly to Hydropsyche.
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.

FisherOfMen
FisherOfMen's profile picture
NY

Posts: 115
FisherOfMen on May 10, 2012May 10th, 2012, 10:41 am EDT
Hi guys, just wondering what your average catch for a day of stream fishing is. I've had too many fishless excursions not to wonder if I'm just not really that great with a fly rod! ;)

Note - I'm talking about a lower-quality stream, not those with 500 trout per quarter mile of water.
"Nothing makes a fish bigger than almost being caught." -Author Unknown

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. -Edmund Burke
PaulRoberts
PaulRoberts's profile picture
Colorado

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on May 10, 2012May 10th, 2012, 12:46 pm EDT
I got skunked yesterday.

My sister-in-law lives on a trout stream and gives my son voice and piano lessons every Wednesday, leaving me 1 hour to suit up and fish. My plan was to bring her a dozen free-range eggs from our coop, a loaf of home-baked bread, and a couple trout. Well... the ravens got the eggs (I left them out while doing other chores), I burned the bread (wrong convection setting), and got skunked with the trout (excuses I won't bore you with).
Falsifly
Falsifly's profile picture
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 660
Falsifly on May 10, 2012May 10th, 2012, 1:09 pm EDT
Hi guys, just wondering what your average catch for a day of stream fishing is. Note - I'm talking about a lower-quality stream, not those with 500 trout per quarter mile of water.


If you consult with the many trout fishing “EXPERTS” I think you will find that the overwhelming consensus will depend on the latest data from the State you are fishing in. Here in Wisconsin it’s called the Department of Natural Resources or simply the DNR. I for one always refer to the latest quantitative analysis from the appropriate agency before stepping foot in any river or stream. The most common and most important statistic the trout fisherman should concern himself with is the “Average Number of Trout Per Mile”. First and foremost this information will allow you to weed out the unproductive from the productive stretches of water, and allow you to pick and chose your success rate. Why waste time fishing for trout in water that holds 2 trout per mile when you can fish water that holds 2000 trout per mile as you state above. Next, once you make the great leap into the “EXPERT” category, you will no longer refer to “your average catch for a day” but will from that point on refer to “your average number of fish caught per distance of river/stream fished”. So in short, to answer your first question, on a stretch of water holding “500 trout per quarter mile” I would expect to catch between 495 and 505 fish (that’s a give or take of 5 fish to cover the possibility of statistical anomalies) per each quarter mile fished.
Falsifly
When asked what I just caught that monster on I showed him. He put on his magnifiers and said, "I can't believe they can see that."
Shanti
Sweden

Posts: 95
Shanti on May 10, 2012May 10th, 2012, 2:18 pm EDT
Sometimes I dont even put the rod together.
Sometimes that one trout from that difficult spot is well enough.
Sometimes I try real hard with poor results.

But, I´m certainly well above average when it comes to happiness compared to my friends who might have spent that day doing something else.

One thing I do know is that, when I cracked the code, fifteen trout won't make me any happier than four.
Somewhere, right now, a fish is rising.
And you´re at the computer..
GldstrmSam
GldstrmSam's profile picture
Fairbanks, Alaska

Posts: 212
GldstrmSam on May 10, 2012May 10th, 2012, 2:32 pm EDT
The only times I have gone fly fishing I had splendid catches. The first time I caught and released so many fish that I stopped counting. It probably came to between 15 and 20 fish. The second time a few days ago I caught five fish. They were all within the last hour of my trip.

The first time was at a stocked lake. The second time the fish I caught were all wild grayling.

So to answer your question, after doing the math the average comes out to around 10 fish a trip.

There is no greater fan of fly fishing than the worm. ~Patrick F. McManus
FisherOfMen
FisherOfMen's profile picture
NY

Posts: 115
FisherOfMen on May 10, 2012May 10th, 2012, 3:55 pm EDT
Thanks guys. Got skunked again today...

Where might I find such information. I've looked online, perhaps NY doesn't have it? Any particular keywords to google or search on the DEC site?
"Nothing makes a fish bigger than almost being caught." -Author Unknown

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. -Edmund Burke
PaulRoberts
PaulRoberts's profile picture
Colorado

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on May 10, 2012May 10th, 2012, 5:35 pm EDT
Two ideas:

Sanders Fishing Guides are excellent, though prob outdated now.

Call your regional office. They are great, have the latest info, and are willing to share.

But... the good rivers are known. And in my exp there is a lot of unsung trout water that have trout doing what trout do.
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on May 10, 2012May 10th, 2012, 6:57 pm EDT
Well, let's see here...

First trip this year (for trout with a fly rod that is, excluding trips for panfish & bass): big fat zero.

Second trip: one 14" brown.

Third trip: big fat zero again.

Fourth trip, day after opener: 10 (4 brookies, biggest 10", and 6 rainbows).

Fifth trip (two days after 4th): 13 brown trout, 8-13".

Sixth trip (kayak pond fishing, two days ago): 5 brook trout (biggest 12") plus 5 perch, including 4 keepers now residing in my freezer (trying to clean them outta there so they don't compete with the brookies).

Seventh trip (today, kayaking a lake): 7 or 8 rainbows, biggest was 11", rest were little guys.

As you can see, there is no "average". Any honest fisherman will tell you that there are days he or she couldn't catch a fish with a stick of dynamite, and others when you can hardly touch the water with a fly without something grabbing it. Some days the water is just alive and boiling with fish, and some days it's just stone cold dead. The only way to find out is to get out there and throw some flies.

If it's a nice day, I have a favorite spot all to myself, and I catch at least a few nice fish, I'm pretty happy with that.

Jonathon

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on May 11, 2012May 11th, 2012, 7:10 am EDT
Why waste time fishing for trout in water that holds 2 trout per mile


Allan...What if those two trout are north of 24" and all those little ones are in their bellies? :)

Any honest fisherman will tell you that there are days he or she couldn't catch a fish with a stick of dynamite, and others when you can hardly touch the water with a fly without something grabbing it.


True, true, true, Jonathon...For me if everytime I tossed a fly I actually caught a trout eventually I'd tire of the process...I like the challenge and the pay-off once I am successful...That too is what makes this sport so interesting...The more tricks we have up our sleeves the better our chances...They aren't really interested in drys today feed them nymphs or wet flies...No success here toss a streamer...Still no luck, sit down on the bank and eat your GORP and your humble-pie. :)

Paul...My heart's going out to you today brother! Haven't we all had days when we would of been better off just sleeping in...;) Your heart was in the right place...The world is just an ugly dark trickster...There's always tomorrow, eh?! :)

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 11, 2012May 11th, 2012, 7:41 am EDT
Goldsam wrote;

"So to answer your question, after doing the math the average comes out to around 10 fish a trip."

Fisherofmen should not think this number is even close to average for most fly fishers. Remember he lives in Alaska and grayling, in most Alaskan waters, are about as gullible as are cutthroat in a remote western stream. It all depends on what the trout per mile number is, the water temperature, air temperature, water clarity, your casting skills, what fly you have selected and many more variables.

I don't think there is any need to catch an "average" number of fish. As long as you are enjoying yourself on the water why worry about what others are doing?
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Falsifly
Falsifly's profile picture
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 660
Falsifly on May 11, 2012May 11th, 2012, 1:03 pm EDT
Allan...What if those two trout are north of 24" and all those little ones are in their bellies? :)


Spence, my initial post was geared toward my assumption that FisherOfMen was speaking in terms of quantity not quality. But now that you have called me out I feel compelled to admit my post was in fact a ruse. I felt that by steering the naïve into the falsehood of possibility, on those astronomically high “Trout Per Mile” waters, I could protect the solitude and sanctity of those waters only the most esoteric, of us trout fishermen, deserve. Shame on you Spence!
Falsifly
When asked what I just caught that monster on I showed him. He put on his magnifiers and said, "I can't believe they can see that."
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on May 11, 2012May 11th, 2012, 4:05 pm EDT
FisherofMen is probably gonna hate me for saying this, but I caught nine more today...mostly little guys, but also three "keepers", who are still swimming around in the places I caught them...I must say I've had an exceptional couple of opening weeks and when it inevitably slows down it's gonna suck! "Strike while the iron is hot", as they say.

Jonathon

P.S. A bit off-topic but I saw only the second bear I've ever seen in the wild on my way home from the river! It was a small one, maybe half-grown.
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
FisherOfMen
FisherOfMen's profile picture
NY

Posts: 115
FisherOfMen on May 15, 2012May 15th, 2012, 7:53 am EDT
Thanks all - I've started catching some after a little confidence-building with a guide.

NY doesn't have the greatest trout flow data. There is very little about any trout-per-mile data, and only on distant rivers I won't be fishing any time soon. But that's okay, now at least I'm convinced trout exist at all! ;)
"Nothing makes a fish bigger than almost being caught." -Author Unknown

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. -Edmund Burke
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on May 15, 2012May 15th, 2012, 9:37 am EDT
Keep it up man! It will get easier, slowly but surely.

My early days were helped by being located a short drive from a Michigan "Blue-Ribbon" trout stream (whatever that actually means) with a nice healthy fish population, and a mentor in the form of my Plant Ecology professor. And, I learned the fine art by fishing the Hex hatch at night! Talk about "baptism under fire"...

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

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