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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.

Dorsal view of a Ephemerella mucronata (Ephemerellidae) Mayfly Nymph from the Yakima River in Washington
This is an interesting one. Following the keys in Merritt R.W., Cummins, K.W., and Berg, M.B. (2019) and Jacobus et al. (2014), it keys clearly to Ephemerella. Jacobus et al provide a key to species, but some of the characteristics are tricky to interpret without illustrations. If I didn't make any mistakes, this one keys to Ephemerella mucronata, which has not previously been reported any closer to here than Montana and Alberta. The main character seems to fit well: "Abdominal terga with prominent, paired, subparallel, spiculate ridges." Several illustrations or descriptions of this holarctic species from the US and Europe seem to match, including the body length, tarsal claws and denticles, labial palp, and gill shapes. These sources include including Richard Allen's original description of this species in North America under the now-defunct name E. moffatae in Allen RK (1977) and the figures in this description of the species in Italy.
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 13, 2012May 13th, 2012, 5:57 am EDT
My depression is cured! On the other hand, my obsession just got another log on the fire.

The local guide took pity on me and took me out fishing yesterday evening. They just stocked a few days ago, so there were plenty of little browns and brookies to catch.

I think the grand total was 15 or so, mostly brookies and some real strong browns for the size (around 6-8 inches)

Now there's no turning back, I'm hooked! ...and now I know what I was doing wrong ;)
"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
Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on May 13, 2012May 13th, 2012, 7:19 am EDT
Congratulations, Nick. Getting a little guidance can make a lot of difference, and nothing succeeds like success. Now you're hooked firmly, and won't get off easily. Enjoy.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Baetis
Colorado

Posts: 7
Baetis on May 13, 2012May 13th, 2012, 7:12 pm EDT
Nice...congrats. Sounds like you had a great time.
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on May 13, 2012May 13th, 2012, 8:02 pm EDT
Well done! So, what did you find out you were doing wrong?

When I started fly fishing, it was under the mentorship of my Plant Ecology professor at the U of MI Bio Station. He said to me, "Jon, it's going to take three years for you to get good at fly fishing for trout." He was right on the money - I started in '85, and it was '88 before I really started to catch fish. Then it almost seemed easy, as if I'd broken a code...of course, it wasn't easy, but it's gotten easier since then. Now, I do pick my waters - small, low pressure, local so I can learn them well and figure out the good spots. Haven't caught many big fish yet but I'm working on it...

Again, good job. It does get easier.

Jonathon
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, 6:27 am EDT
Well, for one thing I was tromping right on through the fish to get to where I was fishing... Where there were no fish!

I think I was just caught up in the "duldrums". I hadn't caught a fish in over a month of fly fishing. It caused me to forget about "the hunt" and carelessly toss my fly wherever seemed fit. Also I was trying to key in on pocket water too much and taking things I've heard online as "law" when I didn't know the whole story.

So all in all, I was doing a lot of things wrong!
"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, 9:41 am EDT
Getting out there with a guide probably helped a lot. As I said in another post, I had a mentor who was a professor of mine, plus he took me to his favorite fly shop and that was also a source of good advice. The more sources of information, the better! Once you get enough of it, you can begin to pick out the brilliance from the bullshit. And time on the water is also critical!

Keep at it, the fish will gradually get bigger and easier to figure out.

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

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