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Lateral view of a Male Baetis (Baetidae) (Blue-Winged Olive) Mayfly Dun from Mystery Creek #43 in New York
Blue-winged Olives
Baetis

Tiny Baetis mayflies are perhaps the most commonly encountered and imitated by anglers on all American trout streams due to their great abundance, widespread distribution, and trout-friendly emergence habits.

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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Report at a Glance

General RegionCranberry Lake, NY
Specific LocationBelow Dam
Dates Fished5-28
Time of DayEvening
Fish CaughtBrown trout, some small brookies

Details and Discussion

FisherOfMen
FisherOfMen's profile picture
NY

Posts: 115
FisherOfMen on May 29, 2012May 29th, 2012, 12:12 pm EDT
It seems I have started gaining some fly fishing skill. Yes, its true I have only been catching stocked fish (as far as I can tell), but I have been getting more successful every day at doing so. My dad and I have gone to the river every night for the past three days. I've been catching loads of little guys, and so Rick Kovaks, my fly fishing "mentor" challenged me to brave the rapids in the middle of the river to go after the big guys.

Apparently the small fish are in the slower water, but the really big guys (browns up to 20 inches) are right in the rapids. Last night I found this mid-river "pool" about six feet across and ten feet long.

I fished upriver with a goddard caddis, and the first one I hooked was enormous! I only saw it as it did a sort of side-jump thing for the fly. It had to be at least 18 inches, but snapped my tippet immediately right in the middle where I might have had a knot or something.

Tippet replaced, I tied on an egg-laying caddis and managed to land 4 big guys, all over 14 inches from the same little spot! I lost two more just as I was landing them because I didn't have my net, but I put them all back anyway.

I'm surprised I managed to fool the big guys and it was the most exciting thing to have a fish on that actually had your reel screaming! Being right around some very rapid water it was exhilarating to have them going in and across the rapids, always afraid of losing them with each pass.

Now with a few larger trout under my belt, I think I'm ready to start fishing some more difficult waters. I've had fun fishing where the stocked guys strike on every cast, but its spoiling me and there's much more to fly fishing. I've built up my confidence, and I've gone from the Fly fishing "Idiot" to Fly fishing "Intermediate" level. Bring on the trout!


P.S. And yes, all the bait fisherman (and even some fly fisherman) got skunked again! I love caddisflies :)
"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
Adirman
Adirman's profile picture
Monticello, NY

Posts: 479
Adirman on May 29, 2012May 29th, 2012, 12:33 pm EDT
Congrats to you! Nothing wrong with gaining a little confidence cuz trust me, you'll go through plently of fishless days also!!
Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on May 29, 2012May 29th, 2012, 12:34 pm EDT
Great report. Go get 'em!
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Jesse
Jesse's profile picture
Posts: 378
Jesse on May 29, 2012May 29th, 2012, 2:02 pm EDT
I like it man keep it up. Confidence kills baby ha enjoy it.
Most of us fish our whole lives..not knowing its not the fish that we are after.
http://www.filingoflyfishing.com
Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on May 29, 2012May 29th, 2012, 6:02 pm EDT
Nick,

Sounds like you are the one hooked here mister...:)

The trick, from where I sit, is that every time out you will learn a little something new and over a lifetime it will add up to something. Most approach the river with a pre-set mind and this can get in the way of the learning. Do your homework before you get to the stream and then let the river and the trout tell you whats going on...I've seen guys slashing the river in to a froth with their favorite pattern only to be told over and over again, "Not tonight mister!" Then, at breakfast, the next morning they complain about how poorly the river fished. When that really wasn't the case.

You are at the beginning of much fun...Confidence can be a big plus but, as someone mentioned above, just when you think you have it all figured out you get spanked...I'm 58 and have fished all my life and its nice to share big fish pictures and success stories, but I'm sitting here obsessing over the fish I was unable to catch this time up...These puzzles are what keeps me heading back to the stream.

Nice story...Your excitement is shared here on TroutNut.

Tightlines!

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
FisherOfMen
FisherOfMen's profile picture
NY

Posts: 115
FisherOfMen on May 29, 2012May 29th, 2012, 6:45 pm EDT
True, Spence. I've been using caddis dries exclusively, and I can see myself getting skunked amidst a ton of mayflies slugging out my best tied goddard caddis ;)
"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 30, 2012May 30th, 2012, 1:23 pm EDT
I'm sitting here obsessing over the fish I was unable to catch this time up


Glad to know I'm not the only one, Spence.

"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
FisherOfMen
FisherOfMen's profile picture
NY

Posts: 115
FisherOfMen on Jun 3, 2012June 3rd, 2012, 6:20 am EDT
Yup, it happened Spence. I couldn't catch a single little guy, but a hammered the big guys. Reason is, water speed. I was being too lazy to change to a slow-water caddis...
"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
Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Jun 3, 2012June 3rd, 2012, 6:27 pm EDT
Glad to know I'm not the only one, Spence.


These are the fish and the problems/puzzles that bring me back to the stream Louis...It's nice to catch big or many fish, but being reminded, from time-to-time, that you don't "know" everything keeps me interested. :)

The trouble with getting older is I'm wondering how much I may be forgetting. :) It's going in one ear and out the other.

I suppose Louis that you and I could find something to worry about that would be more important, in the big scheme of things, but no where as much fun, me thinks.

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

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