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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.

Lateral view of a Female Sweltsa borealis (Chloroperlidae) (Boreal Sallfly) Stonefly Adult from Harris Creek in Washington
I was not fishing, but happened to be at an unrelated social event on a hill above this tiny creek (which I never even saw) when this stonefly flew by me. I assume it came from there. Some key characteristics are tricky to follow, but process of elimination ultimately led me to Sweltsa borealis. It is reassuringly similar to this specimen posted by Bob Newell years ago. It is also so strikingly similar to this nymph from the same river system that I'm comfortable identifying that nymph from this adult. I was especially pleased with the closeup photo of four mites parasitizing this one.
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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Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on Aug 7, 2012August 7th, 2012, 8:40 pm EDT
Very well put, Jonathan.

Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on Aug 9, 2012August 9th, 2012, 10:17 pm EDT
Anyone else proud to be a little... off?
Don't know if I'm really proud of it, Shawn, but I certainly wouldn't try to deny it. ;)

Just to follow up on Jonathon's point:

On the morning of Sept. 11 (yes, that one), a buddy and I were setting up to float the West Branch of the Delaware. A couple of other guys pulled into the lot at Balls Eddy, and they came over to ask if we'd been listening to the radio. We said no (ironically, we'd been listening to tapes of Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead on the trip to the river--no kidding!). They told us what they had heard and said that they weren't sure they were going to fish. "Seems kinda crazy, now," the one guy said. "Or maybe it's the only sane thing to do," I replied.

We fished, and I'll never forget the beautiful clear blue sky on that day, but the fishing seemed unusually bad, perhaps because I was unusually distracted (not a problem I can ever remember having before while fishing).
PaulRoberts's profile picture

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on Aug 10, 2012August 10th, 2012, 5:28 am EDT
Anyone else proud to be a little... off?

Proud? ... Defensive maybe, at times.

My wife (mad at me the other night) blurted out, "Who else would spend HOURS writing in a fishing journal???" That's ... weird!" Glad I have you guys, although it would help a little if the number of posters were larger.

My mom, referring to me, once said, "There's nothing better than a good fanatic." It was meant to be a compliment.
Martinlf's profile picture
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Aug 10, 2012August 10th, 2012, 6:01 am EDT
Yes, we must appear odd to our wives. Last night my better half called me up from my basement tying room (little bigger than a closet) and said, "What were you doing down there for hours?" I just shrugged. "Tying up some nymphs," wouldn't have meant anything to her, no matter how it were explained. We talked a little, she went to bed, and I went back down to finish.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on Aug 10, 2012August 10th, 2012, 6:38 am EDT
I just shrugged. "Tying up some nymphs,"

Her next thought was probably, "Why doesn't he just go buy some worms?" or "If he gave me all the money he spends on fishing, we'd eat surf and turf every night."

I don't think bait fishermen are equally misunderstood.

Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
PaulRoberts's profile picture

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on Aug 10, 2012August 10th, 2012, 8:05 am EDT
Actually, I've known some pretty intense "bait fisherman". I think it's a personality trait, and the natural world is just big enough to really suck some of us in.
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Aug 10, 2012August 10th, 2012, 8:40 am EDT
Guys, I am quite proud of being a little "off". I've known it all my life and I have no problem with it. Why be "normal" and "average"? That's freaking BORING. Sorry, but I'm NOT "Joe Six Pack". Get over it, world. If we were all the same, our society would stagnate! It's us oddballs that move things forward and shake things up.

I am planning a 4-day backpacking trip to Isle Royale National Park, an island in Lake Superior, for Labor Day weekend. (Of course I'm taking at least one fly rod, and you can all expect a fishing report after I return.) I will be going there with the President of Alpena Community College, who's been wanting to go ever since he read a wonderful book about backcountry adventures on the island (he leant it to me recently). Well, he thought for some reason that my teaching schedule was Monday - Wednesday and he planned the trip acordingly. Turns out, as I had suspected, that I teach Tuesday - Thursday, and that if we left on Wednesday I would be missing my second lecture and first lab. After informing him of this, he suggested that I find a substitute teacher or make some other arrangements. Consulting with one of his vice presidents, who I had met earlier this summer, he got this response:

"As you know, Jonathon is quite unique and I'm not sure anyone else could handle the lecture or lab in quite the same way."

I took it as PURE compliment.

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
WestCO's profile picture
Palisade, CO

Posts: 65
WestCO on Aug 10, 2012August 10th, 2012, 5:01 pm EDT
Are these the same "ants" or river wasps that Rene Harrop writes about? In his book Reading The Water he says he's a bit concerned that they could have a parasitic effect on other aquatic life, but he's uncertain. Similar to Zebra Muscles, I wonder if these little guys could multiply to the point where they would wipe out other bugs.
...but fishermen I have noticed, they don't care if I'm rich or poor, wearing robes or waders, all they care about is the fish, the river, and the game we play. For fishermen, the only virtues are patience, tolerance, and humility. I like this.

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