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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.

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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Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Nov 4, 2012November 4th, 2012, 3:52 am EST
Hello all steelhead lovers! Kind of a last minute posting hear to see if anyone is interested in joining me for 2 - 3 days on the Erie creeks. I have reservations at the Sunset Motel for Mon & Tue with a possible Wed if it is good. Preferably looking for someone between York & State College that is willing to split on gas, for the miles we drive back & forth, and on the motel.

I've fished the major Erie creeks for four years and know my way around well. Elk is still in very fishable condition based on the flow at Brandy Run which is currently at 14 cfs. When Brandy is 6 - 13 cfs Elk will be green and good flow.

Leaving York at midnight tonight. PM me with phone number if interested in joining me if you live in York, Lancaster, Harrisburg, or anywhere along Rte 322 up to State College. I get 27 mpg on the highway so your share of gas will be modest.

Motel is $23 + tax per night/person.

Update on steelhead trip;

Monday - Hooked 14, landed 10
Tuesday - Hooked 10, landed 7
Wednesday - Hooked 7, landed 4

Two best fish were one hen of about 8# and an awesome male, of about 9#, with just a hint of a red stripe that ran 200' up the Cascade Pool on Elk and fought a solid ten minutes before I could tail him.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
JOHNW
JOHNW's profile picture
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
JOHNW on Nov 8, 2012November 8th, 2012, 12:13 pm EST
Nice report and Glad you had a good trip.
See any browns during your adventure?
"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Nov 8, 2012November 8th, 2012, 3:02 pm EST
John,

Saw a fellow next to me hook and land a very dark brown of about 6#. Fought like a wet dish rag. Talked to another guy who told me he caught five browns on one of the mile creeks.

BTW the creeks are pretty low and no rain is in the forecast. Unless you live within an hour of the area, or are a glutton for punishment, I'd not take a trip at this time. You can see my hooking numbers fell off each day I was there and to hook fish I had to fish the deeper pools.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.

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