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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 Epeorus albertae (Heptageniidae) (Pink Lady) Mayfly Nymph from the East Fork Issaquah Creek in Washington
This specimen keys to the Epeorus albertae group of species. Of the five species in that group, the two known in Washington state are Epeorus albertae and Epeorus dulciana. Of the two, albertae has been collected in vastly more locations in Washington than dulciana, suggesting it is far more common. On that basis alone I'm tentatively putting this nymph in albertae, with the large caveat that there's no real information to rule out dulciana.
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 RegionSW Wisconsin
Specific LocationPierce County
Dates Fished03/09/2013
Time of Day10-4
Fish Caught2 Browns
Conditions & Hatches38 and slightly raining, after 2 pm steady rain.

Details and Discussion

Kschaefer3
Kschaefer3's profile picture
St. Paul, MN

Posts: 376
Kschaefer3 on Mar 11, 2013March 11th, 2013, 11:51 am EDT
I made a trip to a new river in WI this last Saturday. I have been on a hunt for bigger fish since they eluded me last season. My biggest on a spring creek was 14". Armed with sink tip and streamers, I was ready. My accomplice informed me we were at the right spot for big fish. It was the lower third of a spring creek. The water was slow and sandy with some very large deep pools and medium fast runs. After two hours we still had not tied into any. I was getting anxious because the gentleman I was fishing with was new to fly fishing. He grew up fishing this river with spin gear, but only started fly fishing this year. I was hoping to be a worthwhile teacher. He had talked up the big fish potential, so he didn't want to disappoint either. Finally, fishing through a 2.5-3 ft run, a fish swirled and it was on. Despite missing the fly and hooking itself in the side, I was excited to see some action. I quickly landed this healthy male brown of around 16".
I was excited, but now I wanted to get my partner hooked up. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. However, I managed to get one more. I was casting streamers upstream and working them back through stretches. At this point, I lost my line control and it started going slack. When I regained control, there was some weight. I popped a hook set...fish on. This one, unlike the last, ate my fly. Hooked in the corner with the rest of the fly in it's mouth. A little bit nicer than the last, I put this female around 18".

Both fish caught on this fly that I tied:

All in all a great day. I fished with someone new, got two quality fish and have a new river to explore. Best of all, from work to this river is about an hour. Finally some quality trout water within an hour of work! Hopefully I am no longer stuck being a weekend warrior.
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Mar 11, 2013March 11th, 2013, 11:57 am EDT
Great job Kyle! Were u using a sink tip or full sinking line? That fly pretty much resembles a Slump Buster.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Kschaefer3
Kschaefer3's profile picture
St. Paul, MN

Posts: 376
Kschaefer3 on Mar 11, 2013March 11th, 2013, 12:07 pm EDT
Good catch, Matt. I use full sinking line. It was the first time I used that fly too. The wool head acts really nice in the water. Much more similar to deer hair than I was expecting. It dodges and darts like a sculpin and doesn't roll on me like some of mine have.
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Mar 11, 2013March 11th, 2013, 1:00 pm EDT
Kyle,

"Good catch,"

You'd have to get up very early in the morning to put one over on me. The color of the line was a dead giveaway.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Ike
MN

Posts: 14
Ike on Mar 12, 2013March 12th, 2013, 7:11 pm EDT
love that area. i went last saturday and hooked into a few 12" on nymphs. i had never gone while the snow was out but had so much fun im going again next thursday and saturday!
PaulRoberts
PaulRoberts's profile picture
Colorado

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on Mar 13, 2013March 13th, 2013, 7:49 am EDT
Very nice! Love the fly too. I have always loved streamer fishing. Nothing ... anal... about it.

Hey, a suggestion: Lose the full sink and go to a weighted leader set-up. You'll love it. Made to order for streams and streamers. Search "leadcore" on this site for details. Actually, here are some links:

http://www.troutnut.com/topic/6852/2/Sinking-Lines-for-Rivers-and-Streams
http://www.troutnut.com/topic/6791/Weighted-leaders

Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Mar 13, 2013March 13th, 2013, 9:42 am EDT
Glad to see some fellow troutnuts catching trout this early in the year. I actually caught six rainbows back in January but that was through holes in the ice...I'm itching to get out the fly rods but it's just been too cold for me with this cold from hell I'm still getting over...but the steelies are running in the lower Au Sable, my consulting boss sent me a picture of a nice one he got on a spoon this morning. Time to get out the 8-weight and start warming up the casting arm...though I'm told the ponds on the upper Au Sable still have over two feet of ice on them! Ice fishing may spill over into fly fishing season this year...

In any case, beautiful fish, and yes I too love streamer fishing - the jolt of the strike going straight up your arm into your brain like an electric shock! My first flyrod trout last year was a 14" brown from the Rifle and he hit like a ton of bricks!

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Kschaefer3
Kschaefer3's profile picture
St. Paul, MN

Posts: 376
Kschaefer3 on Mar 13, 2013March 13th, 2013, 2:42 pm EDT
Matt - I thought I did get up early! That may just be the traces of college still stuck in me.

Ike - Me too! It is beautiful country. I just can't wait until the weather warms up so the fishing really gets going. Do you spend more time in WI or MN?

Paul - Thanks for the idea on weighted leaders. I read through some stuff and think it could work out very nicely. It would be nice to have a little more customization of length and sink rate. I may even switch out hole to hole so as to fish each stretch most effectively. Plus it gives a better range of streamer fishing. Full sink is great to keep the fly along the bottom and the retrieve horizontal, but that is not always desired. Plus a 24', 200gr line may be a little much for some of the skinny summer water.

Jonathon - There is something about the strike on a streamer. Even smaller fish hit with a vengeance.
the jolt of the strike going straight up your arm into your brain like an electric shock!
Exactly! That shock seems to affect the brain pretty significantly. I hope that cold of yours clears up and you are able to find some steelhead. I don't know if "shock" even justifies the feeling of one of those hitting a streamer:)
PaulRoberts
PaulRoberts's profile picture
Colorado

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on Mar 14, 2013March 14th, 2013, 8:04 am EDT
Don't get too complicated. Keep your flies wet. Not too much rigging time. I found that a single 30" to 40" piece covered a lot of water.
Kschaefer3
Kschaefer3's profile picture
St. Paul, MN

Posts: 376
Kschaefer3 on Mar 14, 2013March 14th, 2013, 10:58 am EDT
Don't get too complicated.

I do have a tendency to do that. I'll try to keep it simple. Huck some feathers and fur on a line with some weight and strip :)
Ike
MN

Posts: 14
Ike on Mar 14, 2013March 14th, 2013, 6:53 pm EDT
"Me too! It is beautiful country. I just can't wait until the weather warms up so the fishing really gets going. Do you spend more time in WI or MN?"

definitely WI, i usually take a few trips to whitewater and a few unnamed spring creeks but other than that you can find me around pierce county

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