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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 Neoleptophlebia (Leptophlebiidae) Mayfly Nymph from the Yakima River in Washington
Some characteristics from the microscope images for the tentative species id: The postero-lateral projections are found only on segment 9, not segment 8. Based on the key in Jacobus et al. (2014), it appears to key to Neoleptophlebia adoptiva or Neoleptophlebia heteronea, same as this specimen with pretty different abdominal markings. However, distinguishing between those calls for comparing the lengths of the second and third segment of the labial palp, and this one (like the other one) only seems to have two segments. So I'm stuck on them both. It's likely that the fact that they're immature nymphs stymies identification in some important way.
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.

Troutnut
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Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Jul 2, 2007July 2nd, 2007, 4:37 pm EDT
I'll try to post more about this soon, because I don't have much time to include details now -- I've been really busy. But my first impression of fishing in interior Alaska is pretty good!

For my first trip we drove up to a grayling stream for about 2.5 hours. My first grayling was 8 3/8" and hit on my fifth cast or so. I caught 26 total, up to about 14 inches. My dad caught about ten, too. There was no sign of anyone else fishing.

The next day we floated 8 miles of another grayling stream. I caught 70 and my dad caught 34, with an average size of about 14 inches and about five fish in the 17-18" range. Beautiful water.

The next day we flew out to a big series of lakes and lowland river channels packed with northern pike and fished for about 13 hours straight, until about 12:30am when the sun went down. There was no need for a flashlight, not at any time of night. I caught 50 pike on the fly and my dad caught 34 on spinning gear. Most were 23-26" and about five were around 30", with my biggest taping out at 30.5". That's my biggest pike yet.

One of the most unexpected things up here is the weather in Fairbanks -- it's beautiful almost all the time in the summer. Mid-70s to low 80s in the day, 50s at night, and it's light 24/7. It's a wide open space on the edge of a huge river valley bordered by the Yukon-Tanana highlands (small mountains) to the north and, far to the south, the Alaska Range and Denali. It has a real "big place" feel to it. The sky is almost always beautiful -- neither flatly overcast nor uniformly clear blue, but usually a pretty mixture of puffy and wispy clouds. I've only been here for a week, but several people have told me it's always like this here in the summer.

In a few days we're going on a 4-day guided float down a river with king and red salmon, rainbow trout, and grayling. In the meantime I'm going to try to get some pictures online and hope my fingers heal up from the various line-burns and pike tooth gashes attained yesterday.

Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
JAD
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Alexandria Pa

Posts: 362
JAD on Jul 3, 2007July 3rd, 2007, 12:05 am EDT


Good for you Jason

Sounds the the Right guy in the Right Place at the Right Time.

John Dunn

They fasten red (crimson red) wool around a hook, and fix onto the wool two feathers which grow under a cock’s wattles, and which in colour are like wax.
Radcliffe's Fishing from the Earliest Times,
CaseyP
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Arlington, VA/ Mercersburg, PA

Posts: 653
CaseyP on Jul 3, 2007July 3rd, 2007, 7:17 am EDT
hey, don't worry about entertaining us just now--we're all out fishing our fingers off. make a couple notes and when that sky is only full of stars 19 hours out of the day (night?)then you can sit down and amuse us all. gee, it does sound just great, though...your condo sleeps how many? just kidding!
p.s. are the mosquitos really three times the size?
"You can observe a lot by watching." Yogi Berra
IEatimago
Spring Mills, PA

Posts: 97
IEatimago on Jul 3, 2007July 3rd, 2007, 10:50 am EDT
congratulation's, sounds amazing i am exited to see pictures
enjoy your trip!
Troutnut
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Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Jul 3, 2007July 3rd, 2007, 9:12 pm EDT
Surprisingly the skeeters aren't bad at all -- yet. I have seen a couple that seem like bigger species than what we have in the lower 48, but most so far are about the same size. Out in the open on the river, or with any kind of breeze, they seem to stay away completely. They seem to mostly come out very late at night when it's very calm, and then they can be pretty bad if you're up on shore. They're certainly annoying then, but I haven't seen them even close to as bad as they are in northern Wisconsin at times. (Anyone who fishes the White in Bayfield County and hasn't been carried away by the little vampires can back me up on that.)

I want to stress that this is my initial impression, and I may change my mind about all this in a couple days. I'll be doing a 4-day float/camping trip on a river infamous for its nasty mosquitoes, so if they're bad anywhere it'll probably be there.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
GONZO
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on Jul 4, 2007July 4th, 2007, 4:41 am EDT
Hey, Jason, speaking of AK's biting insects, we encountered a nasty little bugger that the locals call "white socks" on the Kenai in late September and early October. It's a tiny fly (no idea about the scientific ID) that leaves an irritating, itchy welt. I was surprised to be dealing with biting insects in the rain, snow, and cold at the end of the season in AK. I don't know if they're found inland at your location, but the guides' solution was to pull out the bottle of nail polish they use to modify their bead eggs and paint it on the affected area. Some of our party were wearing pretty pink spots for much of that trip. (That was more than my pride would bear, so I suffered stoically and scratched.) In light of the incredible Dolly and rainbow fishing at that time of year, however, both the white socks and the nasty weather were only minor inconveniences.

PS--I'm focusing on biting nasties only because I'm so jealous of the amazing fishing you've reported. You certainly deserve some good fun in your new home, but you might consider fabricating a bad report just to keep us from turning green with envy! :)
Taxon
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Site Editor
Plano, TX

Posts: 1311
Taxon on Jul 4, 2007July 4th, 2007, 8:21 am EDT


we encountered a nasty little bugger that the locals call "white socks" on the Kenai in late September and early October. It's a tiny fly (no idea about the scientific ID) that leaves an irritating, itchy welt.

Gonzo-

That would be the infamous Whitestockinged Black Fly (Simulium venustum).
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
www.FlyfishingEntomology.com
CaseyP
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Arlington, VA/ Mercersburg, PA

Posts: 653
CaseyP on Jul 4, 2007July 4th, 2007, 10:19 am EDT
you guys all need to know about teething medicine and bug bites. if you apply a popular teething medicine/mouth pain reliever to the bite as soon as you notice it, it will go away. guaranteed. carry one of the little bottles or tubes in your vest at all times. works like a charm on poison ivy too. honest!! i cannot express how much of a difference this has made in my enjoyment of the outdoors.
"You can observe a lot by watching." Yogi Berra
GONZO
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on Jul 4, 2007July 4th, 2007, 11:09 am EDT
Roger--thanks for the ID. I should have guessed that it was some sort of black fly.

Casey--thanks for passing along the home remedy. It certainly sounds better than walking around with pink splotches of nail polish on one's face and arms!

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