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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.

Lateral view of a Clostoeca disjuncta (Limnephilidae) (Northern Caddisfly) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
This one was surprisingly straightforward to identify. The lack of a sclerite at the base of the lateral hump narrows the field quite a bit, and the other options followed fairly obvious characteristics to Clostoeca, which only has one species, Clostoeca disjuncta.
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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By Troutnut on April 30th, 2014
In this area, the first place to catch grayling each year is also one of the least idyllic places in Alaska to fish, a spring-fed slough in downtown North Pole where many of the Chena River's grayling congregate to spawn. It runs low and clear while all the other rivers in the area are high, turbid, and still holding more icebergs than grayling. The angling pressure at popular access points looked more like the Catskills than Alaska, but I was still excited to catch my first fish in months. The grayling were abundant and eager, and I enjoyed ridiculously easy fishing on nymphs and more interesting action on dries for a couple hours before I tired of the highway buzz and the gas station scenery and headed home. Soon, water levels will drop and the real Alaska will be ready for play.

Photos by Troutnut from Badger Slough in Alaska

First fish of 2014
A decent grayling for this stream
Badger Slough in Alaska

On-stream insect photos by Troutnut from Badger Slough in Alaska

The least welcome sign of spring

From Badger Slough in Alaska

Comments / replies

Catskilljon
Upstate NY

Posts: 160
Catskilljon on May 2, 2014May 2nd, 2014, 3:28 am EDT
Wow, those pictures are really nice! I have seen photo's of Grayling but didn't realize they were so colorful...your shots are great.

Glad to see another is finally getting into some fish, sheesh this has been a slow start. CJ
Kschaefer3
Kschaefer3's profile picture
St. Paul, MN

Posts: 376
Kschaefer3 on May 2, 2014May 2nd, 2014, 7:30 am EDT
I agree with CJ, beautiful fish! The colors that comes off grayling when the light hits them is incredible.
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on May 2, 2014May 2nd, 2014, 10:37 am EDT
Nice fishies, Jason! Congrats on finally getting out with a fly rod. You got mosquitos already??? We haven't even seen them around here yet, and I think it's actually going to be a while...

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on May 2, 2014May 2nd, 2014, 6:02 pm EDT
Jason,

Good stuff! Makes me wonder what it may have been like fishing for them in the Au Sable before they completely disappeared in the nineteen-teens sometime. A beautiful fish...

I've mentioned it here before but the only Grayling left in Grayling is in the Grayling restaurant, hanging on the wall. If I remember it sometime I'll take a picture of it.

If you are struggling with a little civilization in Alaska, I'm wondering how you are ever going to make it "down in the lower 48". :)

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
PaulRoberts
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Colorado

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on May 2, 2014May 2nd, 2014, 7:03 pm EDT
Stunning grayling. Oh my! What beautiful colors. Oh my.
Martinlf
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Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on May 12, 2014May 12th, 2014, 3:37 am EDT
Beautiful, Jason. Thanks.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell

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