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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 Onocosmoecus (Limnephilidae) (Great Late-Summer Sedge) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
This specimen keys pretty easily to Onocosmoecus, and it closely resembles a specimen from Alaska which caddis expert Dave Ruiter recognized as this genus. As with that specimen, the only species in the genus documented in this area is Onocosmoecus unicolor, but Dave suggested for that specimen that there might be multiple not-yet-distinguished species under the unicolor umbrella and it would be best to stick with the genus-level ID. I'm doing the same for 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.
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.

By Troutnut on May 15th, 2014
I drove south to North Pole in the evening to check out a couple of clear, spring-fed sloughs and try to catch a round whitefish for burbot bait. After a couple hours drifting nymphs through deep pools, I finally got one.

In the meantime I caught a dozen or so grayling. These sloughs often have good fishing during the grayling spawning run, but that seems to have ended already. I caught several small to medium grayling, but mostly the sloughs were packed full of yearling 3-inchers, for which they are a year-round nursery. They were rising like crazy to a midge hatch... fun to watch, if not to fish.

Photos by Troutnut from Piledriver Slough in Alaska

Three-inch grayling. Hundreds of fish were rising all around me to an intense midge emergence. Unfortunately, this was one of the biggest ones.
Piledriver Slough in Alaska

Comments / replies

Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on May 17, 2014May 17th, 2014, 5:48 pm EDT
Only in Alaska can words like "I drove south to North Pole..." make sense! :) Fun photo mini-essay!
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
PaulRoberts's profile picture

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on May 17, 2014May 17th, 2014, 11:39 pm EDT
Only in Alaska can words like "I drove south to North Pole..." make sense!


Are we now trying to see who can post the smallest catches? I thought I had those honors, until Matt posted that shiner. Not sure we can beat the grayling however. :)
Motrout's profile picture
Posts: 319
Motrout on May 18, 2014May 18th, 2014, 8:28 am EDT
In that setting, I could stand around catching 3 inch grayling on dry flies all day long (and then get up excited to get back to it the next day!)

That's the thing about trout/other salmonids:the bigger ones are......bigger, but the little parr-marked ones are almost always prettier.
"I don't know what fly fishing teaches us, but I think it's something we need to know."-John Gierach
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on May 18, 2014May 18th, 2014, 9:20 am EDT
OK, if we are going to post pics of pretty little ones, I'll have to put more up on here from the Pine River, which grows some mighty pretty little rainbows and brookies...

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

Posts: 59
Gus on Jul 10, 2014July 10th, 2014, 3:09 pm EDT
that's the tiniest fish I've every seen!
Really cool pic above!
"How do you help that son of a bitch?"

"By taking him fishing"

-A River Runs Through It

GldstrmSam's profile picture
Fairbanks, Alaska

Posts: 212
GldstrmSam on Aug 7, 2014August 7th, 2014, 6:47 pm EDT
Haha! I saw these posts and just had to jump in.
This past July I was fishing off of the shore down in Homer with a buddy. We were throwing large bait-hooks rigged with herring. We were targeting pollock, rockfish, and small halibut that hang around the shallower water. Anyway, we were having a great time pulling in one pollock after another and my friend glanced at his hook and saw that he needed new bait. When he went to "reload" he got a closer look at the hook and saw that he actually had caught a halibut! Needless to say, it was only about the size of a nickel. Even so, he did better than me halibut wise that day...We still can't quite figure out how it hooked itself because it was hooked through the lip... :)
There is no greater fan of fly fishing than the worm. ~Patrick F. McManus
Cincinnati, OH

Posts: 13
TroutBums on Oct 9, 2014October 9th, 2014, 10:16 am EDT
What a beautiful little greying! That is the reward with fly fishing, you catch the most beautiful fish God has made. Like Motrout, big, small and in-between , they are all a thrill to catch.
Ted Holcomb

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