Header image
Enter a name
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.

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.

Report at a Glance

General RegionNortheast
Specific LocationWest Branch of the Delaware River
Dates FishedJuly 2-4
Time of DayNoon to dark
Fish CaughtBrowns and a Rainbow
Conditions & HatchesSunny first two days, wind, and on the Fourth, downpours and wind. It was also cooler than normal all three days. Flows were low, 200-250 CFS, and the water was gin clear. I saw invarias, dortheas, acentrellas??, and some maccaffertium duns

Details and Discussion

Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Jul 5, 2007July 5th, 2007, 1:29 am EDT
Eight fish hooked, all but one 14-20 inches, five landed up to about 17 or 18 inches. The biggest fish, 20 or more inches, broke the last Orvis knot I'll ever tie, but more on that in the knots thread. I did get a very good look at this fish, which had not made any strong runs when the knot failed. This was a good trip for me, though with a little less rain the last day might have been better. Still, I'm always thankful to get a nice sized brown on the upper West Branch to eat a dry fly, and that happened twice for me. Both of those fish were landed.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
GONZO
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on Jul 5, 2007July 5th, 2007, 4:31 am EDT
Hi Louis,

Sounds like conditions were pretty challenging, but I guess that is to be expected on the WB at those water levels. You must have been dragging your canoe in a few spots. Glad to hear that you got a few of those fickle fish to take. Tough luck about the knot on the big fish, but better to have loved and lost....
Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Jul 5, 2007July 5th, 2007, 6:12 am EDT
Jeff advised me not to even think about putting my boat in, so I was wading the Deposit area and the Gamelands. Those Ph.D fish piled it higher and deeper often. It was only thanks to tricks you guys have taught me that this blind pig found an acorn or two here and there. My best defense was a nymph dropped off a dry, and the last fish I caught, a very energetic 16 incher in the Gamelands took a sulphur wet fly dropped off a glow spinner. He made several long runs in the dark and had me wondering just what I'd find if I ever netted him. The big fish that broke the Orvis knot (which wasn't under all that much stress when it snapped, by the way) took my last brown polycase nymph. Back to the vise.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
GONZO
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on Jul 5, 2007July 5th, 2007, 6:55 am EDT
Yeah, I was wondering about that. I've found that the water needs to be about twice that level for a decent float. Sorry you didn't get to use your canoe; I know how much you love that. It doesn't look like the Water Masters are being very generous to fishermen or to trout this summer.
JOHNW
JOHNW's profile picture
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
JOHNW on Jul 5, 2007July 5th, 2007, 7:20 am EDT
Louis,
Any sign of Iso's? I know we are out of the prime time but you never know.......

How was the temp on the mainstem running? I've developed a fondness for the "Big D" over the "Branches" the last two summers.
JW
"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn
Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Jul 5, 2007July 5th, 2007, 9:36 am EDT
JW, I didn't see any, but one clearly knowledgeable angler I talked with recommended running an Iso down a seam if nothing else was going on. He said they were still hatching sporadically throughout the day. I didn't talk with anyone who was fishing the big D, and Jeff at the Delaware River Club would have recommended it if it was fishing well. He too prefers the big D, and I always try to fish it some when I can. I didn't check the temp for the upper river, but it was hitting near 70 downstream at Lordville or Callicoon. From what I heard, there were few bugs at Junction Pool, and only evenings. Even the Gamelands was relatively quiet and only saw some action at dusk. Deposit and Stilesville were the places to fish, and there were plenty of sulphurs there from 1-5, and later, especially in Deposit on Wednesday in the rain. Too bad almost no fish were rising.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
JOHNW
JOHNW's profile picture
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
JOHNW on Jul 6, 2007July 6th, 2007, 3:47 am EDT
Louis,
I get a litle turned around up there. Is Stilesville above or below Deposit? I remember fishing a section off of 17 where there was a small pull off just upstream of a small pasture between the road and the river. Not quite sure if it has a specific name or not.

Most of my experiences up there are from the vicinity of the 191 bridge (by the Wild Rainbow shop) down and then the mainstem down to Stockport. Believe it or not I have NEVER fished the Gamelands. I may need to remedy that this summer/fall.
John


edited to add re: farm lot
"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn
Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Jul 6, 2007July 6th, 2007, 4:12 am EDT
JW, Stilesville (I hope I'm spelling it right; I only had oral directions to it) is upstream from Deposit. This was my first time fishing there, and the first time I waded the Gamelands. I typically float in my canoe to try to find some less educated fish (a hopeless pursuit anywhere on the Delaware it seems). I've floated the East and West Branches, and the main stem down to Callicoon--not at one time, of course :). This was my first wading trip in years, and although the conditions were tough with the low clear water, I liked the ease of getting around and the way fish were stacked up. It was easier to find fish, though perhaps harder to get one on. I always approach the Delaware with both excitement and dread (due to several sound skunkings there), but I'm learning to get over the dread. I think.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Davez
Pennsylvania

Posts: 59
Davez on Jul 9, 2007July 9th, 2007, 5:29 am EDT
hey, 8 fish is not bad on the D, especially with the low conditions. I'd say you did well. If you were working fish the entire time, thats all you can hope for. The gamelands is very good.

I might be up there in mid/late august if they are generous enough to allow enough water to float it.

Unlike most guys, I go there to streamer fish and night fish. But have landed a 25 incher one year on a spinner. that was pretty memorable. its the rod stopping streamer takes that get me going back.

Night fishing can get good- when the giant stones are happening, or tight lining a mouse down and across.

fun fun fun!

Dave

Quick Reply

Related Discussions

Topic
Replies
Last Reply
0
Aug 22, 2008
by Wbranch
14
May 27, 2016
by Adirman
Troutnut.com is copyright © 2004-2024 (email Jason). privacy policy