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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.

Dorsal view of a Setvena wahkeena (Perlodidae) (Wahkeena Springfly) Stonefly Nymph from Mystery Creek #199 in Washington
As far as I can tell, this species has only previously been reported from one site in Oregon along the Columbia gorge. However, the key characteristics are fairly unmistakable in all except for one minor detail:
— 4 small yellow spots on frons visible in photos
— Narrow occipital spinule row curves forward (but doesn’t quite meet on stem of ecdysial suture, as it's supposed to in this species)
— Short spinules on anterior margin of front legs
— Short rposterior row of blunt spinules on abdominal tergae, rather than elongated spinules dorsally
I caught several of these mature nymphs in the fishless, tiny headwaters of a creek high in the Wenatchee Mountains.
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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Columbia county,NY

Posts: 76
Stokes on Jun 9, 2014June 9th, 2014, 5:57 am EDT
So far I've hit some Catskill streams at least once a week,sometimes twice,since the first week of May.Esopus above the portal,Woodland Creek and the West Kill up near Hunter Brook.Total fish caught=zero.Have seen no big hatches,a couple of Caddies,one stone fly and one swarm of what I think were midges.No fish rising,seen no fish,period.I feel my casting and presentation is adeqate,am able to keep a natural looking drift.These streams are rather small so I've been using my 2wt and 3wt mostly.I drive about 75 miles one way to reach these streams,get there between 8am and 9 and fish till 5 or 6pm,always midweek,so I've seen no other fisherman.Its getting frustrating.Either these streams are devoid of fish,or I suck or just have the worst luck.I did better last season during July and August,not much,but a couple of small fish at least.Next week I plan to go try the Schoharie Creek and Willowemoc and a small trib called Fir Brook.If this pattern continues I may give up and go back to drowning worms and drinking beer at the lake at the bottom of the hill,where I fished one half day this year and caught 2 trout.
Crepuscular's profile picture
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 920
Crepuscular on Jun 9, 2014June 9th, 2014, 8:52 am EDT
Stokes, I know this is unsolicited advice but I'll offer it anyway. At this time of year, and really since the middle of May, the emergences will be predominantly in the evenings, so you best chance of finding fish rising to aquatic insects will be during the evening hours. Also early May was tough, high water and cold temps made the fishing tough. Persistance will pay off!
Columbia county,NY

Posts: 76
Stokes on Jun 9, 2014June 9th, 2014, 9:31 am EDT
Thanks,Crep.That thought had crossed my mind,was thinking about starting out in the afternoon,or later in the a.m.Still having trouble with my left hand and shoulder and neck,so by 5 or 6pm I'm pretty well shot.I'm gonna get out to the stream by about noon or so and stay till dark next week.I have a feeling the floods over the last couple years has adversely affected the trout on the West Kill,as late as last fall there was still a lot of re-construction going on just upstream of where I fish.They've re-built the banks and the heavy equipment is gone this spring,I guess it may take a while till it returns to normal.Such a nice stretch of the creek,tho.
Columbia county,NY

Posts: 76
Stokes on Jun 20, 2014June 20th, 2014, 7:22 am EDT
Well the streak continues.Went to the Schoharie Creek yesterday.Got there at 2 pm and fished till 8.Saw 1 fish jump at the dry I was using with a nymph on a dropper.That was at about 2:30 in the afternoon.Not a thing after that.No bugs,no fish.I did get a chance to use my new 4wt Orvis Access for a full day,most of the creeks I've fished so far are too small for that 9 footer.Casts like a dream,its my new favorite rod.But then,every time I use one of the other rods,they become my favorite.At least the 6-8 hrs casting practice is having a positive effect on my casting skills,although I catch just as many fish on the lawn.
Johnvan61's profile picture

Posts: 9
Johnvan61 on Jun 22, 2014June 22nd, 2014, 3:54 pm EDT
Stokes, been there done that. First off my father taught me to stream fish, worms and spinning reel. He NEVER fished till after 6 P.M. Never till I started fly fishing understood why.HATCHES and NYMPHAL DRIFT! I started fly fishing 30years ago, I wanted to quit smoking and it worked, BUT I was working 2nd shift so I fished like you do pretty much 10 A.M. to 2 P.M. Very few trout for years. I am from western Massachusetts and one day discovered a tail water. The Farmington River in northwestern Connecticutt. It has it's waters released from the bottom of a dam so the water is ice cold! Just what the trout like. I have no idea what the Catskill rivers are, but it gets real scarce in western Massachusetts with everyone chasing the stocking truck and by July the rivers are way to hot to fish. I have been in the Farmington on a hot summer day and the water is still pretty cool, plus it has an upper and lower TMA , trout management area, catch and release. Not too far from the Farmington is the Housatonic, not too awful far from the Taconic State Parkway,ever hear of it? I recently moved to Florida, not sure if that was a mistake or not, but I dearly miss the Farmington. The Housatonic is nice but it warms up a bit more than the Farmington does. Check your area for a tail water OR take a drive up to Pleasant Valley or Riverton Ct.near CT. rte. 44. You will never regret it! BEEN THERE DONE THAT!---John
"my mind is like oatmeal"

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