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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 Holocentropus (Polycentropodidae) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
This one seems to tentatively key to Holocentropus, although I can't make out the anal spines in Couplet 7 of the Key to Genera of Polycentropodidae Larvae nor the dark bands in Couplet 4 of the Key to Genera of Polycentropodidae Larvae, making me wonder if I went wrong somewhere in keying it out. I don't see where that could have happened, though. It might also be that it's a very immature larva and doesn't possess all the identifying characteristics in the key yet. If Holocentropus is correct, then Holocentropus flavus and Holocentropus interruptus are the two likely possibilities based on range, but I was not able to find a description of their larvae.
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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Jmd123 has attached these 2 pictures. The message is below.
13-incher on a #12 white EHC
Colorful 14-inch brown on a #12 Light Cahill
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Sep 17, 2014September 17th, 2014, 7:38 pm EDT
Wow boys, I was about to give up on fly fishing for the season and start going to the range (the latter I have, shot at 600 yards for the first time ever yesterday but that's another story...). All of the effort I have put in has yielded nothing but little guys - the dreaded "small-fish curse" had me again...Well, with the end of our Michigan regular trout season rapidly approaching (30 September), and it being a nice day (for a change!), I decided to hit the Rifle where it will close in less than two weeks. I have not caught anything over 11 inches there this year, pathetic considering last year's biggest was 18 inches. But a raging Nectopsyche (White Miller) hatch and a scattering of leftover Light Cahills (?) put the nicer ones on the bite tonight. Though Nectopsyche does not attract that many fish to feed due to their skimming over the water without much touching it (other than little guys who like to leap out of the water after them), the first 13-incher hit a #12 all-white EHC out of silent water along the edge of the alders. Finally a nice one! This after the usual start of enthusiastic little guys...anyway, working upstream I keep seeing a cream-colored mayfly every now and then, hovering over the stream and a few riding the surface. Hmmm, he thinks, more available to the fish than those damned skimming caddis? On goes a #12 Light Cahill and next thing I know I have this 14-incher in pre-spawning trim leaping out of the water on me! Shortly thereafter a second 13-incher takes it, and then a few minutes later a 10-incher. Phew, I finally kicked the small-fish curse again! As the title says, better late than never... a few more tiny rainbows and my evening was done. Oh, no mosquitoes either!

These may not be big fish for the majority of our "masters" on this site, but they come from smaller, pressured waters, and compared to the rest of what I've caught this year they look pretty big to me. And sure felt good on the 3-weight too!!

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Sep 17, 2014September 17th, 2014, 8:50 pm EDT
Beautiful fish. Nice work, Jonathon.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Sep 18, 2014September 18th, 2014, 6:46 am EDT
Jonathon,

After the winter we have had some feel we may have lost a great many fish. It has been one of the odder Michigan trout season's on the Au Sable that I can remember, and many from around the state have told me similar stories...Those are nice Browns, but with what I have experienced this year those may well be trophies!

I'm wishing that you spared them the frying pan and placed them back in your stream so that they can spawn and help replenish our depleted trout populations.

I'm not sure if your "crick" is stocked, but upstream of the Mio dam where it's all wild trout this would have definitely been a good season to practice catch-and-release. That age class seemed to be hit hard up around Grayling and weren't all that easy to find this spring and summer.

Good job!

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
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Sep 18, 2014September 18th, 2014, 8:31 am EDT
Spence, they all go back in to live and fight another day. Trust me, some friends will berate me for this, but I just tell them, "They're just too PRETTY to kill!" The 14-incher leapt clear of the water twice and almost ended up in the alders on the second leap! And it was fun to catch them on a couple of my old favorites and also to figure out the "sub-hatch" that the bigger ones were targeting.

Honestly, I feel much better now!

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
TNEAL
GRAYLING. MICHIGAN

Posts: 278
TNEAL on Sep 18, 2014September 18th, 2014, 11:02 am EDT
Odd is as good a word for any to describe Michigan's AuSable trout population this year. Winter kill is bad on average winters. The seasoned and respected fly fishers I spoke with all agreed: Far less fish in the river this year. My experience mirrors those sentiments. If it was excessive fish kill, we will have a few more sparse years to contend with.
PaulRoberts
PaulRoberts's profile picture
Colorado

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on Sep 18, 2014September 18th, 2014, 3:35 pm EDT
Nice job, Jonathan! In the streams near me, those would be very nice browns.
Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Sep 19, 2014September 19th, 2014, 1:21 pm EDT
we will have a few more sparse years to contend with.


You are no-doubt correct here Tim...Lets hope for a slightly more temperate winter this time around.

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
Partsman
Partsman's profile picture
bancroft michigan

Posts: 321
Partsman on Sep 20, 2014September 20th, 2014, 5:34 am EDT
Nicely done Jonathon, those are beautiful fish. This summer has gone by far to fast for my liking. Fall is wonderful time to be outdoors here in Michigan but it seems be gone in blink also. I with everyone else in hoping for milder winter.

Mike

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