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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.
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Report at a Glance

General RegionBellefonte
Specific LocationShiloh Road Hatchery & below Axeman bridge
Dates FishedApril 13
Time of Day7:15 - 11:30 & 1:00 - 5:00
Fish CaughtNot much. Landed just eight all day
Conditions & HatchesWater is up. running at 155 cfs and very stained. Not stained as in coffee but stained as in gray/chalky color. Very warm, 73 by 11:30 & 82 by 5:00. Other than midges no hatching insects.

Details and Discussion

Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Apr 13, 2015April 13th, 2015, 5:08 pm EDT
Not much to say. Nymphed hard all day with two flies. Again caught all the fish on a #12 rusty orange Walt's Worm. Tried the rig where the BB goes on the bottom and you run two droppers off of the leader. I've started using those little 2 mm tippet rings. I clinch knot one to my Amnesia, then add 4' of 4x, then another tippet ring, then clinch knot a 24" piece of 4X and leave a 5" tag for the first fly, then another ring, then another piece of 4x with a dropper tag for the 2nd fly, and then tie an overhand knot at the end of the tippet and add my weight there. I used to get aquatic crap on my flies about every other cast. Using this method I got junk on my flies only about half a dozen times all day.

Toyed with the idea of getting a motel room but the fishing wasn't good enough to justify the expense. Tomorrow a little yard work for a couple of hours then up to fish the Tulpehocken near Reading. Heard the midges are hatching and the trout are rising. Pretty early in the year to be going to 7X.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Martinlf's profile picture
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Apr 13, 2015April 13th, 2015, 9:31 pm EDT
Well, at least you didn't get skunked, Matt. We all pay our dues at times, and on tough days (we all have them) I'm getting in the habit of saying, "Well, at least I got some much needed exercise to keep me in shape for those days when the fish rise for hours." Let's hope those days come soon.

P.S. Which dropper did the fish seem to like--upper or lower?
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Posts: 287
Feathers5 on Apr 14, 2015April 14th, 2015, 5:41 am EDT
How far was the shot from your second fly, Matt?
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Apr 14, 2015April 14th, 2015, 5:55 am EDT
P.S. Which dropper did the fish seem to like--upper or lower?

Six of the fish ate the bottom fly.

How far was the shot from your second fly, Matt?

8" - 9". By using the high stick method with the drop shot you can really keep the string of flies and the shot close to vertical so the flies are spread out in the water column. I probably would reduce the distance from the bottom fly to the shot if I wasn't getting any takes. Come to think of it maybe my shot was too far from the bottom fly yesterday considering I was landing just one fish an hour.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Posts: 106
MiltRPowell on Apr 14, 2015April 14th, 2015, 6:42 am EDT
Huh, interesting, on the rigs. I have never tryed the tippet rings. But been reading alot on them. I always tagged at times, sounds as if you had some fancy rigs going on yesterday. This is one of the things of flyfishing I have come to love. There always something to try, or try ta do. Maybe I am trying ta say, never boring, the sport ta me if you want it to be is end-less. Styles, rod wts, line wts, And even a bad day of fishing can be made ta make the man, pull rabbits out of his hat for just one more tight line. It's a good thing anyway you look at it.
Cause to a poor day of fishing, lays the ground work for a great day with the rod another day.
PaulRoberts's profile picture

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on Apr 15, 2015April 15th, 2015, 5:01 pm EDT
Thanks for the report, Matt. Fun to follow along.

Not sure where your streams are at now. I've found that in cold water -and/or prior to the first big hatches- the fish are often hunkered close to the substrate, in quieter pockets and divots out of the flow. Also cold flow is denser, thicker, and acts on the leader and tippet more than warmer water does. I tend to use more weight and keep it closer to the fly then, Weighted flies make the most sense although I'd avoided the hassles of having to have flies of various weights, using shot instead. But the Euro nymphing stuff has had me beginning to look more kindly on "beadheads".

I suppose your streams are breaking 50F now? Nymphing can be such a challenge that even in "warmer" water I still do best hugging the substrate, which helps in slowing the fly -detaching it from the leader/indicator/line/...terra firma.

This is probably stuff you already know, Matt, or already have your own ideas on. I'm doing my fishing vicariously now. But the trout fishing hallucinations are starting, which means I'm almost home.

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