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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.

Lateral view of a Female Sweltsa borealis (Chloroperlidae) (Boreal Sallfly) Stonefly Adult from Harris Creek in Washington
I was not fishing, but happened to be at an unrelated social event on a hill above this tiny creek (which I never even saw) when this stonefly flew by me. I assume it came from there. Some key characteristics are tricky to follow, but process of elimination ultimately led me to Sweltsa borealis. It is reassuringly similar to this specimen posted by Bob Newell years ago. It is also so strikingly similar to this nymph from the same river system that I'm comfortable identifying that nymph from this adult. I was especially pleased with the closeup photo of four mites parasitizing 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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Jmd123 has attached these 4 pictures. The message is below.
Biggest brookie I've seen in a while!
Smaller but so beautiful
Sunset over the Pond
Tonight's haul - no catch and release here!!
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Sep 23, 2015September 23rd, 2015, 7:14 pm EDT
I didn't make it out enough during the earlier part of trout season, so I'm trying to make up for it now. And we have a stretch of most beautiful weather, sunny with mid-70s during the day and down into the fifties at night, and nice and stable! Perfect pond fishing weather, so I took the kayak out on [REDACTED] Pond both Monday and this afternoon (until dark both days). I haven't gotten a lot of big brookies out of here lately, worried that too many people are ignoring or just plain don't know the regulations and are keeping them at 8" (supposed to be 15"!) And last year I caught a lot of little perch, not worth keeping and worrisome that they were getting stunted...

Monday my first brookie was 11 inches! The Pond lives!!! Caught four more and missed a fair number of hits, biggest of the rest was 9" but they were so beautiful. All on dries, first two on a #10 modified Joe's Hopper (a consistently successful favorite of mine), then two on a grey EHC #12 and the last on a #12 White Wulff. The last fly because at dusk there were some fairly large white mayflies showing up and plenty of rising fish! First time I've been there this year (and first time in my kayak this year as well) and it proved to be worth it. I felt reassured!

Then today the brookie action was much slower, two on the same hopper pattern was all I could conjure up (missed some little guys too) but the bigger one was so pretty I had to snap a photo. No flies, almost no risers, so I decided to put on a #10 silver/grey KBF and toss it around. Nothing until I parked in a group of snags and started hammering yellow perch, all keepers! I ended up with 11 of them flopping around in the bow, until I finally went back to the Wulff and missed a last few brookie strikes as a few of those big white mayflies appeared again, right before dark...

Ephoron? Are they pond dwellers too? Surprised to be still seeing big mayflies on the 23rd of September, but we've had another wacky year weather wise.

I might head back out there again tomorrow after class (get to take them to Clark's Marsh tomorrow) and give it another go, after all it closes on September 30th at midnight...

Jonathon

P.S. I told my folks if they came back up again I'd get them a perch dinner!
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Partsman
Partsman's profile picture
bancroft michigan

Posts: 321
Partsman on Sep 24, 2015September 24th, 2015, 3:16 pm EDT
Wow, way to go Jonathon, beautiful pics of some cool fish. Is there a fish fry in the near future. Perch and walleye are my favorite fish to eat, some drakes batter and a little peanut oil and man you got heaven on earth,through in your favorite beer and it gets no better. I didn't get up this past Tuesday, got some home chores that need to get done, but I think Tuesday is a go! Anyway good luck and get out there.

Mike.
TNEAL
GRAYLING. MICHIGAN

Posts: 278
TNEAL on Sep 25, 2015September 25th, 2015, 4:54 am EDT
Makin' me hungry... one of the few fish that are better than brookies...
Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Sep 25, 2015September 25th, 2015, 12:56 pm EDT
Nice mess-o-perch there Jonathon! Can't show them to the wife since she'd be in the car heading your way. She loves perch.

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

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