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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.

Case view of a Pycnopsyche guttifera (Limnephilidae) (Great Autumn Brown Sedge) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
It's only barely visible in one of my pictures, but I confirmed under the microscope that this one has a prosternal horn and the antennae are mid-way between the eyes and front of the head capsule.

I'm calling this one Pycnopsyche, but it's a bit perplexing. It seems to key definitively to at least Couplet 8 of the Key to Genera of Limnephilidae Larvae. That narrows it down to three genera, and the case seems wrong for the other two. The case looks right for Pycnopsyche, and it fits one of the key characteristics: "Abdominal sternum II without chloride epithelium and abdominal segment IX with only single seta on each side of dorsal sclerite." However, the characteristic "metanotal sa1 sclerites not fused, although often contiguous" does not seem to fit well. Those sclerites sure look fused to me, although I can make out a thin groove in the touching halves in the anterior half under the microscope. Perhaps this is a regional variation.

The only species of Pycnopsyche documented in Washington state is Pycnopsyche guttifera, and the colors and markings around the head of this specimen seem to match very well a specimen of that species from Massachusetts on Bugguide. So I am placing it in that species for now.

Whatever species this is, I photographed another specimen of seemingly the same species from the same spot a couple months later.
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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Wbranch has attached these 5 pictures. The message is below.
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Jan 18, 2016January 18th, 2016, 8:13 am EST
Having difficulties copying my pictures from Photobucket to place in my posts so I decided to take this easier route to post some pictures of Delaware rainbows.

The main stem Delaware is a big river by any standards. In many places it is over 300' wide and the mean flow is 2840 cfs. Late April to mid October the mean flow is about 1350 cfs.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Jan 18, 2016January 18th, 2016, 12:26 pm EST
Nice, Matt! What year were these taken?

We have a local fly shop owner here that once told me that the West Branch was the best dry-fly stream east of the Mississippi. Now he was trying to sell me on a guided trip there he was offering. :)

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
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Jan 18, 2016January 18th, 2016, 12:46 pm EST
Nice, Matt! What year were these taken?

We have a local fly shop owner here that once told me that the West Branch was the best dry-fly stream east of the Mississippi.


The first picture is quite recent I can tell from seeing my Brodin Ghost net. Maybe 3-4 years ago. The other two are pretty ancient!! I'd say circa 1968 - 1970. I just posted up a couple of journal entries from 1968 on another forum depicting how good the upper Delaware was then compared to now. But also to dispel the urban legend of how many really large rainbows are in the system. Far fewer than you would imagine after hearing all the hyperbole dripping out of the mouths of many guides and anglers.

I'll do a cut and paste and put it up here. At one time the entire Delaware system, East Branch, West Branch, and main stem were the best dry fly rivers east of the Mississippi. However I do not know if that is still the case. All three rivers have are experiencing siltation from three major floods in 2006, 2010, and 2011. Also rock snot is a major issue on the upper EB and upper EB and it is only a matter of time before it invades the entire watershed.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Jan 18, 2016January 18th, 2016, 12:54 pm EST
Spence,

Here is the post I was referring to that I put on another forum;

This post if off the initial thread but it does much to compare fishing on the upper Delaware of today to that of forty years ago. The following are a few no bullshit journal entries from September of 1973. Back then I taped every fish but was catching so many that it wasn't crucial to me so I rounded up, or down, in 1/2" increments. If it measured 17 3/8" it was logged at 17", if it measured 17 5/8" it was logged at 18". Notice just one brown trout.

September 09, 1973

1 - 15" rainbow
1 - 16" rainbow
2 - 17" rainbow
1 - 17.5" rainbow
2 - 19" rainbow

September 18, 1973

This was a good day!

3 - 10" rainbow
1 - 13" rainbow
1 - 15" rainbow
1 - 16" rainbow
1 - 16" brown
2 - 17" rainbow
1 - 17.5" rainbow

I have records for eight non consecutive trips in September. I put fifty-eight (58) trout from 10" - 19" into the net. Note this was forty-two (42) years ago when hardly anyone was fishing where I fished and I didn't land a single 20" trout of either species. But back then rainbows were king and as I mentioned the ratio was 5:1 or even 6:1. For this period it is skewed even more in favor of the rainbows. Only 13.7% of the trout landed were browns. I didn't do well in math but isn't that like an 8:1 ratio?
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Afishinado
SE PA

Posts: 75
Afishinado on Jan 19, 2016January 19th, 2016, 3:32 am EST
Hey Matt,

Great thread! I was born and raised in NE PA and fished the D River quite often back in the 70's as a teen. I can attest to all you posted above. Mostly rainbows and big rainbows with very few anglers fishing for them.

Back in the day there was no internet to check flows and temps from the unpredictable dam releases (Cannonsville is a coldwater bottom release dam). Our SOP was to drive to the River in the morning....stick our hands in the water...if it felt cold, we'd rig for trout....if it felt warm, we'd go downstream and fish for smallies. Those were the days!

Today there are many more brown trout, especially in the west branch nearer to the dam and there are MANY more anglers! I would have to say there are probably many more fish today overall, with some really big fish mixed in, especially big browns. But the catching is a lot tougher with competition from all the drift boats and angler traffic. Still, it's a great place to fish and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Thanks again for the thread, Matt!....good fishin'
Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Jan 27, 2016January 27th, 2016, 4:33 pm EST
My best day with bows on the Delaware came last season during Hendricksons. The water was low and clear, and the fishing tough. Some of the fish were caught on nymphs, but one of the big bows took a CDC Hendrickson comparadun. Here are the stats:

4 12-13”
3 16”
2 20”

"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Jan 27, 2016January 27th, 2016, 5:59 pm EST
Here are the stats:

4 12-13”
3 16”
2 20”


That is a very good day on the Delaware. A nine fish day is a very good day indeed.

My best dry fly day was also during Hendricksons and the numbers were also very good.

Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Al514
Al514's profile picture
Central New York

Posts: 142
Al514 on Jan 28, 2016January 28th, 2016, 3:40 pm EST
Awesome fish Matt.

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