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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 Kogotus (Perlodidae) Stonefly Nymph from Mystery Creek #199 in Washington
This one pretty clearly keys to Kogotus, but it also looks fairly different from specimens I caught in the same creek about a month later in the year. With only one species of the genus known in Washington, I'm not sure about the answer to this ID.
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 9 pictures. The message is below.
I kept this fish for my wife.  The 2nd trout I killed in twenty years on the WB. When I cleaned this brown it had FOUR undigested, freshly swallowed, alewives in it's stomach and two partially digested alewives in it's intestine.  Talk about gluttony!
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Nov 9, 2016November 9th, 2016, 4:22 am EST
On June 01 & 02 of 2013 there was a high water event on the WB of the Delaware. The flow ranged from 2000 cfs to as high as 3500 cfs. At that flow water is pouring over the top of the Cannonsville Reservoir dam up near Deposit, NY. When that happens the alewives in the reservoir get pushed over the top of the dam and into the river. It appears that while the alewifes flourish in the reservoir in warmer water temperatures they can not survive the much colder river temperatures. Besides water spilling over the top of the dam there was a significant cold water bottom release.

Many of the alewives that wind up in the river quickly die from the thermal shock and the surviving alewifes swim erratically near the surface of the river. I was lucky to be up there when this happened. It is an uncommon event to be sure and I've only encountered it a few times in the twenty years I have owned my cabin.

When I came out of my cabin the morning of June 01 I had plans to go over to the EB of the Delaware because the WB was just too high and dirty to fish. Over the night the river came down some and the clarity improved from dirty brown to a nice emerald green. I was sitting on a bench by the river having a cup of coffee and all of a sudden I saw a huge boil in mid river, then another, and another! I immediately knew what was going on. I tried to get into the river but it was just too high to get out far enough to get a back cast. So I drove across the river and got permission to park on private property to access the shallower side of the river opposite my cabin.

All I can say is it was amazing! Virtually my first cast had big browns clamoring to eat my Clouser minnow. I hooked one, it got off and another ate it before I could lift it for the next cast. I caught fish after fish. No one was there but me. I only fished for four hours because as good as it was I just didn't want to be a hog! I figured I had world class fishing and maybe if I quit after four hours there would still be fish there the next day. I wasn't wrong. I fished from 8 - 12 for two days. I landed 23 browns the first day and 20 the second day. I missed and/or lost as many. The smallest fish was 17" and the biggest was 21". It was interesting to me that I didn't catch any really big fish. Yes, I caught a ton of great fish but nothing over 21". It just tells me that there are just not big numbers of 22" and larger fish in the system or at least not in that pool.

The first day I fished a 9' #6 six rod with that black Hardy reel. The next day I went lighter with a 9' #5 rod to get more sport.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Nov 9, 2016November 9th, 2016, 8:43 am EST
Matt, those are the moments we live for, aren't they? Every once in a while the conditions come together and we just happen to be there, right place right time. And nothing is sweeter than having a fishing spot all to yourself with a feeding frenzy going on. I have been blessed with such experiences a decent number of times, most recently when I discovered the surfacing rainbows in Reid Lake (my fall fishing hotspot) would eat a grasshopper imitation. The rest of the day was nothing but solid action, 8 fish caught and released (not nearly as big as yours) and at least that many strikes not hooked.

Sometimes you have no idea what is going on, like the mysterious frenzies that can happen right before a front moves in. But you knew what was going on, and happened to be there on the extremely rare and random occasion when it was actually happening. Like a flying ant fall, they're pretty unpredictable, but when they happen the fish are all on top and feeding madly...

Helluva couple of days there, Matt! Thanks for (re)posting this event and sharing with us.

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Wbranch
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York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Nov 9, 2016November 9th, 2016, 10:42 am EST
Jonathon,

Thanks for (re)posting this event and sharing with us.


Oops, I didn't remember I had already posted this story. Sorry if I am boring any of the long time forum members. We got onto the streamer topic and I remembered this event, but not that I had already posted it. I guess it is time to go out and get some new memories.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Nov 9, 2016November 9th, 2016, 11:01 am EST
I'm not sure if you ever actually did, Matt, I'd have to go back and look. I think I have seen a few of those pics, perhaps not though as part of one whole story but rather as examples of your streamer fishing prowess (which is considerable!). Besides, if anyone missed it before (i.e., new Troutnuts), well they should see it and learn what they can from it. I sure enjoyed it!

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
PaulRoberts
PaulRoberts's profile picture
Colorado

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on Nov 22, 2016November 22nd, 2016, 7:30 am EST
A hatch! Very cool, Matt!

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