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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.

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.
Troutnut is a project started in 2003 by salmonid ecologist Jason "Troutnut" Neuswanger to help anglers and fly tyers unabashedly embrace the entomological side of the sport. Learn more about Troutnut or support the project for an enhanced experience here.

Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Dec 22, 2016December 22nd, 2016, 7:30 am EST
The fly fishing around here this past year has been better for me than 2014 & 2015 combined! A milder winter sure had something to do with it, which is also what we're looking at now in spite of the early cold and snow. My fly rods have been put up for a well-deserved rest and the ice fishing gear is now in the trunk ready to go, just need bait (SACRILAGE!! But you do need it for ice fishing...). And some good safe ice!! Any day now...

So what was your own best fly fishing of 2016? Anybody else have a good year like I did (and needed after 2 crappy ones)? Break any personal records or just have a really amazing all-around day?

Mine would be a toss-up, between the November day I got the 3-pound rainbow and the evening on Cooke Pond when I fished smallmouth over three consecutive mayfly hatches, all of them LARGE (well OK, Light Cahills are about a #12 but I guess that's big for some folks on this site), and even got a largemouth thrown in the mix.

Season's Greetings/Happy Holidays/Happy Solstice to all Trounuts! Let's hear some good stories while it's too cold to throw (into a 20 mph wind)...


P.S. OK, if you're good on the jigging rod, and you have a good stash (or spare cash) of jigging lures like spoons, Jigging Raps, etc. you CAN catch fish through the ice without bait.
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Partsman's profile picture
bancroft michigan

Posts: 321
Partsman on Dec 22, 2016December 22nd, 2016, 9:17 am EST
Opening weekend on the Pine river, I camped out at the campground and had great fishing, beautiful if cool weather at night. I think we can agree the fishing was also pretty good on the Rifle river, and I had a few good days on the upper Manistee, I hope to fish there a little more often. Oddly enough all most everyday I fished was sunny and nice, I would have liked a little more cloud cover and maybe even a little rain just to change things up. But it was a great year, and I hope next year is as good or better for all of us! Happy New Year Troutnuts!
Troutnut's profile picture
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Dec 23, 2016December 23rd, 2016, 2:09 am EST
My favorite fly fishing experience this year was the one documented in my Putting the 'nut' back in 'Troutnut' posts, parts one and two. We walked six miles each way through a mostly trail-less bog and a fog of mosquitoes to reach a whitewater canyon full of nice rainbows, which aggressively hammered sockeye smolt imitations during the twilight hours and fought like SpaceX had installed rocket engines in their tails. The biggest one landed was 21", but the several other big ones I couldn't land were just as memorable.

Another top experience was catching my biggest trout ever (not counting steelhead) on my last fly fishing trip of the year in early October, a wild 25" rainbow. It was a whole different experience having something that size on the end of the line. Finding a great new fishing partner was a good part of that trip, too.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 398
RleeP on Dec 23, 2016December 23rd, 2016, 4:01 am EST
In 2016, I made my first trip to Montana to fish, bouncing around the general Missoula area for two weeks and catching quite a few fish. I also made my first (primarily FF oriented..) trip to Canada, spending a week pitching big flies to Pike (with interludes of drift fishing leeches for walleye for table fare..) in the La Verendyre Reserve in Quebec. We got some nice pike (up to 7-8 lb.) but no real bruisers. It was a lot of fun..

But neither of these was my best 2016 experience. That was becoming re-acquainted with and re-establishing some level of success on my favorite wild brown trout stream in my part of PA. It is a Class A, moderate size stream and one of the toughest pieces of water I've fished anywhere. Very stingy and very moody. Almost everybody I know who has fished it has only done so once or twice and then given up on it. But the fish are there (per the biologists) and I was always too bullheaded to give up on it. It was my home water for about 25 years before I remarried in the late 90's and moved to the Midwest and it was where I learned to fly fish for trout. I used to spend 150-200 hours a season on it and finally got to the point where I could usually catch ten or so browns in the 8-14" range over a 4-5 hour period. Every third or fourth trip, I'd get one in the 15-17" class and that was something to whoop about. I loved it there. And due to its cantankerous nature, I almost always had it to myself.

Then, I moved away for 15 years and when I came back, I had to start all over again...

In 2015, I put in about 100 hours on my creek and can't say I had much to show for it. I got some fish, but nowhere near the torrid...:) pace of years gone by. Finally, this season (2016), the stream evidently decided that I had paid sufficient dues and suffered enough for abandoning her for all those years. The fish started to come again and by Autumn, I was back to my blazing roughly 2.33 trout per hour pace of the old days. And lots of average ones in the 10-12" class and a couple of 16" humdingers.

It's good to be back...
Crepuscular's profile picture
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 920
Crepuscular on Dec 24, 2016December 24th, 2016, 3:39 am EST
This is easy. Any day I was able to fish with family and friends. If I had to pick one day, it would be last June when my son, who is 15, jumped three tarpon, landing one. two were >100lbs the one he landed was in the 80lb range. It was his first time tarpon fishing.


Posts: 278
TNEAL on Dec 24, 2016December 24th, 2016, 5:31 am EST
I was very happy to see the increase both in numbers and size of brookies in Northern Michigan. Brown trout have been down giving specs a chance to grow and increase. Far as I'm concerned, the browns can stay down.My waters had nice numbers of 9"-12" brookies with some larger. Next year promises even more of the larger ones.
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Dec 24, 2016December 24th, 2016, 9:13 am EST
Had a wonderful time in the Catskills this past May with Tony and Eric. The fishing for me personally was slow, but the company was great, and getting the chance to explore such a famous fly fishing region was priceless!

Had two visits to the Catskill Fly Fishing Museum and the famous Dettes Fly Shop in Roscoe.

Also got to meet Matt finally! In person. :)

Fished Au Sable in May. Manistee in June.

Then I headed west...The two best days out there were a float on the Madison and finally fishing Hebgen Lake for "Gulpers".

Here's a Christmas wish to everyone of you obsessed TroutNuts...May your 2017 experiences on the stream be memorable! Good luck out there.


PS...Eric...Having your son lay into a couple Tarpon and get to hang out with him had to be special!
"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
Martinlf's profile picture
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Dec 24, 2016December 24th, 2016, 3:12 pm EST
I think the trip with my nephew in Arizona was the most memorable, and I posted photos from it, but I also had a great trip with my buddy Mike and his dad up to the Farmington. There we met up with his friend Rick, and fished several days. One day Rick and I found a beautiful rocky riffle alive with wild browns that were as picky as anything we'd ever seen. He has a house on the Delaware, and is well acquainted with tough fish, but these fish gave us fits, despite a nice sulphur hatch followed by some caddis. A stiff wind didn't help. We managed a few good fish, and I pulled the trigger too soon on a monster that I'd been working for over half an hour, with multiple fly changes. Hate it when the adrenaline hits after waiting and waiting for a fish to eat. Speaking of eating, we dined like kings on NY strips one night and tube steaks the next. In addition, Mike had some limes and a big bottle of Bombay Sapphire that we destroyed. We also fished over cornutas, and needhamis, the first I've ever seen. This has been a yearly trip for Mike and his dad for some time, and I finally was able to join them. I'll be back next year for sure.

Merry Christmas, Troutnuts, and Happy New Year!
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell

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