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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 Neoleptophlebia (Leptophlebiidae) Mayfly Nymph from the Yakima River in Washington
Some characteristics from the microscope images for the tentative species id: The postero-lateral projections are found only on segment 9, not segment 8. Based on the key in Jacobus et al. (2014), it appears to key to Neoleptophlebia adoptiva or Neoleptophlebia heteronea, same as this specimen with pretty different abdominal markings. However, distinguishing between those calls for comparing the lengths of the second and third segment of the labial palp, and this one (like the other one) only seems to have two segments. So I'm stuck on them both. It's likely that the fact that they're immature nymphs stymies identification in some important way.
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 this picture to this report. The message is below.

Report at a Glance

General RegionPA section
Specific LocationBalls eddy to Shehawken
Dates FishedJuly 25 - 28
Time of Day6 - 9 a.m. & noon - 5 p.m.
Fish CaughtOnly wild browns
Conditions & Hatcheshigh water, clouds, very few emerging insects.

Details and Discussion

Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Jul 28, 2017July 28th, 2017, 6:09 pm EDT
Water high on Tuesday. Virtually no rising fish, very good streamer bite. Wednesday still high but quite a few rising fish. Was unable to reach them and didn't want to pay $30 for a shuttle. Still good streamer action in the early morning. Nice and cloudy all day,

Thursday more release from the reservoir and the water was very cold in the early morning and the fish were not really moving for streamers. Very sporadic olives during the day. Fished to 5:00 and took four 12" - 14" on top. Didn't see any really big rise forms.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Partsman
Partsman's profile picture
bancroft michigan

Posts: 321
Partsman on Jul 29, 2017July 29th, 2017, 10:23 am EDT
Matt, that is beautiful fish! Congrats, water levels here in Mi. are quite good also, and water temps aren't at a dangerous level yet. I decided to spend the rest of the year exploring waters that are very popular during the early season, aka the ausable and its branches. I fished the south branch last week and did some exploring, beautiful looking water. Maybe I can get a look a few browns like the one you got.

Mike.
Lastchance
Portage, PA

Posts: 437
Lastchance on Jul 30, 2017July 30th, 2017, 2:11 am EDT
What a great fish, Matt.
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Jul 30, 2017July 30th, 2017, 6:34 am EDT
Thanks everyone, it is my best Delaware fish of the 2017 season. Hoping for another this coming week. Going back up for three days on Tuesday.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Jul 31, 2017July 31st, 2017, 10:00 am EDT
That's a lunker, Matt, by technical definition! What are the stats on that fish, did you get to tape it? That's a fat one! I can only imagine a long slugfest before you got your hands on it. Fly pattern, rod, rig? Congrats, well done Sir!

Jonathon

P.S. It's that time of the year, boys (and girls)...let's all go out and get some big ones to show off on here!
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Jul 31, 2017July 31st, 2017, 11:11 am EDT
Jonathon,

I was able to back up and land the fish right near a grassy bank. It was virtually in front of my cabin and I called my wife on the cell before I netted the fish - pretty confident huh that I wouldn't lose it??

It is a tape measured 20" on the nose. Yes it was very deep and across the shoulders was about 3". I would love to say it ate a #20 Baetis dun delicately cast on a 6X tippet. However it ate a 4" long blue over white Clouser on a 7' 2X leader. 9' #6 3 pc Gatti fly rod I built about a dozen years ago. The water was stained and it was quite early in the morning, long before there was any insects emerging.

I lost another, bigger brown, after a lengthy fight just as I was about to slip it into the net. It was at least 21", a big hook jawed male.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.

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