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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 Glossosoma (Glossosomatidae) (Little Brown Short-horned Sedge) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
I caught this tiny larva without a case, but it seems to key pretty clearly to to Glossosomatidae. From there, the lack of sclerites on the mesonotum points to either Glossosoma or Anagapetus. Although it's difficult to see in a 2D image from the microscope, it's pretty clear in the live 3D view that the pronotum is only excised about 1/3 of its length to accommodate the forecoxa, not 2/3, which points to Glossosoma at Couplet 5 of the Key to Genera of Glossosomatidae 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.

By Troutnut on June 30th, 2018
After catching lots of small-stream fish Saturday, I drove Sunday with my wife up to a high lake for a bit of hiking and some non-serious fishing for stocked rainbows. I caught one, missed another, and didn't have time to wait around for more to swim into castable range.



We had a long drive out. The would be traffic across the pass on I-90 heading back toward Seattle, but I was eager just to get back down the mountain in one piece. We averaged 2 mph down the sketchy 2.5-mile Jeep trial leading back to the main forest road, where we could race along at 5-15 mph for several more miles.

Photos by Troutnut from Gallaher Head Lake in Washington

Gallaher Head Lake in Washington
Gallaher Head Lake in Washington
Gallaher Head Lake in Washington

Comments / replies

Creno
Grants Pass, OR

Posts: 302
Creno on Jul 3, 2018July 3rd, 2018, 7:21 am EDT
That is some nice country :-)
Jmd123
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Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Jul 3, 2018July 3rd, 2018, 10:23 am EDT
Gorgeous!! Spectacular topography, high-mountain conifers, pretty fish! How deep does that lake get, it looks shallow from your photos...? Again, what flies worked for you?

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Troutnut
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Administrator
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Jul 3, 2018July 3rd, 2018, 6:19 pm EDT
The lake was mostly shallow, but there's a deep part near one end where I couldn't see the bottom, and the fish were mostly cruising around that and rising every once in a while. I was pressed for time and anxious to make sure my Jeep survived the drive out (it did fine), so I only fished for 20 minutes or so. Two fish were working near me; I caught one and spooked the other with a missed hookset. The fly was a size 12 beadhead pink squirrel (Wisconsin pattern and my go-to gaudy attractor nymph).
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Jul 4, 2018July 4th, 2018, 5:49 am EDT
Attractors work, otherwise no one would have ever bothered coming up with the Royal Coachman, etc. You'll have to go back when you have more time! And trust your Jeep - I'm driving one now, considerably more suited to my "up North" lifestyle than the deceased Chevy Cobalt (that's another story)…

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Troutnut
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Administrator
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Jul 4, 2018July 4th, 2018, 7:09 pm EDT
And trust your Jeep


I do, up to a point... the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk is about as good as a stock vehicle gets for offroad driving. But the "road" was still a bit beyond what I'm used to. It worked out fine, though. Here's somebody's Youtube video of the drive: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqo5HAx08mI&t=2m5s (copy and paste the link; direct doesn't work for some reason).
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist

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