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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.

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.

TDMunro's profile picture
Midland Michigan

Posts: 5
TDMunro on Sep 9, 2019September 9th, 2019, 5:15 am EDT
OK. What truly is this. The weather is changing here in good old Michigan, from real warm to fairly cool. Along with that the stream dynamics also change. The water gets colder, not warmer as in the spring and the fish start shutting down. I suppose this all makes sense. Colder water, colder fish. Metabolisms slow down, fish slow down and I am not taking andromanous fish. Steelhead and Salmon. They are different beasts all together. BUT I fish the typical feed zones for small trout. Riffled waters with soft hackle or nymphs, dry flies and terresterials towards the banks or whatever looks fishy and come up short handed time after time. I do notice this. Where the sun happens to creep in, can be very small areas, those are activity zones. Most likely due some form of hatch if you can see it or not. What I observe usually small fish, Brookies. Ya and that's where you pull fish out at. Now down the river where the sun has not punched through and won't, does anyone out there have the magic pill. I still insist on fishing the feed zones per usual. I often use, unless too much current, start off with some type of common dry fly. Caddis, patriot, Boucher. If the current gives me riffles then a wet fly or hackle is many times my go to. Still doing this on 9/8/2019, this is not even close to cold winter, my catches are minimal. Is there any advice from you long time vets or short time geniuses that I can hang up in my journal for me to remember next time I am out in these types conditions. Should be very soon. Otherwise it's business as usual.
Tim Munro
Martinlf's profile picture
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Sep 9, 2019September 9th, 2019, 8:03 am EDT
Tim, I hope someone from your neck of the woods replies, but here's my recent experiences in Pennsylvania. It seems to vary from stream to stream. On one larger limestone stream that remains relatively cool throughout the summer, but warms some midday, fall is a time to fish nymphs in the usual spots, or dries in the pools. Beetles, slate drakes, and later, small olives will work. Look for a dimple to show a rising fish, and present a drag free fly to hook up. I recently fished another stream that heats up in the summer, but had cooled with a few days of lower temperatures. It was low and clear, and, fishing nymphs, I only found fish in the deep runs, as many of the riffles were too low and clear to hold fish. A third sort of stream, a smaller spring creek that has had constant flows all summer, the best spots have not changed, and are like the larger limestone stream mentioned first. Nymphs in the riffles and runs, dries in the pools--though dries can work in the riffles at times as well. Good luck and tight lines.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Partsman's profile picture
bancroft michigan

Posts: 321
Partsman on Sep 11, 2019September 11th, 2019, 11:01 am EDT
Tim, this is tough time of year for me, I just got back from fishing the s.b. of the ausable and another stream on the way home. Bwo,s and some tricos on the s.b., but only small brookies taking. The water is very low and clear making fishing difficult, it was looking like rain was on the way so I headed south a ways and fished another popular river on the way home, again bwos, and low clear water, but better fishing, and then the skies opened up. I have been doing well on nymphs and small streamers, the brookies and browns are getting into pre spawn mode here so streamers will be more and more productive.
Strmanglr's profile picture
Posts: 156
Strmanglr on Sep 12, 2019September 12th, 2019, 5:04 am EDT
I find the trout fishing in Michigan gets real finicky August on.

Hatches aren't nearly as prolific. The rivers get really clear, low and warm. The days are long. My theory is the trout hunker down in that heat and find cooler tribs or find springs within the rivers to hang out. Come September not much has changed other than the water cooling off a bit.

I was just up north on the west side. Two major rain systems had went through the day before. Just about every where I went the streams were still low and clear.

I usually don't even trout fish from late July through the end of August. Come September it's on again, I think w the fewer hatches, spawning and winter coming, the trout are keying in on baitish. I throw almost exclusively streamers and some nymphs here and there. I do have a large river up north where I usually rail on dry flies this time of the year for browns. I think many are lake run and follow the salmon in. Last week, almost nothing doing that, one little hit on a dry fly was it. Maybe I'm a bit early for those lake run browns. We'll see, going again in last week of September.
TDMunro's profile picture
Midland Michigan

Posts: 5
TDMunro on Sep 13, 2019September 13th, 2019, 1:47 am EDT
Thanks guys for all of the great info. A lot of what you have said just makes sense. This sounds like the timing for nymphs and small streamers in some of the rivers that I do fish. If you see sunny spots were the fish are active, try a dry fly. I will take all this information to heart.
Thank you much,

PS - I am not sure if I will be able to get out and trout fish again before the end of September, so I may just have to kick back and do a little bass fishing on the fly.
Tim Munro
Partsman's profile picture
bancroft michigan

Posts: 321
Partsman on Sep 13, 2019September 13th, 2019, 12:18 pm EDT
Tim, from what I hear the smallmouth in the tibb are pretty good! What better way to work on casting problems than to fish a great smallmouth stream. Im going to start investigating the Shiawassee a little more as I live only a couple miles from it. Hey you didn't happen to do the ausable rive clean up last year did you? You just look familiar to me, but anyway have a good day and let us know how the bass fishing went.

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