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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.

Ventral view of a Hydropsyche (Hydropsychidae) (Spotted Sedge) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
With a bit of help from the microscope, this specimen keys clearly and unsurprisingly to Hydropsyche.
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.

Red_green_h has attached these 10 pictures to this report. The message is below.
My 2 adventurers
What we woke up to every morning.
The Rio de Las Vacas
12 pt bull elk something got ahold of, whatever it was it was big!!!
All the legs were in the river, weird.
Biggest fish we caught. Got him with a nymph on my 5'9" 1wt set up. It was like I had a great white on the line.
He picked this spot himself and got a little one to take the worm out from under the log.
It was a great weekend spent with 2 great kids!!!

Report at a Glance

General RegionNew Mexico
Specific LocationRio de Las Vacas
Dates Fished5/22-5/24
Time of DayLate morning to late afternoon
Fish CaughtRio Grande cutthroat trout

Details and Discussion

Red_green_h's profile picture
New Mexico

Posts: 64
Red_green_h on May 26, 2020May 26th, 2020, 1:25 am EDT
The San Pedro Parks wilderness is an area in the Jemez Mountains of NM. It is the same mountains that boasts the Valles Caldera, "the Yellowstone of the Southwest." While the Valles Caldera is billed as a top tourist destination of the state San Pedro Parks gets no such love, and thankfully so as on a weekend such as Memorial Day the borders around the area are chock full of pull behind camper villages while in the wilderness you might run into a couple other people.
It is over 41k acres in size. It is basically a 64 sq mile plateau at 10k ft and perfect for taking young kiddos to backpack as elevation gains are not really an issue. No self respecting 14er climber from Colorado would dare have anyone see them there (dig at my brother-in-law and sister) but I have been taking my youngest son backpacking there since he was 4. This year I brought him (age 11) and my oldest daughter (age 8).
We hiked over 2 1/2 miles in, set up camp along the Las Vacas and fished up and down it for a couple days. Fishing wasn't spectacular but it was okay. The water level was a bit lower than in years past and the fish were easily spooked as my daughter has 2 volumes, quiet and blaring. We caught more snags and sticks than anything but such is life when fishing with kids. My son lost a couple of beauties being too aggressive while reeling them in but he's starting to learn the good/ideal spots to find the fish. The kids fished with worms. I put an indicator about 8 inches above the hook and they coaxed a few out from under a log or river bank. When I wasn't untangling lines, the little bit of fishing I was able to do I had some success with dark colored nymphs and a couple bright stimulator patterns.
It was a good weekend. Fishing could've been better but the company I kept was fantastic.
Partsman's profile picture
bancroft michigan

Posts: 321
Partsman on May 27, 2020May 27th, 2020, 10:33 am EDT
Beautiful country, and kids, keep up the good work raising them right.
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on May 27, 2020May 27th, 2020, 10:20 pm EDT
Beautiful pictures, pretty fish, and two kids with big smiles. Well done Sir!

And little creeks rock! I have a bunch around me now that I need to hit.

And...love those western landscapes! Thanks for sharing.

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Red_green_h's profile picture
New Mexico

Posts: 64
Red_green_h on May 28, 2020May 28th, 2020, 6:06 am EDT
It was great because my son is starting to get it. While he didn't have the best days fishing I've been instilling in him that a day fishing without catching anything is better than a day not fishing at all. He can't wait to go again!!! And neither can I.
Martinlf's profile picture
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on May 30, 2020May 30th, 2020, 2:55 am EDT
Your kids will never forget those days, and will treasure them. As you said, it's not about the catching, but the experience. You're all lucky to have each other; thanks for sharing!!
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell

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