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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.

Case view of a Pycnopsyche guttifera (Limnephilidae) (Great Autumn Brown Sedge) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
It's only barely visible in one of my pictures, but I confirmed under the microscope that this one has a prosternal horn and the antennae are mid-way between the eyes and front of the head capsule.

I'm calling this one Pycnopsyche, but it's a bit perplexing. It seems to key definitively to at least Couplet 8 of the Key to Genera of Limnephilidae Larvae. That narrows it down to three genera, and the case seems wrong for the other two. The case looks right for Pycnopsyche, and it fits one of the key characteristics: "Abdominal sternum II without chloride epithelium and abdominal segment IX with only single seta on each side of dorsal sclerite." However, the characteristic "metanotal sa1 sclerites not fused, although often contiguous" does not seem to fit well. Those sclerites sure look fused to me, although I can make out a thin groove in the touching halves in the anterior half under the microscope. Perhaps this is a regional variation.

The only species of Pycnopsyche documented in Washington state is Pycnopsyche guttifera, and the colors and markings around the head of this specimen seem to match very well a specimen of that species from Massachusetts on Bugguide. So I am placing it in that species for now.

Whatever species this is, I photographed another specimen of seemingly the same species from the same spot a couple months later.
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 these 7 pictures to this report. The message is below.
Upper end of Nelson's
My Dad with a colorful rainbow - We released all our fish and this was long before C&R handling techniques
Leonard and 19" rainbow

Report at a Glance

General RegionSW Montana
Specific LocationLivingston
Dates FishedAll of June, July, and August 1968 - 1972
Time of Day11:00 a.m. to dark
Fish CaughtRainbows, browns, cutthroats
Conditions & HatchesPMD's

Details and Discussion

Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Aug 5, 2020August 5th, 2020, 11:23 am EDT
This is a little anecdote that was recently published on another forum and I thought some of you might enjoy reading it and seeing the pictures.

Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Martinlf's profile picture
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Aug 6, 2020August 6th, 2020, 12:31 pm EDT
Great story, Matt. Well-written and very interesting.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Falsifly's profile picture
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 660
Falsifly on Aug 7, 2020August 7th, 2020, 12:48 am EDT
Wow Matt, life has been good. Not to detract from the fishing but as a "60's" muscle car enthusiast that must have been quite a change in life going from the GTO to the VW. Anyway great story.
When asked what I just caught that monster on I showed him. He put on his magnifiers and said, "I can't believe they can see that."
Partsman's profile picture
bancroft michigan

Posts: 321
Partsman on Aug 7, 2020August 7th, 2020, 1:26 am EDT
Thank you Matt for sharing a important part of your life with us, and also for all the help you give to folks here! Those are some cool pictures!
Adirman's profile picture
Monticello, NY

Posts: 479
Adirman on Aug 7, 2020August 7th, 2020, 3:44 am EDT
GREAT story Matt ,thanks so much for sharing 😊

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