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> > It's a fish - not a bug but still, I'm stumped

Levwood has attached this picture to aid in identification. The message is below.
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What fish is this?
What fish is this?
LevwoodJuly 27th, 2013, 11:01 am
Grosse Pte. Michigan

Posts: 11
Guys, Can anyone help me identify this fish? He took a drake on the Pigeon River in Michigan in June. I thought it was a juvenile redhorse but the photos I've seen of those do not help.



TaxonJuly 27th, 2013, 11:45 am
Site Editor
Royse City, TX

Posts: 1348
Hi Lev-

It looks to me like a (breeding male) Semotilus atromaculatus .
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
LevwoodJuly 28th, 2013, 12:29 pm
Grosse Pte. Michigan

Posts: 11
A creek chub, eh? Well, he's very pretty. Didn't know they hit dry flies.
Jmd123July 28th, 2013, 12:47 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2610
A lot of the larger minnow species readily take flies, including dries, wets, nymphs, and streamers. I once popped a 10" hornyhead chub on a nymph (think it was a Gold-Ribbed Hare's Ear, size 12 if I remember correctly) in a pretty little trout stream in southwest Missouri (they are also found here in Michigan, in fact I have a bunch in my aquarium from the Au Sable River behind my house). And last spring I caught two good-sized golden shiners on a wet fly I like to use for panfish. Common shiners, creek chubs, and a few other random species as well. In San Marcos, TX I caught a few Mexican tetras on dry flies too!

Sadly, none of them fight as hard as trout.

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Jmd123July 28th, 2013, 5:13 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2610
P.S. Lev, I did catch a 15" golden redhorse sucker in a stream in SE MI (South Branch Flint River), but on a brown and grizzly Woolly Bugger, size 10. He put up a pretty good fight, but nowhere near what a 15" brown trout would do, which was what I was really looking for...nevertheless, one more species to add to the "Life List" (reference Spence on this, a.k.a. OldRedBarn, he's a birder...). I believe in fly fishing for any species that will take a fly, especially if it puts up a good fight. And being pretty for a photo helps too!

BTW, welcome to the forum, fellow Michigander! Also, looks like a bottle of good old Gink there in the photo...

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Kschaefer3July 29th, 2013, 3:36 pm
St. Paul, MN

Posts: 376
You probably have some large, healthy trout in your river, eh? Creek chubs are fantastic forage for large trout. They will readily hit dries, nymphs and smaller streamers. I have had many days where creek chubs were all I could manage. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe chubs often inhabit very high quality water. I have found them more often in brook trout water than brown trout water. My favorite is when you find all three together, because there is going to be a huge brown lurking about somewhere.
LevwoodJuly 29th, 2013, 6:50 pm
Grosse Pte. Michigan

Posts: 11
You guys are awesome for posting. So, I will call it a creek chub and leave it at that. Thanks for your advice.

Jmd123July 31st, 2013, 12:29 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2610
Kyle, creek chubs are pretty tolerant of all kinds of water conditions so long as there's gravel for spawning beds, but some of the other larger minnow species may be somewhat more discriminating...but of course all will live happily in waters clean enough to support trout, after all they are also stream-dwelling insectivores! I've seen carp living in some nice clean waters too, e.g., southern Missouri trout streams and the Huron River in Ann Arbor, MI, as well as places I wouldn't want to even get near the water...

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
LamAugust 5th, 2013, 3:38 pm
Lancaster, PA

Posts: 81
If it had "horns" on its head it could be what we used to call a horned dace.
TNEALAugust 6th, 2013, 11:51 am

Posts: 278
I was told by an extremely reliable very capable fisherman of all species that creek chubs are delicious table fare.
Johnvan61June 21st, 2014, 9:42 am

Posts: 9
I read years ago that in the southern states they go"stump knocking for mud chubs". I have no idea what it is but it sure sounds "poetic".---John
"my mind is like oatmeal"

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