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> > A little sadly, left the fish picture out, but the rest was so beautiful...

Jmd123 has attached these 8 pictures. The message is below.
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Virgin's-bower, Clematis virginiana
Virgin's-bower, Clematis virginiana
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Surprisingly mellow green frog!
Surprisingly mellow green frog!
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Wood turtle hanging out on stream bank
Wood turtle hanging out on stream bank
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Wildflower-lined banks of the Pine River
Wildflower-lined banks of the Pine River
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Boneset, Eupatorium perfoliatum
Boneset, Eupatorium perfoliatum
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Joe-Pye-weed, Eupatorium maculatum
Joe-Pye-weed, Eupatorium maculatum
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Spectacular...
Spectacular...
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Looked like this the whole way up the river...
Looked like this the whole way up the river...
Jmd123August 16th, 2013, 11:58 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2353
Here's a reminder that it isn't all about the fishing. My first trip to one of my favorite stretches on the Pine River in well over two months (deer fly HELL, over with now) turned out to be especially picturesque, with one item now a bit regretfully admitted in the photography department. My biggest fish of the night was a 9" rainbow that was so exquisitely colored I am just kicking myself for not snapping a quick one...especially with how the rest of my photos turned out! The green frog, remarkably calm, and the wood turtle (state listed Special Concern, seen plenty around here though!) were wonderful bonuses. And as you can see, the banks were just absolutely lined with blooming wetland wildflowers, including Joe-Pye-weed, boneset, blue vervain, goldenrod, virgin's-bower, etc., and especially all glowing in the light of the sunset.

You know, sometimes I just don't feel like photographing fish, because I feel like they are such precious jewels in my hands and every second I keep them out of the water they are basically choking and exposed to skin infections, etc. I just want to get them back into the natural environment as fast as I can, especially as this was not a legal fish to keep (gotta be 10" in all MI streams these days, fine with me). But just look at these pictures and imagine a pink-and-purple fish that bent my 3-weight harder than a fish that size should!

Also, hatch report: white caddisfly approximately size 12, likely Nectopsyche sp. (albida?), "White Miller" (from Caddisflies by Lafontaine), starting at sunset continuing into dusk, skimming low over the water, little rainbows leaping left and right trying to grab them! The gorgeous 9-incher was caught on an all-white #12 Elkhair Caddis, along with a few others including a good-sized creek chub! Shoulda taken a picture of him too, he put up such a good fight I thought he was a trout! Then, finishing up and heading down, here comes a little white mayfly, size 12-14, floating over the riffles...I'm thinking dang it, where were you 15 minutes ago?? I've got plenty of #12 Light Cahills in the box, but I've already stomped through this water...now it's a conflict between wanting to hopper fish (see notes from the Pond below) in mid-to-late afternoon, and wanting to stay out late enough to see what happens during this mayfly hatch...good thing there's still almost a month and a half in trout season! OK hatch matchers, are we talking Ephoron leukon here? Aren't we late for Stenacron species, or can they still be happening?

BTW, hit my secret brookie pond tonight with kayak, 3-weight, #10 Joe's Hoppers (modified) and that #12 EHC in white. Unlike two weeks ago, the big fish were hitting before the sun went down on hoppers pitched up close to grassy banks at the mouth of the feeder creek. Missed some strikes, including one fish that completely cleared the water and STILL missed the fly! But got a couple of tens and a nine incher tonight that outfought their size considerably. These fish are all frisky and hard-running - I'm wondering if it is our cool summer that we are having, they are not heat or drought stressed but in good shape and eager to play. Many strikes have been hard slams, just a thrill to see a nice brookie or rainbow explode on a fly. Not really big fish, but close to home, eager, dumb, wild, and damned pretty. And all still swimming...

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
EntomanAugust 17th, 2013, 11:16 pm
Site Editor
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Great photos, Jon! I can certainly see why you love that little stream. Thanks for sharing them.

The mayflies you saw were probably Heptageniidae, most likely one of several species of the old Stenonema group. Stenacron interpunctatum or femoratum (both aka Light Cahills) are the most likely but perhaps one of the pale Maccaffertium (Summer Cahill) species? They all can hatch into late August, probably even later in cool Summers like you're having. Ephoron is a much bigger critter (a size 10 would be on the small side) that usually hatches in much larger rivers.
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
Jmd123August 18th, 2013, 2:21 am
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2353
Why thank you Kurt! On both counts - I thought the little buggers looked like a "Light Cahill species", would obviously need to collect some to say exactly which. They hover over riffle areas at dusk, Thursday about 9:00 p.m. You know this summer HAS been really cool, and I'm even still seeing the occasional scattering of Hex on buildings in the Tawas area, so I guess I shouldn't be too surprised . Happy though, I have just hammered fish on this hatch on the Rifle so I hope it is still happening there too.

Yes Kurt, right now the place is just magical, but is really always special. Not big fish water but you know there's bigger ones than I've seen yet and I got a 14-incher last year. This place has lots of gravel riffles and occasional nice holes but is mostly shallow, so you wade quickly through a lot of open glide without much cover to get to the hotspots, sometimes picking up little rainbows or brookies on the way. It has a good number of hatches and of course gets a nice bunch of terrestrials from those grassy/wildflower banks. Best of all, it's 23 minutes from my house. And another 10 minutes or so up the road is an even better stretch...

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
MotroutAugust 19th, 2013, 6:49 pm
Posts: 319
Wow. You have got some beautiful streams to call your home water up there. Thanks for posting!
"I don't know what fly fishing teaches us, but I think it's something we need to know."-John Gierach
http://fishingintheozarks.blogspot.com/
CrepuscularAugust 20th, 2013, 10:07 am
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 917
Ephoron is a much bigger critter (a size 10 would be on the small side) that usually hatches in much larger rivers.


Around here they are a #10-#14...


EntomanAugust 20th, 2013, 2:16 pm
Site Editor
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Ha! Excellent example of the confusion that can be caused by using hook size to describe critters, Eric. This ties into the other thread still up regarding the issue. If you had posted those photos and asked what hook size they were, I would have called them a large size 10 or small 8. Ephoron in size 14 would be 7 mm. by traditional Mustad standards.
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
Jmd123August 20th, 2013, 2:47 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2353
Kurt, you did say that Ephoron luekon is found in larger streams? Of which the Pine River is obviously not one...these flies looked and behaved like the Stenacron "Light Cahills" that I am used to seeing, just that this seems kind of late but this has been a cooler summer, as I said I still see occasional Hex in the Tawas area.

Gonna be hitting this beautiful little stream tonight or tomorrow and for sure until the end of the season (September 30th). Some good hopper water out there...

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
EntomanAugust 20th, 2013, 3:54 pm
Site Editor
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Yes, it is my understanding they like larger water than your little stream. They are also usually a September bug in northern MI. The species in my neck of the woods is E. album. They are pretty low in the river systems. I have yet to run across them in trout water (as far as I remember). Eric can correct me, but I don't think his intent was to contradict my assessment but rather to add to the conversation as a point of interest that in his region they can be as small as size 14 (my mental image of size 14 is around 7 mm, but I'm old school.:)). While disparate populations of mayfly can and certainly often do "push the envelope" regarding size parameters, the scientific literature I'm aware of lists them has being between 10 and 13 mm., as his specimen is. In reg. dry fly hook dimensions that can be from size 12 to 6, depending on the manufacturer and/or size of the critter.
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
Jmd123August 20th, 2013, 10:37 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2353
Thanks once again for the info there, Kurt.

Hit my other favorite stretch of this river tonight, and other than midges early there were next to no bugs on the water! Had to pound fish up with a #12 Royal Wulff (NEVER fails!) but the biggest was an 8.5" rainbow. Interestingly enough, this one was completely different looking than the gemstone-like 9-incher I caught downstream last Thursday. Tonight's fish (and others up to 8") had clearly visible parr marks and a relatively thin pink stripe, whereas last Thursday's 9-incher had no parr marks, a bright broad pink stripe, and a wonderful iridescent purple wash to the whole fish. Still kicking myself for not taking a picture, one of the prettiest fish I've ever seen in 40 years of fishing...

Also tonight, discovered how deep a certain hole was (over my head) by the classical method (I took a swim!) but as I was in swim trunks and wading shoes, it was no big deal...trying to rescue the only Royal Wulff that I had...wouldn't have even tried it in waders, but hey, in swim gear you can push it! Now I'm wondering about maybe snorkeling this hole to see just what lives in there...

Jonathon

P.S. Wildflowers were spectacular again tonight.
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
PaulRobertsAugust 21st, 2013, 7:26 am
Colorado

Posts: 1776
Very pretty! Love such waters. I see some vervain poking up in there too.

Stenacron (kinda late?), small 'bows. Is that stretch warm now?
CrepuscularAugust 21st, 2013, 8:35 am
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 917
Eric can correct me, but I don't think his intent was to contradict my assessment but rather to add to the conversation as a point of interest that in his region they can be as small as size 14 (my mental image of size 14 is around 7 mm, but I'm old school.:)).


Exactly. And I'm talking about a different bug really, E. leukon. And while they do like big warm water they are also found in trout water around here. Again around here they emerge in July on the warm water streams/rivers. These photos were taken on July 24th. Susquehanna River just north of Harrisburg, PA.




They seem to be a little later on the colder water. For the last week and a half they have been emerging en masse on the Yellow Breeches and I saw a few on the Little Juniata last Sunday night. The breeches is relatively small, between 20-80 feet wide depending where you are and the Little J a little bit larger.
EntomanAugust 21st, 2013, 3:34 pm
Site Editor
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Wow! Those are fascinating photos, Eric. I'm surprised they aren't called "Summer Snow Drift Flies" or some such. It's also interesting they come off as early as July. With those pearlescent wings and soft pastel body colors they look like tiny forest fairies. Definitely one of the prettiest mayflies. Do they provide good fishing for you?
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
CrepuscularAugust 21st, 2013, 3:58 pm
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 917
Do they provide good fishing for you?


uh yeah.

I'm very sleepy from mid august until the second week of September. But my night vision is good. Last night was nice with the big moon. I love them if from nothing else but from the standpoint of the entomological spectacle that they provide. There are soooo many of them. The fact that the trout go nuts over them is kinda nice too.
OldredbarnAugust 22nd, 2013, 12:01 am
Novi, MI

Posts: 2587
I don't know where to jump in here, so I won't. :)

Great photos from both of you, Jonathon & Eric...

Not sure, Eric, I'd be able to compete with such a mega hatch as your photos depict...I think I'd just sit back and watch that one. I have seen them hatching in such numbers that it almost appeared to be snowing, in the dark, in reverse.

JD...Your botanist slip is showing...:)

Spence

"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
OldredbarnAugust 22nd, 2013, 12:10 am
Novi, MI

Posts: 2587
Jonathon,

My wife has caught up with me on my wanderings...It's our 25th...I just showed here your pics and we both agree that your pic of the Virgin-bower is suitable for framing.

Looked like a great night for a quiet float down the stream.

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood

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