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Wbranch has attached these 2 pictures. The message is below.
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WbranchDecember 4th, 2015, 11:09 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2733
Caught this beauty while fishing for big browns early in the morning.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
PaulRobertsDecember 4th, 2015, 11:16 am

Posts: 1776
I used to catch a lot of fallfish too, and some big ones. I don't believe I took one over 15 inches in my medium sized creeks, but a friend took one 19 in the Delaware.

They'd get my heart going sometimes when I thought I had a nice trout. But you'd know soon enough they weren't trout as they'd give up really quick. They hold in similar water as whitefish here -seeming to like smooth runs.
WbranchDecember 4th, 2015, 1:55 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2733
The biggest I've ever caught anywhere, and it was the EB of the Delaware, was 18". I've caught lots of 16" - 17" and they rise well - but you can often discern the rise form from that of a trout by the bubbles they often leave. In the spring is when I catch most of the bigger ones, the males are all colored up with red faces and short barbels.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
TroutnutDecember 5th, 2015, 12:47 am
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2737
Quite a fallfish there! I've seen some big ones around the Beaverkill / East Branch confluence, but I don't know about 18".
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
MartinlfDecember 5th, 2015, 1:18 am
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3233
During sulphur season near twilight I was catching trout in a flat, when I spotted a nice fish rising under a tree. Working toward it, I hooked a nice brown out in midstream that headed straight for the tree, so I put a lot of pressure to turn it away and avoid spooking the rising fish. So much so, in fact, that with a surge, the fish broke me off. I wasn't happy, as the fish I'd just lost was larger than I first thought, but I still had the riser under the tree. . . . Soon I had it hooked and, yes, you're already guessing . . . a fallfish . . . about 14." Needless to say, I wasn't the happiest camper that evening. Sometimes I can tell them by the rise form, but in the near dark I was completely fooled. As they say, a trout in the net is worth two (or a bigger one) under the tree.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
WbranchDecember 5th, 2015, 4:45 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2733
For whatever reason I have caught quite a few 15" - 17" Fallfish in the pool directly below the Hale Eddy bridge on the West Branch of the Delaware and always on Clousers.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
RleePDecember 5th, 2015, 9:56 am
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 398
We don't have fallfish on the west side of the Allegheny/Susquehanna drainage break. Still, I've caught a pile of them when fishing in the Juniata and Susquehanna basins. My brother and I used to do a lot of floating for smallmouth with ultralight spin fishing gear. We were young and pretty berserk about it and floated just about everything with worthwhile bass fisheries as far east as the main Susquehanna. A lot of this water wasn't really any more "floatable" than Interstate 80.. But we fished it anyway. Big Pine, Lower Kettle, the First Fork, Frankstown Branch, etc. We pulled the bottom out of two Coleman canoes doing this. We caught a lot of nice smallmouth and enough fallfish to supply the Purina Cat Chow factory for a year. Never over 18" though and only a few of that size.

Later in my sordid angling career, I used to catch a lot of them on dry flies (mostly big deerhair ants..) out of larger warmwater/coolwater streams in the PA limestone belt from Blair County on up through Juniata and Mifflin Counties. A lot of these creeks would be mostly smallmouth/rock bass/fallfish fisheries, but here and there a major limestone spring would come in and there would be wild browns for a quarter or half mile or so until the water warmed up again. When we started catching more fallfish and rockies than trout, we knew it was time to pull stakes and find the next spring. It was fun...
WbranchDecember 5th, 2015, 10:54 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2733
I'm pretty confident that the 18" fallfish population is about the same as the 24" brown trout population - very few in any watershed. Most of them (we usually call them chubs) are 10" - 13". While I have caught hundreds in the main stem Delaware I have only caught a handful in the WB of the Delaware. In the Susquehanna when I fish for smallmouth I have never, in over twenty years, caught a fallfish in the river below Harrisburg yet when I fish above Duncannon they are frequent visitors to my Clousers or dry flies. I wonder if that is an indicator of the cleanliness of the upper river compared to that below Harrisburg.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
WbranchDecember 5th, 2015, 11:00 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2733
Since we are chatting about non trout species I wonder if Rocky Mountain whitefish could survive in some of our cold tail water fisheries? Not saying that would be a good thing but there have been days in Montana when the trout were uncooperative and the aggressive whitey's have been more than willing to eat a nymph or suck in a dry fly. I've caught hundreds in the 15" - 18" range. The river where I've caught the most is the Madison and the next most prolific water was Rock Creek over near Missoula. I think they fight quite well, much better than fallfish.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Jmd123December 5th, 2015, 2:00 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2611
We don't have fallfish here in the Great Lakes but we do get creek chubs and hornyhead chubs that reach respectable size (though not nearly 18", more like 12 or so) and take flies readily. I was once sight-fishing a bunch of rainbows in a little spring-fed creek in southwestern Missouri with a nymph (think it was a GRHE) and a differently colored fish grabbed in right in front of me, turned out to be a 10" hornyhead chub male complete with tubercles on the nose and a bright red spot behind the eyes. In fact I have kept these in my aquarium in recent years and I am currently trying to catch more, they are quite attractive fish with orange-red fins and a bright rosy blush to their chins and chests when in spawning trim. They also like to rearrange the gravel in the aquarium when nesting!

In Texas I caught Mexican tetras on dry flies, related to popular aquarium fishes like neon and cardinal tetras. These were less gaudy but still pretty, yellow to red fins with silvery bodies and a black stripe down the side. I also caught Texas cichlids down there, in the same family as Oscars, angelfish, zebras, etc. Could have stocked a fishtank with my fly rods!

Related to what Matt has mentioned, there is a fishery for cisco ("lake herring"), also in the whitefish family, here in the Great Lakes. When the Hexagenia are hatching, people in the vicinity of Drummond Island fish near the bottom with ice-fishing tear drops with insect larvae (waxworms, mealworms, etc.). I'm wondering if there's a way to target these fish with fly tackle - they get to a respectable size and they're tasty! Don't know how far up in the water column they will chase the rising Hex nymphs, but I'm sure it's a puzzle that can be solved.

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

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