Picking the Carcass Clean

To close out May, I made a quick stop at a stream I have been frequenting for the past few months. I only knew this stream to hold three species for certain, but suspected more. With a change of seasons and a little flexibility in tactics, I discovered three additional species dwell here.

The day started like my previous visits, with rainbow trout in fast water. Creek chubs and sunfish filled the middle by probing deep slow pools. A sprinkling of brown trout fell evenly throughout. The grand finale was a new fly rod species for 2018 – the Common Shiner (Luxilus cornutus).

The outing spanned just a couple hours and less than a mile of stream bed. Although the fish were diminutive, the variety and numbers of each were excellent. From a multi-species angler’s perspective, I picked it clean.

The male Common Shiner (Luxilus cornutus) is anything but common in appearance. Large mirror-like scales, red tipped fins, and tubercles on the head for spawning season. Notice the dark patches. Those are color variations, not missing scales – kind of like the sides of a barracuda.
One of the more subtle characteristics is somewhat visible in this pic. The light colored line down the side appears iridescent gold in person. It is only visible at certain angles to the sun.
Wild rainbows are not the flashiest trout in my area, but still a worthy catch.
The venerable creek chub is a favorite of mine. This dusky specimen is starting to show some of the pink tones of the spawn.
I am just beginning to learn the ins and outs of this creek. Finding bluegills in the slower pools was a surprise to me.
A fancier surprise was this pumpkinseed.
This wild brown was the lunker of the day, stretching the tape to 32 cm.

“The 2018 Fly Fishing List” so far:

  1. Brown Trout – Salmo trutta
  2. Brook Trout – Salvelinus fontinalis
  3. Rainbow Trout – Oncorhynchus mykiss
  4. Landlocked Atlantic Salmon – Salmo salar
  5. Creek Chub – Semotilus atromaculatus
  6. Northern Pike – Esox lucius
  7. Largemouth Bass – Micropterus salmoides
  8. Chain Pickerel – Esox niger
  9. Black Crappie – Poxomis nigromaculatis
  10. Bluegill – Lepomis macrochirus
  11. Bowfin – Amia calva
  12. Pumpkinseed – Lepomis gibbosus
  13. Common Shiner – Luxilus cornutus

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