Skip to main content
Original Issue


In trout streams the May fly's life is short but can be fun, no mercy without a stamp in Louisiana, and in Oregon two lads bottle toward degrees

Based on regular weekly dispatches from SI bureaus and special correspondents in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and overseas; and on reports from fish and game commissions of the 48 states and Alaska

Neither trout nor angler could long survive without the May fly, that fragile insect which comes to winged adulthood on our streams each spring. To the trout it is bread. To the angler it is an indispensable element in the ritual of his venerable sport. Fly-fishing would be a barren pastime indeed if he couldn't match that hatch of Quill Gordons or Hendricksons with an artfully tied hair-and-feather imitation and draw a rise from some sleek and stream-wise trout. Yet, sometimes the angler must reflect on the seemingly dull and certainly fleeting life of the May fly. For a year or two it lies in its nymphal stage at the bottom of a stream, beetle-or slug-like, with no hint of the metamorphosis to come. But come it does, and in accordance with nature's mysterious timetable the case is shucked and a fly emerges. It bobbles on the water until its young wings are dry. At this stage it is called a disk, and if no marauding trout happens along it flies away to rest in streamside trees. Shortly after, it mates, lays its eggs in the water and, with the species secure for another generation, dies. Such a tragically short span, the angler may muse, is hardly worth the candle, but he could be wrong. He could look at it from W. H. Canaway's point of view. Mr. Canaway writes in England's venerable Fishing Gazette, and for the May fly's sedentary years under water and its frantically enjoyable few hours above it he offers a comforting rationale. "Thus Mr. So-and-So," observes Canaway, "lives a humdrum life as a bank clerk for many years. Suddenly, however, he sees the error of his ways, helps himself to a few hundred thousand, hops off to South America and blues the lot in a few riotous months of private yachts, high-powered actresses and high-octane whisky. He then cashes in his checks with no regrets and a hob nailed liver. Is it all worth it? Ask any May fly."

Ontario's uranium rush seems to have fevered beavers as well as prospectors. Last week at Silver Mountain four beavers nosed down an old mine shaft, found water at the bottom and staked out a claim. All was well until they realized that going down an 18-foot shaft was simple, going up impossible. Three game wardens from Port Arthur finally retrieved the furry prospectors, none of whom reported a uranium strike.


When federal game agents arrived, Andrew Freeman of Berwick, Louisiana, was standing in his rice field with a shotgun and a dead wild goose but without the federal stamp necessary for legal wildfowling. Explained Freeman when he faced U.S. Commissioner R. H. Carter Jr. in New Orleans: "I took my gun to chase hunters out of the field. Then I saw this crippled goose. I wanted to put it out of its misery, so I sneaked up on it and strangled it."

Commissioner Carter informed Freeman that despite his commendable motives a federal stamp is required even for bare-handed goose hunting, placed him under $500 bond pending trial.


SO—season opened (or opens); SC-Season closed (or closes).
C—clear water; D—water dirty or roily; M—water muddy.
N—water at normal height; SH—slightly high; H—high; VH—very high; L—low; R—rising; F—falling. WT50—water temperature 50°.
FG—fishing good; FF—fishing fair; FP—fishing poor; OVG—outlook very good; OG—outlook good; OF—outlook fair; OP—outlook poor

TROUT: NEW MEXICO: Chama and Brazos area streams C, L and OG. Upper Pecos C and just right. Bull and Cow creeks L, FP and OP until rains raise levels.

COLORADO: FG in most waters hut state is red-faced as 20 conservation officers manned a round-the-clock road block in Gunnison River area, stopped 586 cars, collared 61 anglers with over-the-limit catches and confiscated 1,174 trout. Fines so far have totaled $2,341 with 11 cases still to be tried. Local agent reports several culprits thanked judge and admitted it was about time something was done about their transgressions, which had spanned several years.

PENNSYLVANIA: Severe local storms flooded most western Pennsylvania streams but wardens say raised water table makes OVG for July, usually slow. Central state limestone streams N and C with most anglers using grasshoppers as hatches diminish. Purists, however, stand by 4X tippets and No. 18 drys; OG, considering time of year. Bass and muskie SO July 1; Allegheny River spy says OG.

IDAHO: St. Joe and Coeur d'Alene coming to boil for rainbow and cutthroats. East fork of Potlatch especially nice to fly fishermen. North fork of Clearwater donating Dolly Vardens to 20 inches. On most water OG as runoff subsides and water drops.

NEW HAMPSHIRE: Cool weather and showers have kept brookies out of deep water and they are chomping indiscriminately on heavy caddis hatches.

MICHIGAN: Manistee, Boardman, Pere Marquette, Au Sable, Betsy and Platte OVG for evening efforts. All lower peninsula streams N and C as heavy midweek rains broke drought and raised stream levels. OVG on main branch of Sturgeon as rainbow moved into summer quarters in Sheep Ranch Meadows. FF for brook trout in Black River but OG with higher water.

ONTARIO: Nine-pound, three-ounce brookie yanked from Foot's Lake in the Chapeau district last week, with 25 other fish from same water averaging four to five pounds. Laker safaris to Manitoulin Island beginning to pay off but best bet is still in North Bay area waters. Itchy spy jubilantly reports black flies disappearing and should be gone by July 1.

MONTANA: Streams clearing rapidly with only Yellowstone and Gallatin still H and R. Madison now bragging best fly fishing in years, with blasé anglers sniffing at anything under two pounds. Big Hole and Boulder rivers H and C but FG. Yellowstone Park stream N and OG.

MUSKELLUNGE: ONTARIO: SO July 1 with provincial legal limit lowered from 30 to 28 inches. Kawartha Lakes lowering and WT rising; OG for opening day. Experts advise first whack in weedy water as most lake temperatures lower than usual.

WISCONSIN: Hard rains throughout state raised water last week and OG. In Hayward area Frank J. Simago of Whiting, Ind. subdued a 38-pounder out of Chippewa Flowage. Eagle River area reports OG. Black River and Morris Creek, not usually considered top muskie water, now paying handsome dividends.

BLUEFISH: FLORIDA: Gulf Coast bluefishing best in channel between Dog Island and St. George Island off Carrabelle.

NORTH CAROLINA: Buckets of snapper blues being taken in Dare Coast surf between Kitty Hawk and Hatteras Inlet, and OVG.

NEW JERSEY: Hottest surf-slinging results of season reported last week from Barnegat Inlet through Seaside Park. Catches to 25 fish were taken on cut bait and tin jigs, with some blues to four pounds; OVG. Trailers scoring heavily 10 to 12 miles off Harvey Cedars and south to below Atlantic City; OVG through July 10.

ATLANTIC SALMON: MAINE: Downeasters glowing over what seems best season yet on Dennys River. Rod catch so far is 75 fish, and OVG.

NOVA SCOTIA: Provincial rivers yielded 209 fish last week. All are N, and OVG as Margaree, usually the latest stream to produce, now doing just that.

STRIPED BASS: MASSACHUSETTS: Neatest trick of week reported by Cuttyhunk Charter Skipper Bob Tilton who couldn't seduce boiling bass to strike, grabbed a gaff, reached over the side, hauled in a 20-pounder; OG at famous Cuttyhunk with most islanders expecting violent action any day. Cape Cod Canal still interesting on early morning tides, with fish averaging 15 to 20 pounds. FG and OG at most north shore beaches. One pilot reports many schools in Cape Cod Bay and says "bass there are some of the biggest we have ever seen. There is a world-record fish there, and someone is going to get it this summer." World record of 73 pounds has stood since 1913.

NEW JERSEY: Roamer Shoals trollers still running up high score of 30- to 50-pound fish and favorite lure is still 20-inch-long jumble of junk constructed of feathers, hooks, hula skirts and strips of various type baits, but check local experts for detailed construction plan; OVG.

RHODE ISLAND: FG generally as William D. Riley of Providence last week took a 50-pound two-ouncer just south of Jamestown.

CALIFORNIA: Brisk winds kept most fishermen near shore except in sheltered bays, but local agent advises weather is moderating and OG. Surf casting at Baker's Beach productive, with FG there.

BONEFISH: FLORIDA: Keys flats alive with boners as seasonal activity is at peak. Carl Wittmer and Bud Carr of Hagerstown, Md. boated 15 fish on spinning tackle and 10-pound test line during two-day excursion and released all but one. Very active International Women's Fishing Association will stage its first bonefishing tournament July 6 and 7 at Islamorada. Intrepid local guide, Dick Williams, who will supervise heated competition, announced 16 participants so far registered. In spite of battlefield atmosphere OVG for boners through the summer from Key Largo to Key West.


Among last week's notable catches: by Pablo Libero of Honolulu, a 796-pound BLUE MARLIN, the second such fish recognized from Pacific waters and just confirmed by IGFA as a new world record; a 40-pound STRIPED BASS by Chris Geulveck of San Francisco, surf casting at Baker's Beach; by Jack Toughey of Chicago, a 22-pound PERMIT off Islamorada in the Florida Keys after a 35-minute tussle on spinning tackle and 10-pound test line; in the Gulf of Mexico 50 miles below the mouth of the Mississippi, a 48-pound WHITE MARLIN each for John Lauricella and Paul Kalman of New Orleans; for E. R. Minko of Seattle, a 53½-pound KING SALMON, mooched off midway out of Neah Bay.