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Artistic view of a Male Pteronarcys californica (Pteronarcyidae) (Giant Salmonfly) Stonefly Adult from the Gallatin River in Montana
Pteronarcys californica

The giant Salmonflies of the Western mountains are legendary for their proclivity to elicit consistent dry-fly action and ferocious strikes.

27" brown trout, my largest ever. It was the sub-dominant fish in its pool. After this, I hooked the bigger one, but I couldn't land it.
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True Fly Genus Atherix (Watersnipe Flies)

I have never seen these flies mentioned in a fly fishing book, entomology-oriented or otherwise. However, a large number of their larvae turned up in my early-July kicknet samples on the Gallatin River near Big Sky, Montana, which led me to photograph one and search Google for mentions. A couple other angler-scientists have written about them online:

John Newbury has blogged about imitating the larvae of Atherix with some success after finding quite a few in samples of other big western rivers like the Madison.

Rick Hafele has likewise written about finding good numbers of larvae on Montana's Big Hole river and having success fishing a green rockworm imitation (designed to imitate Rhyacophila caddisflies, which have a similar size and color if not precise body shape).

Where & when

In 19 records from GBIF, adults of this genus have been collected during June (37%), July (32%), May (21%), and April (11%).

In 2 records from GBIF, this genus has been collected at elevations of 3051 and 6699 ft.

Genus Range

Specimens of the True Fly Genus Atherix

3 Larvae

Start a Discussion of Atherix

True Fly Genus Atherix (Watersnipe Flies)

4 species (Atherix lantha, Atherix pachypus, Atherix variegata, and Atherix vidua) aren't included.
Genus Range
Common Names
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