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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.

Dorsal view of a Zapada cinctipes (Nemouridae) (Tiny Winter Black) Stonefly Nymph from the Yakima River in Washington
Nymphs of this species were fairly common in late-winter kick net samples from the upper Yakima River. Although I could not find a key to species of Zapada nymphs, a revision of the Nemouridae family by Baumann (1975) includes the following helpful sentence: "2 cervical gills on each side of midline, 1 arising inside and 1 outside of lateral cervical sclerites, usually single and elongate, sometimes constricted but with 3 or 4 branches arising beyond gill base in Zapada cinctipes." This specimen clearly has the branches and is within the range of that species.
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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Insect Family Acrididae (Grasshoppers)

Grasshoppers are the most exciting terrestrial insects for the trout angler. Sometimes on hot summer days large trout lie along the banks waiting for them.

Where & when

Time of year : Mid-July through August

Trout may rise to hopper flies at any time of year, but they are best on meadow streams in late August when the fish actually are on the lookout for them.

Acrididae Fly Fishing Tips

Grasshopper imitations should not settle on the water with the gentle, dainty touch of a high-floating mayfly pattern. The proper hopper fisherman takes pride in the splat his fly makes as it touches down.

Ernest Schwiebert wrote of grasshoppers in Matching the Hatch:

My experiences with grasshoppers have taught me three lessons valuable in fishing them: the gentle twitch of the fly, bouncing the fly off bankside grass, and dapping or swimming the fly on a short line. All of these tricks are suggest of the natural in the water.

These imitations provide outstanding fishing in many situations, even when the fish have not seen real hoppers. Their large, low-floating, buggy bodies have a universal appeal which makes them excellent searching patterns. Their buoyancy also makes them handy for the trick of using a large dry fly as an indicator for a nymph tied to its hook shank below.

Specimens of Grasshoppers:

1 Adult

Start a Discussion of Acrididae


Insect Family Acrididae (Grasshoppers)

Common Name
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