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Artistic view of a Male Pteronarcys californica (Pteronarcyidae) (Giant Salmonfly) Stonefly Adult from the Gallatin River in Montana
Salmonflies
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.
Troutnut is a project started in 2003 by salmonid ecologist Jason "Troutnut" Neuswanger to help anglers and fly tyers unabashedly embrace the entomological side of the sport. Learn more about Troutnut or support the project for an enhanced experience here.

MightyKenai
Cooper Landing, AK

Posts: 3
MightyKenai on Sep 16, 2007September 16th, 2007, 4:13 pm EDT
Many times I have sat down in the spring dillegently painting beads in a variety of sizes (6-12 mil) and have wondered about the fly puritans thoughts?
Taxon
Taxon's profile picture
Site Editor
Plano, TX

Posts: 1311
Taxon on Sep 16, 2007September 16th, 2007, 7:26 pm EDT
MightyKenei-

Am assuming you meant "fly purists" rather than "fly puritans", as to the best of my knowledge, no flies have yet expressed any particular religious leanings.

Now that I've gotten that admittedly lame joke out of my system, in Alaska and particularly when anadromous fish are present in the river, I believe most flyfishers would agree that strictly limiting oneself to fishing an imitation of some insect would probably not be the most practical approach to take. I believe that the vast majority of flyfishers in Alaska would have egg imitations of some form in their arsenal.
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
www.FlyfishingEntomology.com
Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Sep 17, 2007September 17th, 2007, 10:03 am EDT
Acknowledging that Taxon's joke is earned, I liked the term puritans, as it suggests those who are willing self-righteously to burn innocent victims with scant evidence. Such persons are sometimes driven by ideological scruples that melt in a real world situation. For example, I'd bet if one such person was fishlessly fishing next to you with his or her pheasant tail nymph and you were landing huge fish after huge fish, that person just might accept a bead and instructions for rigging. I know I would, gratefully.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Shawnny3
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on Sep 17, 2007September 17th, 2007, 1:15 pm EDT
For example, I'd bet if one such person was fishlessly fishing next to you with his or her pheasant tail nymph and you were landing huge fish after huge fish, that person just might accept a bead and instructions for rigging.


When the jackass next to me is accomplishing this feat while I whip the water fishlessly, I usually rig a half-dozen bead-heads about 2 inches apart and throw on about half a pound of split-shot. I then direct my backcast carefully but firmly at his head. Then, once he's out of commission, I proceed to snag fish until I've caught up to him, after which I resume fishing my pheasant tail in serene silence.

-Shawn

P.S. Don't sell yourself short, Roger - that was a good one.
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
MightyKenai
Cooper Landing, AK

Posts: 3
MightyKenai on Sep 17, 2007September 17th, 2007, 8:24 pm EDT
Shawn I like your style.
Troutnut
Troutnut's profile picture
Administrator
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Sep 17, 2007September 17th, 2007, 8:40 pm EDT
A bead should definitely count as a fly, since considerably more goes into it (at least, a painted and well-pegged bead) than goes into your average glo-bug or estaz egg. Having the imitation attached to the line near the hook, instead of to the hook, should not be a real disqualifier.

That said, I think a less clear question is whether bead fishing (or any of the other Alaska stuff with a similar amount of lead) is really "fly fishing." I got to fish the Kenai a few weeks ago with Erik Knowlton and Jason Williams, and it was a blast, but with 6 big split shot above my bead it wasn't the same sport I'm used to. I caught some good fish but I was severely outfished by those two guys (despite using the same beads and overall rigging). There's obviously much more skill to that chuck-n-duck art than meets the eye, and those guys apparently have a lot more of that skill than I do. I left with a new respect for that method, although I still feel strange calling it "fly fishing" -- it seems more like a whole other category of fishing altogether, interesting and legitimate in its own right but very, very different.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
Falsifly
Falsifly's profile picture
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 660
Falsifly on Sep 18, 2007September 18th, 2007, 4:49 am EDT
I think I know how Halford would argue but it would be interesting to know what Skues might say. For me it is best left as a matter of personal opinion.
Falsifly
When asked what I just caught that monster on I showed him. He put on his magnifiers and said, "I can't believe they can see that."
MightyKenai
Cooper Landing, AK

Posts: 3
MightyKenai on Sep 18, 2007September 18th, 2007, 9:02 pm EDT
Glad to hear you got out on the Kenai Mr. Troutnut. Maybe consider a slightly differnet setup on the leader and the weight next time to outfish your buddies. I go with a 10 ft. leader, starting with 30# up tapered to 8# Sniper flouro, and of course a strike indicator/bobber/buoy up top! I put a Sz. 3 splitshot and a BB on for weight (occasionally two Sz. 3's for Skilak lake and down) 24" above my hook and tie a nail knot w/30# test 2" above my hook. This supports my bead without the use of a toothpick or other pegging device and leave the bead free sliding. With a Sz. 10 Tiemco 2457 tied on to the end of that string it could be dynamite. Mega drifts and mending all day long.

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