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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.

Dorsal view of a Ephemerella mucronata (Ephemerellidae) Mayfly Nymph from the Yakima River in Washington
This is an interesting one. Following the keys in Merritt R.W., Cummins, K.W., and Berg, M.B. (2019) and Jacobus et al. (2014), it keys clearly to Ephemerella. Jacobus et al provide a key to species, but some of the characteristics are tricky to interpret without illustrations. If I didn't make any mistakes, this one keys to Ephemerella mucronata, which has not previously been reported any closer to here than Montana and Alberta. The main character seems to fit well: "Abdominal terga with prominent, paired, subparallel, spiculate ridges." Several illustrations or descriptions of this holarctic species from the US and Europe seem to match, including the body length, tarsal claws and denticles, labial palp, and gill shapes. These sources include including Richard Allen's original description of this species in North America under the now-defunct name E. moffatae in Allen RK (1977) and the figures in this description of the species in Italy.
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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This topic is about the Stonefly Species Pteronarcys dorsata

This is the largest common eastern stonefly. It's quite abundant in places, but not to the extent of its western counterparts, and since most of its activity is at night it is generally less important. Nevertheless, nymph imitations produce some very large trout, and lucky or very locally knowledgable anglers may find good fishing to the egg-laying adults.

Example specimens

Max29
Posts: 1
Max29 on Jan 29, 2008January 29th, 2008, 10:05 am EST
Are stoneflies and salmonflies the same thing or are they just related because here in the mid west we have the stonfly hatch and if they are related the stonfly could be called the salmonfly and the salmonfly hatch is only in the west because I have trouble because I want to become a better insect identifier when it comes to fishing because i went to other sites that so a stonefly is a stonefly and a salmonfly is a salmon fly but yet you say stonefly nymph but in parenteseses you have american salmonfly so is there really no such thing as a salmonfly but it is rather called a stonefly.
Shawnny3
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on Jan 29, 2008January 29th, 2008, 10:54 am EST
I think the answer to your question, Max, may be found at the top of this thread - I would trust this site above all other fishing sites when it comes to insect IDs. Jason has made a nice section called "Common Names" (the link is in the menu at the top of the page) in which you can find the sometimes varied species associated with the myriad common names fishermen apply to these bugs. Click around that section for a few minutes and you'll see how nicely Jason has designed it. He's made a very complicated body of information at least easy to navigate.

-Shawn

P.S. One of the things that makes this site so reliable is the number of experts in insect ID who frequent it and offer their expertise to the rest of us for free. Someone knowledgeable to answer your question in 3-2-1...
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
Taxon
Taxon's profile picture
Site Editor
Plano, TX

Posts: 1311
Taxon on Jan 29, 2008January 29th, 2008, 12:13 pm EST
Max-

Salmonfly is the common name for family Pteronarcyidae, which is but one of the stonefly families. Perhaps, this can be seen more easily here.
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
www.FlyfishingEntomology.com
Falsifly
Falsifly's profile picture
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 660
Falsifly on Jan 29, 2008January 29th, 2008, 12:25 pm EST

Someone knowledgeable to answer your question in 3-2-1...


Wow- I knew Roger would respond but I didn't think it would be that fast.
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."
Mtskibum
Montana

Posts: 26
Mtskibum on Jan 29, 2008January 29th, 2008, 1:52 pm EST
I took 2 pictures of a handfull of my salmonflies, a couple i tied(poorly) and a couple i bought. The are on a size 4-10 hook, although i currently dont have any of the larger ones, the salmonfly hatch is still about 4-5 months away.



Taxon
Taxon's profile picture
Site Editor
Plano, TX

Posts: 1311
Taxon on Jan 29, 2008January 29th, 2008, 4:47 pm EST
Wow- I knew Roger would respond but I didn't think it would be that fast.


Allan-

Fastest gun in the West, that's me for sure. LOL.
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
www.FlyfishingEntomology.com
Mtskibum
Montana

Posts: 26
Mtskibum on Jan 29, 2008January 29th, 2008, 7:18 pm EST
Here is one picture of the dry fly stage, hosted by
http://www.mrfc.com/MadisonRiverMontanaFishing





Taxon
Taxon's profile picture
Site Editor
Plano, TX

Posts: 1311
Taxon on Jan 29, 2008January 29th, 2008, 11:30 pm EST
Jay-

Very nice photo. PM sent.
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
www.FlyfishingEntomology.com

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