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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 Setvena wahkeena (Perlodidae) (Wahkeena Springfly) Stonefly Nymph from Mystery Creek #199 in Washington
As far as I can tell, this species has only previously been reported from one site in Oregon along the Columbia gorge. However, the key characteristics are fairly unmistakable in all except for one minor detail:
— 4 small yellow spots on frons visible in photos
— Narrow occipital spinule row curves forward (but doesn’t quite meet on stem of ecdysial suture, as it's supposed to in this species)
— Short spinules on anterior margin of front legs
— Short rposterior row of blunt spinules on abdominal tergae, rather than elongated spinules dorsally
I caught several of these mature nymphs in the fishless, tiny headwaters of a creek high in the Wenatchee Mountains.
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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Posts: 2
Ozzie on Jul 15, 2008July 15th, 2008, 3:30 pm EDT
Anyone have a good example of what I've heard referred to as a Quigley's Cripple? Supposed to imitate a Brown Drake cripple. Any help would be much appreciated!!
Taxon's profile picture
Site Editor
Plano, TX

Posts: 1311
Taxon on Jul 15, 2008July 15th, 2008, 8:10 pm EDT

The following pattern, which is called Rainey's Cripple Brown Drake, is tied Quigley Cripple style, and imitates a Brown Drake. However, I wouldn't be surprised if Gonzo has a better imitation.

Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on Jul 16, 2008July 16th, 2008, 4:21 pm EDT

To compliment the photo that Roger provided, here's a link that includes tying instructions for the Quigley Cripple style:


As for Roger's generous comment about my patterns, I do have some that imitate Brown Drake nymphs, emergers, duns, and spinners. But I wouldn't say that they are better, just a bit more accurate (perhaps) and a bit more complicated to tie. I would recommend starting with the Quigley style or even something a little simpler. I have always advocated using the simplest fly that will work in a given situation. You can always make it more elaborate, but if the simpler tie works, there's no need to get fancy (unless you just enjoy it).

Speaking of "cripples," I'll share something that a friend told me recently. He was discussing fly patterns with another Pocono fisherman (in a bar, I believe) when the fellow commented that he was surprised that I didn't design any "cripple" patterns. When I told my friend that I tie lots of emergers and asked him what the difference was, he shrugged his shoulders and said "Exactly!" with a wry smile. I suppose one could say that an emerger pattern represents an emerging insect and a cripple represents those that will not emerge successfully, but it begs the question of how the trout could possibly know the difference. I guess my emergers just look too healthy! :)
Posts: 2
Ozzie on Jul 16, 2008July 16th, 2008, 5:04 pm EDT
Thank you for the examples and thoughts. You are both very experienced and I thank you for sharing the information. The cripple seems to present an advantage over the emerger, in the fact that it is "stuck" and relatively helpless. As long as the fish prefer them - I don't care what they are termed. I'll try the pattern as suggested - keeping it simple. Most appreciated!
Thanks again,

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