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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.
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.

Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Aug 31, 2009August 31st, 2009, 3:19 am EDT
I was watching the television yesterday and decided to watch one of the episodes of Planet Earth. This one was on caves. If you ever get a chance to watch any of this series do so, especially now the one on caves.

As anglers we all understand the importance of limestone and our sport. The mineral content of a limestone stream is the driving force of all the insects we imitate and the food for the fish we chase.

Creatures that live in caves have adapted over the centuries to the lack of light. We have all seen albino versions of familiar animals like frogs etc that live in these caves.

Well imagine this. There is a worm that lives in this cave (I didn't actually catch where the cave was located) called the Glow Worm. It excretes, from it's mouth, a sticky string of goo that it dangles from the ceilings of the cave. It has somehow evolved a trick where it emits a light (glow if you will) that actually attracts insects to these sticky strings and they become entangled. It works like a spiders web.

I was watching the show and looking at my laptop at the same time when I looked up to see the Glow Worm reeling up it's "line" with an insect attached to the end of it. It was a MAYFLY! A brown bodied, slate winged beauty that was about to be dinner. I was stunned!

So...Now we need to sit GONZO down in front of a television and get him to watch and identify this little guy for us. I have proposed E. caverna...But hey! What do I know...

In a cave stream you must be proficient in roll and puddle casts...Forget the backcast...If you had any room you would only hook a bat or a Swift...I am working on an imitation of E caverna and though it was hard to tell, I think a size 14-16 might do the trick! Think Hendrickson.

Just another odd aside...The Swifts that live in this cave secrete a paste of their own and use it to create little cup like nests on the walls of the cave. They can find these in the dark! Humans go in to these caves and harvest these nests and they are the main ingredient in "Bird's Nest Soup".

Tell me nature isn't just about the bizarrest thing imaginable! Come to think of it...What do we think of humans that risk their lives on rope ladders inside caves that would steal a bird's nest and come up with the idea that it would be good in soup!?

Take Care!

"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood

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