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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 Pycnopsyche guttifera (Limnephilidae) (Great Autumn Brown Sedge) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
This specimen appears to be of the same species as this one collected in the same spot two months earlier. The identification of both is tentative. This one suffered some physical damage before being photographed, too, so the colors aren't totally natural. I was mostly photographing it to test out some new camera setting idea, which worked really well for a couple of closeups.
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.

Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on Aug 28, 2010August 28th, 2010, 1:56 pm EDT
I began buying glass beads from JoAnn's because I was tired of paying a premium for metal beads at the fly shop. They also give a tier some more interesting colors to play with. But I've found that, whether due to the weight difference or the color difference, some of my patterns don't fish as well with glass beads.

But today I went to JoAnn's and discovered cheap metal beads I'd never seen there before. They are Blue Moon brand, and they come in a few different sizes (probably what I would use on size 16 and 20 flies, respectively, but I think they could be made to work from about 14 up to about 22). They have a large bore, so they would easily slide onto a hook shank, but the bore is not tapered, so you might need to half-hitch it into place to keep it from riding up over the eye of the hook if you were using it to tie a beadhead fly. The price: $3.99 for a pack with 120 beads, some the smaller size and some the larger size. Or, $2.99 for a pack of 200 of the smaller size. I didn't see the larger size sold separately, but it may just be the selection offered at my JoAnn's. I'm certain you could find all the colors and sizes online once you tried the beads to make sure you knew what you were buying. Here's a link, for example:


Finally, in addition to bright gold, silver, and copper, they have these beads in several muted colors that would be excellent for more subtle flies. They call them antique gold, antique silver, and antique copper. The antique gold and copper are similar and look like those wonderfully oxidized beads you sometimes find streamside on flies that have been hanging in tree branches for a few seasons. The antique silver is a beautiful gun-metal gray. I'm pretty excited to try them out.

Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
Potter County, PA

Posts: 144
SlateDrake9 on Aug 28, 2010August 28th, 2010, 2:54 pm EDT
How do they compare weight wise to traditional fly tying specific beads? Ones I've found in the past similar to what you described were super light and I found them useless due to that. I tie with beads for the added weight much more than the flash they provide.
Fishing with bait is like swearing in church.
-- Slate Drake
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on Aug 28, 2010August 28th, 2010, 3:15 pm EDT
Good question, Slate. I have no idea. I will have to try them and report back. We were in the store for something else and had the family in tow, so I didn't pick up any. In hindsight, I wish I'd bought one bag just to try them.

Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
CaseyP's profile picture
Arlington, VA/ Mercersburg, PA

Posts: 653
CaseyP on Aug 31, 2010August 31st, 2010, 3:12 am EDT
often, "cheap" metal finishes are quickly eaten up by water, or whatever water makes happen to metal.

but how long do you actually use a fly before it goes away into a tree, fish mouth, underwater secret place?

as SlateDrake says, it's the weight that matters most.
"You can observe a lot by watching." Yogi Berra
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on Aug 31, 2010August 31st, 2010, 10:12 am EDT
I'll be sure to report back when I can on their performance. It might be some time before that happens - I rarely head to that side of town.

Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis

Posts: 2
Troutfish on Sep 26, 2010September 26th, 2010, 10:25 pm EDT
I enjoyed reading your exchange of ideas. I am a newbie here. I've been trout fishing for 2 years now. My 2 sons love it when I take them with me. Those were fond memories :) If you don't mind, I have also found a nice site about Trout fishing and I wanted to share it with you: Trout Fishing Questions. You can ask questions here. I visit this often, it's my favorite.

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