Header image
Enter a name
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.

Case view of a Pycnopsyche guttifera (Limnephilidae) (Great Autumn Brown Sedge) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
It's only barely visible in one of my pictures, but I confirmed under the microscope that this one has a prosternal horn and the antennae are mid-way between the eyes and front of the head capsule.

I'm calling this one Pycnopsyche, but it's a bit perplexing. It seems to key definitively to at least Couplet 8 of the Key to Genera of Limnephilidae Larvae. That narrows it down to three genera, and the case seems wrong for the other two. The case looks right for Pycnopsyche, and it fits one of the key characteristics: "Abdominal sternum II without chloride epithelium and abdominal segment IX with only single seta on each side of dorsal sclerite." However, the characteristic "metanotal sa1 sclerites not fused, although often contiguous" does not seem to fit well. Those sclerites sure look fused to me, although I can make out a thin groove in the touching halves in the anterior half under the microscope. Perhaps this is a regional variation.

The only species of Pycnopsyche documented in Washington state is Pycnopsyche guttifera, and the colors and markings around the head of this specimen seem to match very well a specimen of that species from Massachusetts on Bugguide. So I am placing it in that species for now.

Whatever species this is, I photographed another specimen of seemingly the same species from the same spot a couple months later.
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.

Entoman
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Mar 11, 2011March 11th, 2011, 9:09 am EST
Another thread discussed metallurgy relative to expensive pliers and reels. The conversation was fascinating and it revealed some of our fellows as experts with considerable knowledge in this area. I'm hoping they will comment on the steel used in hooks: the whats, whys and hows, and then relate it to various hook brands?

Regards,

Kurt
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Mar 12, 2011March 12th, 2011, 10:19 am EST
Kurt, I don't know a lot about this, but this is what I at least think I know. The old standard Mustad hooks are a lower carbon steel than Tiemco, Daiichi, Gamakatsu, and many of the other newer high tech hooks. I believe the lower carbon steel is a bit more malleable, so it can better be bent back into shape without snapping after you (repeatedly?) deform a hook on a rock. The high carbon hooks are harder and more resistant to bending. If you bend them and try to bend them back a time or two they seem to break more readily. This is at least what my experience has been with nymph hooks. The high carbon steel is known for its strength, and a very light wire high carbon hook can be very strong. I love Varivas ultra midge hooks for small patterns, and they once had a claim that a huge salmon had been caught on one of their light size 16 hooks without the hook failing. Not that that in itself means everything. We don't know the conditions of the fight, but I've had very good luck with the high carbon hooks, especially for dry flies. I also use them for nymphs, but I like the old Mustads when I can use them, especially the 9761 and 9762 for nymphs and streamers. They may need a little sharpening unless you get the newer chemically sharpened hooks (different numbers, I believe. I also think they call their top of the line hooks "signature" hooks now.) I just had a strong recommendation for the Mustad R50X barbless hooks and will be trying them for dry flies some this year. If color means anything, they look like the standard Mustad lower carbon steel, but I haven't checked the Mustad website. Their points look great. Gonzo likes the Mustad C49S hook, as does Loren Williams, a guide who seems knowledgeable about such things. If those two both make the same recommendation I sit up and take notice.

Well, I don't know if this helps--and some if not most of it is conjecture, but these comments will move the thread along and give others who know more something to correct. Now I think I'll check the Mustad website to see what they say about their wire in the R50X.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Entoman
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Mar 12, 2011March 12th, 2011, 7:19 pm EST
Hi Louis,

I'm going to take this thread a little off topic, but finish can enter this conversation as well.
If color means anything, they look like the standard Mustad lower carbon steel, but I haven't checked the Mustad website.


One of few "advances" I lament with the demise of the Mustad "monopoly" is their finish (for those only into fly tying since the late '70's, they used to be the only game in town barring very expensive and hard to get English hooks). It was a nice even dark bronze. The Japanese models are all much lighter and a little blotchy. Daiichi is the worst (almost a tarnished gold). And it usually wears off after minimal use. Heck, some of it even comes off in the vise if you look close at the bend after taking it out! Strangely, they remain free of rust if properly dried, whereas the loss of that much finish from the old Mustads wouldn't be noticed for the rust. Still, wire quality and finish aside, it's hard to deny the superiority of the chemically sharpened needle points with micro barbs over the fragile hollow ground and large barbed hooks by Mustad. Their refusal to retool cost them the market; and to add insult to injury, the market at about the same time also exploded, undoubtedly to some dunderheads extreme chagrin in Norway.

Regards,

Kurt
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
RleeP
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 398
RleeP on Mar 14, 2011March 14th, 2011, 6:32 am EDT
Just quickly as I have an MD appt. I have to go to, I'll echo a lot of what Louis had to say. For standard dry fly hooks these days, I tend to use three or four sources and it seems to work out OK. I tie on the Cabela's brand chemically sharpened hooks and particularly like their ring eye Model 04. Then I have a buddy who was in the biz for a number of years and he has an ongoing line on quantity buys of Dai-Riki hooks, which I also like. Then, I've also started using what I'm going to guess are factory 2nd Tiemcos from a guy who calls himself "The Fish Guy" and operates out of someplace in Montana. And if I have a gap during the season and need a few hooks to fill it, I don't hesitate to buy 50 backs of the newer Mustads. They're pretty good, IMO.

Everything else I tie, from nymphs to streamers to bass flies is tied on Mustad hooks, mostly the older ones as mentioned by Louis. I have piles of them that I have accumulated over the years. The sole exceptions to this are scud-type hooks which I tie on Dai-Rikis and a certain number of smaller, standard length wet fly hooks (3906 equiv.), say in sizes 18-20. I'll often buy Tiemcos at full retail for these uses. I use a limited number of these for tiny nymph patterns on the Driftless Spring Creeks and much prefer them to the Mustads.

The only other thing I'll say about retail hook choices is that it has been my experience that the White River BPS brands are awful. They are sharp, but have the temper of al dente linquini. So, I stay away from them.

Time to go bend over and grab my ankles. 18 month post prostatectomy checkup. Been clean so far. Life is good.

Lee
Entoman
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Mar 15, 2011March 15th, 2011, 10:48 pm EDT
Lee,

A LITTLE more information than we needed :), but thanks for the input...

Kurt

PS. BTW, I'm glad things are going well.
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
Shawnny3
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on Mar 15, 2011March 15th, 2011, 11:16 pm EDT
A LITTLE more information than we needed


Nonsense. You can never have too much information when it comes to hooks.

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Mar 16, 2011March 16th, 2011, 3:43 am EDT
So long as your proctology exam doesn't reveal any hooks stuck "where the Sun don't shine"...

JMD
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Entoman
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Mar 16, 2011March 16th, 2011, 12:48 pm EDT
Shawn - You didn't really think I was referring to hooks, did you? Nahh... Can't be. :)

Thanks for getting me off the "hook" Jonathon.


Regards,

Kurt
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Mar 16, 2011March 16th, 2011, 1:29 pm EDT
"A LITTLE more information than we needed :), but thanks for the input..."

Man, oh man, isn't that the truth! When I saw the initial post I was thinking to myself "now that is a little more than I cared to hear from this gentleman!"
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Shawnny3
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on Mar 16, 2011March 16th, 2011, 1:58 pm EDT
Just a little fun, Kurt. About two of every three of my posts are of the smart-ass variety. Come to think of it, that's a lot of wasted time for both me and those who have to read them...

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Mar 16, 2011March 16th, 2011, 2:25 pm EDT
"Come to think of it, that's a lot of wasted time for both me and those who have to read them..."

Yea, I agree! Let's take a poll to see how many Nutter's want to boot Shawnny or penalize him in some hideous fashion.

Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Entoman
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Mar 16, 2011March 16th, 2011, 2:36 pm EDT
Hey Shawn - Nothing that makes me grin or chuckle is a waste as far as I'm concerned, and your "nonsense" post had me doing both as I tried to come up with a witty(less) response. I hope Lee looks at it that way too. It certainly wasn't my intent to make lite of his condition. Just a bunch of dry docked fishermen trying to entertain themselves as we enter into "March Madness" (and no, I don't mean basketball). I've noticed things have been slow on the forum of late. I wonder how many of us have succumed? You know - re-cleaning and organizing tackle for the umpteenth time, tying more unnecessary flies, stairing listlessly out the window at gray skies - That kind of stuff. I worry that a few of the Michigan contingent we haven't heard from in awhile are stuck in a catatonic state. I can see them rocking back and forth in front of their vices muttering to themselves over and over, "Hendricksons.. Hendricksons.. Hendricksons....."

Kurt
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Mar 17, 2011March 17th, 2011, 2:58 am EDT
Or on the stream, like some of us in Pennsylvania, looking hard and chanting "Olives, olives, olives."
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Mar 18, 2011March 18th, 2011, 6:24 am EDT
Matt: perhaps Shawn's punishment should be a proctology exam of his own?

Kurt: This member of the Michigan contingent is alive and well. I actually went steelhead fishing yesterday in the "backyard", with the usual lack of results. In summary:

My neoprene waders made me feel like I was stumbling around in a suit of Medevil armor, and they are STILL leaking in the crotch despite numerous layers of Aquaseal;

The water was deeper than it looks and rather fast, not to mention cold of course, which didn't encourage wading and brought me flashbacks of my "swim" downstate about this time last year;

My landing net is too big to carry into the water with me, so I had to leave it on the bank in the hopes that I could somehow stumble back to it while fighting a raging steelhead and a swift current;

My very first cast landed in a tree which promptly ate my fly;

My split shot kept falling off my leader;

My fly wasn't sinking deep enough anyway to interest any steelhead, as the holes are considerably deeper than I am tall;

My very last cast ended up around my neck.

All in all, a pretty typical steelheading experience for me. So yes, I will soon be rocking back and forth in front of my vice chanting, "hennies, hennies, hennies"...

BUT WAIT!! THERE IS HOPE AFTER ALL!!! The ice will be disappearing from a lake in my hometown downstate and, if the last two years are an indication, the bluegills, crappies, yellow perch, and maybe even a few largemouth will soon be cruising the warming shallows looking for food. Spinning tackle? Bait??? HELL NO!!! It's 3-weight time with original silver & grey Killer Bass Flies and size 10 chartreuse Woolly Buggers!! For the last two years this was THE END of the Winter Blues and Cabin Fever for good, with greening grass, singing amphibians, and blooming wildflowers soon to follow. Not to mention Hennies and trout!!

BE STILL, my beating heart!

Jonathon

P.S. I have no idea what happened to Spence, a.k.a. Oldredbarn. He seems to be trapped in some self-imposed exile, or he really IS rocking back & forth in front of his vice...
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Sayfu
Posts: 560
Sayfu on Aug 21, 2011August 21st, 2011, 5:30 am EDT

Boy, you guys get into the nitty gritty of hooks. I have used Mustad's for years, but in the small sizes, have gone to the Japanese hooks as being stronger. I thought the key to strength was in the tempering process. And, it has appeared to me that the new Mustads, their SIGNATURE hooks are a better grade hook, and a good value. Mustad brought them out to compete with the Japanese hook makers. Years ago I ran a flyshop, and when the Japanese hook makers brought their hooks to market they changed the sizing that Mustad had established as the standard. Their dry fly models were slightly longer shanked, and gave the tier more room to include materials, and that was a biggie in winning the market over. It always brought up the thought to me that when someone said the emerging bug was a size #14 whether they were talking about a Japanese size #14, or a Mustad size #14?
Softhackle
Softhackle's profile picture
Wellsville, NY

Posts: 540
Softhackle on Aug 21, 2011August 21st, 2011, 12:41 pm EDT
I really like the more recent selection of hooks now available. For many years, it was only Mustad hooks for me. I don't know a lot about metallurgy, but base my hook selection on performance. I've not found many modern hooks that do not perform well.

Next, I find the hook profile also very important. Being the bones of the fly, the hook shape helps to create/imitate the fly I'm trying to approximate.

Next, I select the hook wire weight depending upon application. Of course dry flies on light wire hook, but it's not very often fly tiers think of different hook weights for wet flies. As most of you know I tie a lot of wingless wets, and tie them using different hook weights dependent upon how I'll fish the fly.

Besides Mustad, I like Daiichi, White River (from Bass Pro), Grip, & Eagle Claw. I don't use Tiemco. To me they are overpriced. I've never tried Cabela's hooks, although they look good.

Years ago, I use to purchase a brand through Herter's. It was Gaelic Supreme, and they are still available, today in certain places, but are quite expensive.

One of the nicest wet fly hooks I've used over the years is Mustad's 3399A. These are now sold as S60-3399A. For the price, they are hard to beat.

Mark
"I have the highest respect for the skilled wet-fly fisherman, as he has mastered an art of very great difficulty." Edward R. Hewitt

Flymphs, Soft-hackles and Spiders: http://www.troutnut.com/libstudio/FS&S/index.html

Quick Reply

Related Discussions

Topic
Replies
Last Reply
3
Jan 6, 2008
by Softhackle
4
Apr 14, 2008
by Martinlf
7
Jan 18, 2020
by TNEAL
35
Feb 14, 2012
by Entoman
24
Oct 2, 2011
by Sayfu
Troutnut.com is copyright © 2004-2024 (email Jason). privacy policy