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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.

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 Jun 13, 2011June 13th, 2011, 7:50 pm EDT
HaHa! You're right Spence, it does sound a little odd...
But we're discussing animal husbandry here! :) My point was unless rams and foxes like to dip their oysters into urinals, I don't see how it/they get(s) there on a frequency consistent enough to burn the fur. With female plumming the answer is pretty obvious - gravity, angles and all that...I've been around a few sheep in my day and never noticed any pink purses. But then again, I wasn't looking for them either. Perhaps there is a TroutNutter out there with some experience raising sheep that could provide the answer? Or have we indeed drifted that far from the land... I remember a young lady at the meat counter awhile back asking what a capon was (a couple of big roasters were on special). When she found out she was so disgusted that she announced she was out of the mood for chicken and decided to buy a few steaks instead. Nobody said a word.

Besides, I'm not the one posting photos of alleged scrotum fur.:):) How about photo's of the harvest? Probably make a wild cow milking contest look like a stroll in the park.

Kurt

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
Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Jun 14, 2011June 14th, 2011, 7:12 am EDT
Well...I think that foxes, males especially, may be prone to urine stains down below because of their constant marking of territory...The males among us, us older ones especially, understand than our aim, though always true, isn't always so accurate...:)

I have a good friend that lives in Munich...He has to entertain clients every year at Oktobefest. My mother's great-grand parents were from northern Bavaria (Ober Franken)...farmers basically...My friend emails me every year photos of the farm boys in their lederhosen chasing pigs (Oktoberfest is basically a farmers state fair) and always writes..."Spence...Your cousins send their greetings!" Maybe we should get one of them to answer our questions for us...

In case you are ever playing Trival Pursuit or asked the million dollar question on Jepordy...Ober Franken has the highest per capita breweries in all the world...I come by it naturally...;) "in Munchen steht ein Hofbrauhaus..."

Oh...Franconia (Ober-, Mittel-, und Unter-) given to Bavaria by that Frenchie Napoleon as a thank you for the Catholic Bavarians siding with him again Freddy the Great von Prussia who was a pro-test-tant...So a small bit of angry, drunken, pro-test-tants were artificially attached to Bavaria...Not so good a fit...Just gave us another excuse to drink.

What any of this has to do with urine stained dubbing is beyond me...Better go make my second cup of tea!

"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
PaulRoberts
PaulRoberts's profile picture
Colorado

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on Jun 14, 2011June 14th, 2011, 8:35 am EDT
I used to trap foxes but never really looked for urine staining as I wasn't a FF then. I do have a tanned gray fox pelt here in my office and there is no sign of urine staining. There is however a Hennie pink in places through the belly underfur of this female and in places well away from the genitals, esp under the "arm pits" of the front legs. Maybe the color is simply axial in location, front and rear legs?

Male foxes anyway, lift their legs and are pretty accurate. And most wild animals are pretty fastidious groomers (I remind my 9yr old of that lol). I would venture a guess that if it really was "urine staining" used for the Hennie and Tup's then it came from animals living in fur farms.

Just some thoughts.
Entoman
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Jun 14, 2011June 14th, 2011, 8:45 am EDT
And good ones too.
"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
Kauto
mansfield woodhouse uk

Posts: 5
Kauto on Jul 12, 2011July 12th, 2011, 2:45 am EDT
The colour of tups testicle wool is caused by urine according to a farmer friend.The wool from a tup is not the quality of the wool taken from sheep so it is of no commercial use.To get the lanolin out of the wool can be a right pain because you cannot rub it or wring it out because it will matt so its a case of gentle agitation whilst it is in the water and soap mix it is then taken out and laid flat to let it dry naturally.
PaulRoberts
PaulRoberts's profile picture
Colorado

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on Jul 12, 2011July 12th, 2011, 7:50 am EDT
Thanks, Kauto.
Trouting
tasmania, Australia

Posts: 1
Trouting on Sep 19, 2011September 19th, 2011, 6:47 am EDT
Here's Mick Hall's research into the history of the 'Tups'.

http://www.kossiedun.com.au/TupsIndispensable.htm
Gutcutter
Gutcutter's profile picture
Pennsylvania

Posts: 470
Gutcutter on Sep 19, 2011September 19th, 2011, 5:51 pm EDT
Thank you, Trouting. That was some terrific reading. And welcome to the forum.
Tony
All men who fish may in turn be divided into two parts: those who fish for trout and those who don't. Trout fishermen are a race apart: they are a dedicated crew- indolent, improvident, and quietly mad.

-Robert Traver, Trout Madness
Allan
southern tier NY

Posts: 10
Allan on Sep 20, 2011September 20th, 2011, 3:13 am EDT
Thanks Trouting.

About 4-5 years ago the topic of Tups dubbing came up on another site. One of the members was a tying historian of sorts and he searched out the ingredients so he could duplicate the dubing. He did and he sent me some which I've managed to copy as well. I use the original ingredients too! Allow me to tell you that this material works. A few years ago I used it to tye the body on March Browns. My friend and I were fishing a certain Catskill river during the March Brown time of year and we were fishing only 5 feet from each other. He had on a March Brown with 'standard' dubbing and I had one with Tups. There was no comparison. In about 1/2 hour and taking turns casting, I hooked 3 trout to his none. I held the fly up to the sky and you could see a phenomenol difference in glossiness and transluscency. Maybe the trout saw that too! Oh, I've used a somewhat lighter version for Hendrickson dubbing and it seems to work too.
Hey, if you don't believe me, go read what Theodore Gordon wrote about the Tups dubbing. He gave it rave reviews.
Lastly, if you dye or want to make some interesting dubbing, use the same ingredients but in different dyed colors for some excellent dubbings. Dun, Olive and Sulphur come to mind.

Allan
Allan
southern tier NY

Posts: 10
Allan on Sep 20, 2011September 20th, 2011, 10:40 am EDT
The colour of tups testicle wool is caused by urine according to a farmer friend.The wool from a tup is not the quality of the wool taken from sheep so it is of no commercial use.To get the lanolin out of the wool can be a right pain because you cannot rub it or wring it out because it will matt so its a case of gentle agitation whilst it is in the water and soap mix it is then taken out and laid flat to let it dry naturally.


I just happened to re-read this post and started to laugh. Yes, I often have a strange sense of humor. Anyway, I have a question about something within this quote. That is: "you cannot rub it or wring it out because it will matt so its a case of gentle agitation ..." Given where this hair originates, wouldn't you expect its natural tendency, if it is rubbed, to straighten up(or out?)? Just sayin, LOL.

Allan
Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Sep 20, 2011September 20th, 2011, 12:52 pm EDT
'The essential part of this dubbing is the highly translucent wool from the indispensable part of a Tup, thoroughly washed and cleansed of the natural oil of the animal. This wool would by itself be, like seal’s fur, somewhat intractable and difficult to spin on the tying silk, but an admixture of the pale pinkish and very filmy fur from an English hare’s poll had the effect of rendering it easy to work. There was also in the original pattern an admixture of cream coloured seal’s fur and combings from a lemon yellow spaniel, and the desired dominating colour was obtained by working in a small admixture of red mohair. For the mohair I generally substituted seal’s fur, and I believe Mr. Austin did so himself. When wet the Tup’s wool becomes somehow illuminated throughout by the colour of the seal’s fur or mohair, and the entire effect of the body is extraordinarily filmy and insect-like.


I too would like to second Tony's thank you for this link...I quoted the dubbing mixture here because it turns out that there was more to it than just the wool from the "Tup". I knew there was a mixture but I don't recall the seal's fur and the "combings" from the tyer's pup and some mohair. The recipe there isn't very exacting in its detail...What is the exact measurement of say "a small admixture of red mohair"?

I don't mean to be a nit-picker, and you all know I'm fond of traditional lore, but I have my doubts that the lambs wool really makes this a killer fly, as I do about "urine stained vixen" making a Hendrickson. Though I have admitted elsewhere here to mixing my own dry-fly dubbing for particular imitations, the color of a dry fly falls, for me, somewhere down the line in importance to other characteristics.

Allan's story is nice and all, but hardly a controlled experiment. There is little there other than they were fishing different flies to make me think that other variables may not be involved here. Extraneous variables, I think they call them...Who may be the better caster or how different were the two flies being used etc.

Don't get me wrong. The fly shown in the article is a killer fly, I'm just not so sure the dubbing was the complete reason for its success. How can we be certain beyond a reasonable doubt that it wasn't the inclusion of the lemon colored spaniel hair that didn't make the fly?

I know it would take a great deal of the fun away, especially the lies we love to tell ourselves, for sure, but it's just too damn bad them trout can't talk!

Spence the Irascible
"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
Allan
southern tier NY

Posts: 10
Allan on Sep 20, 2011September 20th, 2011, 1:10 pm EDT
Hi Spence,

"but it's just too damn bad them trout can't talk!"

Do you think if they could they'd lie as often and as much as we fly fishers?

I think this is correct - "Fly fishers aren't born liars but they soon get over it". Zern(?)

Allan



Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Sep 21, 2011September 21st, 2011, 5:44 am EDT
Do you think if they could they'd lie as often and as much as we fly fishers?


Allan...Ha, ha, ha! Without a doubt. Without a doubt. A good bull-shitter knows that BS is just the icing to a rather tasteless cake. :) Life would be dull, dull, dull, mister. Did I ever tell you the one about...;)

Spence
"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
Softhackle
Softhackle's profile picture
Wellsville, NY

Posts: 540
Softhackle on Sep 21, 2011September 21st, 2011, 9:51 am EDT
As I had noted, the tup's wool is very translucent with a distinctive pinkish orange cast to it. As I've noted, this fly is extremely effective. Something I forgot to mention. Leisenring suggested tying the fly so half the body is the dubbing. The other half is silk-Pearsall's can be used in Primrose yellow-with NO tying thread underneath. This supposedly becomes translucent as well when wet.
"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
WestCO
WestCO's profile picture
Palisade, CO

Posts: 65
WestCO on Oct 1, 2011October 1st, 2011, 8:57 am EDT
Haha. I tried to replace buck tail with the hind hair from my yellow lab and the problem was that it didn't crimp down at all so the heads of my flies were really fat. It was just to see what would happen. My thinking though was that his hair really seems to repel water so maybe it would have natural floating qualities. More than anything I just wanted to catch a fish with Dog hair. I called it a Sage (my dog's name) hair caddis.
...but fishermen I have noticed, they don't care if I'm rich or poor, wearing robes or waders, all they care about is the fish, the river, and the game we play. For fishermen, the only virtues are patience, tolerance, and humility. I like this.

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