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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.

Dorsal view of a Ephemerella mucronata (Ephemerellidae) Mayfly Nymph from the Yakima River in Washington
This is an interesting one. Following the keys in Merritt R.W., Cummins, K.W., and Berg, M.B. (2019) and Jacobus et al. (2014), it keys clearly to Ephemerella. Jacobus et al provide a key to species, but some of the characteristics are tricky to interpret without illustrations. If I didn't make any mistakes, this one keys to Ephemerella mucronata, which has not previously been reported any closer to here than Montana and Alberta. The main character seems to fit well: "Abdominal terga with prominent, paired, subparallel, spiculate ridges." Several illustrations or descriptions of this holarctic species from the US and Europe seem to match, including the body length, tarsal claws and denticles, labial palp, and gill shapes. These sources include including Richard Allen's original description of this species in North America under the now-defunct name E. moffatae in Allen RK (1977) and the figures in this description of the species in Italy.
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.

Roguerat
Roguerat's profile picture
Posts: 456
Roguerat on Aug 4, 2011August 4th, 2011, 4:07 pm EDT
any opinions or experience on what is or are the best hopper patterns in current use? it's that time of summer when terrestrials are pretty much the hot-ticket around west MI.
I've been tying Dave's Hopper, the Letort, and even tried Joe's Hopper a few times (this last is time-consuming, but the trees loved it;long story, and too-long backcasts, behind this one...lost every one, every time!).

anyway, this forum is a hoot- I appreciate the wit and candor that only fishermen seem to share!
Goose
Posts: 77
Goose on Aug 5, 2011August 5th, 2011, 5:57 am EDT
We don't know nothin' about any freakin' hoppers on this website. I've tried tyin' them, but I can't get them to hop. Besides, we don't have no freakin' hoppers in PA. As a matter of fact, there ain't no fishin' in PA.

PS. I can show you how to tie my Bi-visible, extended body, Clouser Trico, with 4 on the floor and a Wynne's Friction Decal on the side.
Roguerat
Roguerat's profile picture
Posts: 456
Roguerat on Aug 5, 2011August 5th, 2011, 8:37 am EDT
Goose-
like I said- the wit and candor which only fishermen seem to share!

I just had a friend ask how I 'keep those itty-bitty bugs' on the hook. I tried to explaing live bait vs. FLIES and got nowhere.

hey, we're the few, the proud, the half-crazed who really understand flyfishing!
Martinlf
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Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Aug 6, 2011August 6th, 2011, 7:46 am EDT
Roguerat,

I've only tied the Letort Hopper. My theory is: if it will fool those fish it will fool any fish.

Goosey Brucey,

I want that Trico pattern--sounds like a winner for those picky J. fish that don't know what they want. Meet you above the bridge to try it out.

tight lines all!
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Jesse
Jesse's profile picture
Posts: 378
Jesse on Aug 6, 2011August 6th, 2011, 10:03 pm EDT
Just a little fur for the body maybe a yellow and then some deerhair and rubber legs...GOOD TO RIP!
Most of us fish our whole lives..not knowing its not the fish that we are after.
http://www.filingoflyfishing.com
Sayfu
Posts: 560
Sayfu on Aug 15, 2011August 15th, 2011, 7:03 am EDT

My best performing hopper is the thin sheet of tan foam(2mm) tapered at the back, and tied in over the dubbed body at the thorax point.(say 2/3 of the way up the shank Tie in a hair wing, and can add some sparkle to the wing. Wrap down the foam and the hair butts to the eye, and dub back to the wing/foam tie in point. Fold the foam that is forward over the eye back to the tie in point and secure down leaving a flap to hold the wing spread out over the foam angled back over the body. This is then a good spot to tie in rubber legs...an easy to tie pattern that has the foam out of the way of the hook resulting in more hook-ups.(don't let the over foam body extend back past the bend very far, or you will miss takes. You can start with a short red tail if you prefer for your hopper patterns. These can be tied smaller, and often work better than big, hopper patterns.
JOHNW
JOHNW's profile picture
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
JOHNW on Aug 15, 2011August 15th, 2011, 4:50 pm EDT
I guess it depends are we talking eastern/midwestern spring creeks or are we talking big windblown western rivers.
Back here in the east I carry exactly one hopper pattern which with a color variation becomes a cricket and that is the fabled Letort Hopper/Cricket. Small relatively low in profile and very delicate for those typically smaller glassy surfaced waters.
For western waters chernobles and flies of that ilk are great as they have a large profile and are easy to sight in the frequent glare on the waters surface.
For som sweet hopper stuff check out this :

http://hopperjuan.blogspot.com/
JW

Sorry I can't figure out how to make the site an active link
"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn
Entoman
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Aug 15, 2011August 15th, 2011, 5:27 pm EDT
That was me JW. Good link.

Hi Sayfu. Welcome!

That's an interesting hopper you are describing. Assuming a 2x long hook - is the body foam gap width or wider? Is it tapered all the way or just near the tail where you round it off? How long is the stub, and is it rounded off as well or to you clip it straight? Do you stop the foam body approx. 1/2 a gap width past the bend?

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
Sayfu
Posts: 560
Sayfu on Aug 19, 2011August 19th, 2011, 5:58 pm EDT

I have it tapered just near the tail. And yes, a hook gape in width. I used flex floss (brown) for legs on my small, #12's and the segmented centipede legs on the larger hoppers. I can understand John's concern for foam, and the need for a more accurate creation in hair for clear water, heavily fished Eastern Spring Creeks. I am a free-stoner. We have our Henry's Fork of the Snake that is technical fishing on the Harriman Ranch property called also the Railroad Ranch, but I am more often found on the heavy water of the SF of the Snake. Low water coming soon, and I sure luv that low water when fish are found in pods, and good BWO fishing in the riffles.
Entoman
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Aug 20, 2011August 20th, 2011, 10:43 am EDT
Thanks Sayfu. Yeah, like you and JW, I prefer a spun deer head hopper for gentle water as well. No stiff legs though, like the commercial flies. I like knotted PT. For the small ones, I just use various caddis I carry. For the bigger ones have you tried speckled silicone legs? The stuff isn't round but it lasts forever, unlike rubber legs that seem to rot pretty quick. This seems to be specially so at the tie in point, where they break off pretty easy if they have been in a flybox for a couple of years. Of course this solution doesn't help with all the rubber legged patterns I already have. I think I solved that problem by transferring them all (both nymphs and drys) to gasket sealed opaque fly boxes a few years back. Since the biggest enemies of rubber are oxygen and UV, I figure this will work. Gotta throw a desiccant pack in with 'em (like that come with pills) so any trapped humidity doesn't become an issue. So far, so good.

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
Sayfu
Posts: 560
Sayfu on Aug 20, 2011August 20th, 2011, 4:51 pm EDT
Oxygen is an enemy of rubber? Thought it was Ozone. Anyway, you sure hit on a sore subject. I just went through a big box of rotted rubber legs. I threw away some, and have gotten creative at reconstruction. Silicone legs? I'm not familiar with them but seems like a good choice. That easy tying style hopper I described is also easy to tie on small flies as well. I tie a black cricket? ..whatever the fish think it is on a #14 short shanked caddis/pupa hook in black foam, and then flex floss for legs. Come to think of it I don't think I've had that flex floss rot, but it probably will/can.
Entoman
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Aug 20, 2011August 20th, 2011, 7:03 pm EDT
Sayfu -

Oxygen is an enemy of rubber? Thought it was Ozone.

Yes, oxygen is corrosive. Ozone is a pure oxygen molecule I think and very corrosive.

Silicone legs? I'm not familiar with them but seems like a good choice.

I'm sure you've seen them before; they go by the name Sili Legs among others. I'm partial to the black flecked pumpkin for hoppers and golden stone nymphs and I use the clear salt and pepper on some of my Steelhead bombers. Unfortunately it's not round, but I don't think the fish care. It is translucent to a degree so it can't replace rubber across the board, especially for patterns that need solid opaque colors ie., black, white, yellow, etc.

I tie a black cricket?

I was just going to tie a few using your suggestion of flash dubbing. How about root beer to match their brownish bodies?

Come to think of it I don't think I've had that flex floss rot, but it probably will/can.

Na, your right, that stuff is good to go. It's actually spandex, the material they put in girdles, socks, and things to make them stretchy. I also like to use it for ribbing and floss bodies. I use yellow for green drake ribbing and the red for Royal Wulffs. It's lighter, doesn't absorb water and will compress better than floss at the tie down. It also splits for use on really tiny flies.

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
Sayfu
Posts: 560
Sayfu on Aug 21, 2011August 21st, 2011, 4:39 am EDT

Sure, There are other underdubbing schemes that would work. What happens to me is I'll tie a few of a pattern, and then the next one is different. I end up with 8 of one, and 2 of a slight veriation...guess what I catch the fish on? Then I have 8 I tend not to use.
Entoman
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Aug 23, 2011August 23rd, 2011, 1:12 am EDT
Ha, isn't that the truth.
"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

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