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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 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.

Flybyknight
Milton, DE

Posts: 82
Flybyknight on Mar 18, 2007March 18th, 2007, 1:18 pm EDT
OK, you arrive on a spectacular tail water fishery where you know there are 20"+ holdovers; fly fishing only, catch and release, barbless hooks, and no stock fish.
It is cold, raw and not a sign of insect activity anywhere. Water temperature is 42° high and clear.
You know that the following insects are present in either riffles, or pools that you may either wade or drift:
Taeniopteryx
Strophopteryx
Epeorus
Apatania
Baetis
(Dip net yields no insects because the river is wide and deep)

What is your game plan?

Streamers?
or
weighted 2X black nymph on the bottom with 3 droppers?
or?
And what flies would you start off with?
(Yes I have a bad case of pattern anxiety)
Dick
Lightly on the dimpling eddy fling;
the hypocritic fly's unruffled wing.
Thomas Scott
GONZO
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on Mar 18, 2007March 18th, 2007, 1:27 pm EDT
Hi Dick,

Personally, the closer the water temperature gets to 40 degrees the more my confidence plummets. But then, I'm not much of a winter fisherman. I doubt that many fish would chase a streamer, though one might nail it if you put it on the fish's nose. I'd dredge with nymphs--and pray for warmer weather! :)
Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Mar 18, 2007March 18th, 2007, 1:53 pm EDT
Yes, too cold for streamers--nymphs on the bottom. Fish them slow and deep.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Troutnut
Troutnut's profile picture
Administrator
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Mar 18, 2007March 18th, 2007, 2:22 pm EDT
I would fish a Taeniopteryx nymph deep, with a smaller but gaudy attracting dropper.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist

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