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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 Kogotus (Perlodidae) Stonefly Nymph from Mystery Creek #199 in Washington
This one pretty clearly keys to Kogotus, but it also looks fairly different from specimens I caught in the same creek about a month later in the year. With only one species of the genus known in Washington, I'm not sure about the answer to this ID.
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.
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Posts: 1
Wvtroutman on Mar 27, 2007March 27th, 2007, 2:19 am EDT
hi everybody i'm new to the site. i was wondering if anyone could give me advice on a rhthym for lures. i use super dupers, joe flies and rooster tails. i want to go fast enough to attract em but not too fast. any tips?
"well i'm gonna miss her, oh looky there, another bite"
Taxon's profile picture
Site Editor
Plano, TX

Posts: 1311
Taxon on Mar 27, 2007March 27th, 2007, 3:53 am EDT

Both Joe’s Flies and Rooster Tails employ a blade with a trailing fly. The blade generally imitates a wounded baitfish, and should wobble from side-to-side to produce its best all-around, fish-catching action. This dictates a retrieve speed between the slowest that produces a wobble and the fastest darting action that does not cause the blade to revolve or spin. Hope this helps.
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on Mar 27, 2007March 27th, 2007, 6:28 am EDT
Hi Wvtroutman,

Welcome to the site! As someone who enjoyed fishing Hildebrandt's Flicker spinners and small Roostertails as a kid, I think Roger's advice is very good. While most people assume that spoons and spinners are supposed to revolve on the retrieve, the slower fluttering/flashing speed that Roger recommends is often more attractive.

The retrieve rate that achieves this speed is influenced by the current speed. In faster water, casting the lure further upstream and allowing a moment to let the lure sink a bit is usually best. A retrieve rate that creates a very slight tension on the line, rather than a noticeable pull, stands the best chance of keeping the lure deep and fluttering attractively. Casting across stream and retrieving rapidly in fast water will cause the lure to sputter toward the surface. Only the most aggressive fish will chase the faster, revolving retrieve. You will probably hang up more often with the slower, deeper retrieve, but you'll also catch more fish.

Best wishes,
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 398
RleeP on Mar 27, 2007March 27th, 2007, 6:33 am EDT
Done right, ultralight spin fishing in small streams is the closest thing to electrofishing short of toting a backpack unit and a set of wands.

I quit doing it a long time ago. It's simply too deadly.

You want to fish upstream and generally, you want to retrieve your lure just slightly faster than the current speed. But it isn't a "one speed fits all" situation. There will be places over the course of the retrieve where you want to slow it up a little to allow the lure to sink so as to pass close to a given submerged piece of cover, etc. And other places where you want to speed up a little to keep from hanging on the bottom, etc. In short, you're working the lure the entire time, varying retrive rate and swinging the rod tip to "steer" the lure past likely holding lies.

Also, whatever size lure you favor now, consider going one size up. For example, with a Mepps spinner, I always found that sizes 0 and 00 were had insufficient heft to get down in a lot of the faster runs. A Size 1 is far superior day in and day out on most small eastern freestones, even if it sometimes looks to be too large.

You also want to be able to consitently put the lure in a circle the size of a pie plate at 40-50 feet. This sort of accuracy will double the number of strkes you get.

After you get really good at it and your conscience begins to bother you because of how easily you can catch the largest trout in the stream, you want to chuck the spinning gear and start fishing wooly buggers with the rest of us. You'll catch fewer fish, but you'll feel better about yourself...:)

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