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Lateral view of a Male Baetis (Baetidae) (Blue-Winged Olive) Mayfly Dun from Mystery Creek #43 in New York
Blue-winged Olives
Baetis

Tiny Baetis mayflies are perhaps the most commonly encountered and imitated by anglers on all American trout streams due to their great abundance, widespread distribution, and trout-friendly emergence habits.

Lateral view of a Female Sweltsa borealis (Chloroperlidae) (Boreal Sallfly) Stonefly Adult from Harris Creek in Washington
I was not fishing, but happened to be at an unrelated social event on a hill above this tiny creek (which I never even saw) when this stonefly flew by me. I assume it came from there. Some key characteristics are tricky to follow, but process of elimination ultimately led me to Sweltsa borealis. It is reassuringly similar to this specimen posted by Bob Newell years ago. It is also so strikingly similar to this nymph from the same river system that I'm comfortable identifying that nymph from this adult. I was especially pleased with the closeup photo of four mites parasitizing this one.
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
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Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on May 30, 2012May 30th, 2012, 1:59 pm EDT
Sorry for moving your stuff without asking guys, but this subject is very interesting and deserves it's own topic.

Konchu -
i got thinking about your observation of the cripples. i see that alot when i try to rear ephemerellids in the lab; and many of the non-cripples take a LONG time to get out of their nymphal skins. are there some effective fly designs for this that anyone has tried with success?

Entoman -
The subject of cripples is worth a serious study. I'm firmly convinced that the percentage of a hatch's cripples is directly related to various combinations of temp/pressure/humidity/surface conditions. Outside of these "perfect" combinations the percentage of cripples goes up dramatically. Many, many times I've seen the same species have a lot of trouble one day and mostly come off without a hitch the next. The problem is I've never been able to nail it down in any predictable way. Too many variables, and I've never been one to run tests and record data when fish are working.:) Do some species have a greater propensity for this? Perhaps... I think that hatches like PMD's and baetis have the reputation because of their density, which allows cripples to be more noticeable.

Crepuscular -
the subject of cripples has come up quite often in the last few years among a couple fishing friends that I have. One of the patterns that I tie that has worked pretty well is to tie normal looking dun with a trailing shuck or tails but tie the wings in at a 90 degree angle, seems that sometime specific fish will key in on those flies during heavy hatches. Hendricksons, and other ephemerellids are prime canidates for those patterns. Others I tie with both wings on one side like a normal dun but the wings are tied perpendicular to one side of the hook. Kind of like a spinner but with both wings all on one side. I'll try and post photos later.

Entoman -
Along the lines of your side mounted fly, a neat guide trick that sometimes works quite well if you don't have a matching cripple pattern is to take a standard tie, twist the wings and hackle with your fingers clockwise until they stick out to the side and trim the hackle underneath. Terrible thing to do to a beautiful dry fly I know, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do!:)

Martinlf -
Yesterday I tied up a knockdown sulphur dun to provide the same profile as the twisted wing/hackle fly Kurt describes above. I used one burned hen hackle tip for the wing. I also bent the hook as in Galloup's bent hook spinners. I'll give it a test and if it works be tying some more. Here's a site that shows Galloup's flies; my fly looks a lot like them, but with a burned wing:

http://northcountryangler.blogspot.com/2009/03/kelly-galloups-spinner-cripple.html
"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
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Martinlf on May 30, 2012May 30th, 2012, 5:17 pm EDT
Thanks, Kurt. So that was you who described the twisted wing/hackle method. I must have been reading too fast. It's nice to be able to edit others' posts. See above and in the original. I tried to post the following idea earlier, but my computer or the website was acting up. What I said was that I've had few trout refuse a Klinkhamer style emerger/cripple with the abdomen tied to match the nymph and the thorax tied the same color as an emerging dun. It's been a very reliable pattern for me. I'm tying some on standard hooks to see if there seems to be any difference to the fish, and I like tying a version with burned hen hackle wing tips upright, as well as the knockdown style described above.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Oldredbarn
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Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on May 30, 2012May 30th, 2012, 5:46 pm EDT
Interesting topic folks.

I had a conversation about flies in the shop up north last week. We were obsessing over the Brown Drake and there were many different patterns on display and for sale. One of the "shop rats" with a little more experience than the youngsters picked up an extended body version and told me that when the fish get super picky he turns the extended portion on the rear to one side...He claims that they don't seem to be able to pass this one up.

Brown Drakes, in my experience, have more than their share of problems with freeing themselves during emergence. Maybe its simply because of their size and I'm looking everywhere for them, but I have seen many dying under docks etc along the river.

Thinking that when they are preparing to emerge that they have stored, all the energy to get them through the final moult and mating and dodging everything trying to eat them...Anything that hampers this process steals precious energy and could spell failure for the bug.

In 1995 when I went to Montana I saw for the first time the so-called "Knocked-Down-Dun"...I haven't had much success with it for some reason even though the idea makes a ton of sense to me...It may be just a confidence thing on my part.

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
Crepuscular
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Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 920
Crepuscular on Jun 5, 2012June 5th, 2012, 12:11 pm EDT
I just wanted to continue this thread , I've been very busy, but would like to discuss spinner design, especially wing materials and floating flush in the surface film, as I recently had fish that would not eat a poly wing spinner, but were all over a spinner tied with a material called sheer wing.
Martinlf
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Martinlf on Jun 6, 2012June 6th, 2012, 2:57 am EDT
Thanks, Eric. I'm always interested in information such as this. Typically I use a hackle wing spinner, which I have believed seems more natural looking to fish, but I'll try sheer wing. I was also reading about a wing material called Frosty Fish Fiber a while back. I can't recall the author, but it's described in a recent book on tying mayfly patterns. I notice that your knockdown dun sounds much like the one I tied the other day, but you use two wings. Do you hackle yours like a conventional hackle fly? What kind of wing do you prefer?
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Crepuscular
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Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 920
Crepuscular on Jun 6, 2012June 6th, 2012, 4:32 am EDT
Louis, don't gt too excited about that sheer wing stuff. I am not that crazy about it. It really does present a nice sillouette in the water floating right in the surface film, but it it's not very durable the way I was using it. It is basically a mesh, I had cut mine and it was coming apart after a couple fish. And also fraying at the tie in point, some glue and a burner may improve that but I have yet to do that. I've been crazy busy. I figure eight a hackle around the thorax and then trim the top and bottom. As far as the cripples (knock downs) for the wings I have used hen hackles, sheer wing, cdc, and snow shoe, I don't think I have used them all enough to tell what I like the best.
Eric.
Martinlf
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Martinlf on Jun 6, 2012June 6th, 2012, 4:50 am EDT
Eric, do you use hackle wing spinners? I really like oversize parachutes with a small post. I sometimes trim out the front and back but am not sure that is necessary. The post lets me see the fly better, and fish seem to like the silhouette. I've also seen some with deer hair wings, but that seems like too heavy a material for picky eaters--but who knows? perhaps it works well.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Crepuscular
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Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 920
Crepuscular on Jun 6, 2012June 6th, 2012, 8:36 am EDT
Yeah I have used them. I like them as well. Here's the thing, 99.9% of all my spinner fishing is done at night. I want to know that that fly is afloat. I can't see my fly and am fishing by sound and sometimes the sight of the riseform. So again I'm probably looking for a design and material that does not exist. and the fact that we all have boxes of various patterns should tell me something... I use some foam bodied spinners, dubbed bodies you name it. So I'm not really sure what I want out of this thread other than examples of fly design and possibly new materials that I haven't used. You know a silver bullet would work too :)
Oldredbarn
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Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Jun 6, 2012June 6th, 2012, 6:26 pm EDT
You know a silver bullet would work too :)


Ha! That is funny Eric!

Spinner fishing to me can be the pinnacle of fly fishing...It can also be just about the most frustrating thing you can ever bump in to. When it happens at night, well, good luck to you mister! :)

I'll get back to you after the Stanley Cup Final game I'm watching...It is third period and no score...LA wins they get the Cup.

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
Entoman
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Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Jun 7, 2012June 7th, 2012, 11:49 pm EDT
I'm on an extended trout hunting trip, but when I get back I'll post some pattern photos that you guys might find interesting. I cut my wisdom teeth on the legendary spinner falls on upper Fall R. and was fortunate to fish there with some equally legendary friends and anglers who shared their amazing talents. Spinner falls were the highlight of my season for many years.
"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
Gutcutter
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Pennsylvania

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Gutcutter on Jun 8, 2012June 8th, 2012, 4:07 am EDT
I can't see my fly and am fishing by sound and sometimes the sight of the riseform.


See, another Jedi...

Do, or do not.
There is no try

Yoda
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
Jmd123
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Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Jun 11, 2012June 11th, 2012, 4:48 pm EDT
"Uuummmm...yes...but, beware you must be of the dark side...wait...no, I mean you must in darkness fish, for you the biggest ones to catch...uuummmmm..."

Maybe not Yoda
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Gutcutter
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Pennsylvania

Posts: 470
Gutcutter on Jun 12, 2012June 12th, 2012, 6:15 pm EDT
Maybe not Yoda


Close enough for me
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
Gutcutter
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Pennsylvania

Posts: 470
Gutcutter on Jun 16, 2012June 16th, 2012, 7:05 pm EDT
Eric, do you use hackle wing spinners? I really like oversize parachutes with a small post. I sometimes trim out the front and back but am not sure that is necessary. The post lets me see the fly better...


I have been an advocate of Hacklestackers for a few years and I love the silhouette with the bonus of great visibility (and no post).
Louis, I also like the parachute hackle wing spinner, and it had been my "go to" pattern until I learned to tie a hacklestacker.
This year, I have used (with success) CDC feather tip spinners. Simple to tie and they float great. I will tie some for the flat water tricos that are just around the corner
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
Crepuscular
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Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 920
Crepuscular on Jun 17, 2012June 17th, 2012, 11:42 am EDT
I have not tied any hackle stackers. It is an interesting fly i will tie some up this week and give'em a try. Here is a pattern i've been playing around with: I was getting refusals during a spinner fall a couple weeks ago in bright early morning sun with a poly wing spinner, i don't know if it was because it was throwing shadows or what so i tried a similar fly to this one with web wing wings which float flush in the surface film. It was the solution. I haven't worked out all the kinks but this is what I have so far...I realize they are crude but I think they are getting there. I need better wing burners...





Martinlf
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Martinlf on Jun 17, 2012June 17th, 2012, 2:56 pm EDT
Cool flies, Eric. I like the X wraps of hackle and the overall look of the fly. I'm sure the fish don't care that the wings are not perfectly symmetrical. Is this "web wing" material, or "sheer wing"? I already have some web wing and might try it.

Tony, I've tied a few hackle stackers, but fail to see the advantage of them over the parachutes. Educate me, OK? The post is a benefit to me, and for tricos a clear/white post can be mashed down into the hackle wing if you want a little sparkle. Recently I've tied a few tricos with pink posts that are very visible when other flies disappear into the glare. The fish don't seem to mind one bit, and they contrast nicely with that little black dress I loaned Bruce a while back and never got back. (I'll bet he burned a hole in it by the campfire despite my warnings.)

Also I have tied some cdc tricos (and snowshoe) with a bit of angel hair or krystal flash in the mix, but I didn't use the feather tips, but stripped fibers, eliminating the stem. I'll shift to these flies (and a few others described in one of the trico threads) when the fish get tired of the hackle wings, which is rarely.

Oh, and tricos are on locally. This morning over a dozen browns found my size 26 parachute trico, three between fifteen and sixteen inches. They must have known it was Father's Day.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Lastchance
Portage, PA

Posts: 437
Lastchance on Jun 18, 2012June 18th, 2012, 3:26 pm EDT
Sorry, Louis! I'm keeping the dress. It looks great when matched with a pair of chest packs.
Goose, Bruce, Feathers5, Lastchance


Tricos? You fished tricos already?
Martinlf
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Palmyra PA

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Martinlf on Jun 19, 2012June 19th, 2012, 3:24 pm EDT
Yup. on streams like the Tulpehocken and Yellow Breeches they start early down this way, and they're the earliest I've ever seen this year. Check my Tully stream report, "Picky Eaters" from a week or so back. And you might want to look in on your trico spot a bit early this season as well.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Crepuscular
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Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 920
Crepuscular on Jun 19, 2012June 19th, 2012, 7:15 pm EDT
Is this "web wing" material, or "sheer wing"? I already have some web wing and might try it.


I think this is web wing, but I have both in the same bag...pretty similar stuff. I picked up some ribbon material from the craft store the other day which is pretty much the same thing as well. Time to experiment...
Entoman
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Northern CA & ID

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Entoman on Jun 23, 2012June 23rd, 2012, 12:00 pm EDT
Sorry for the long delay, Eric. Here's a few examples of spinner styles I'm fond of. I didn't include any Hackle Stackers because they have been pretty well covered here before, but I'd have to say that they are my favorites for versatility and visibility. Fish like 'em too! :) I don't tie spinners on bent hooks because I think they look ugly. Besides, if it's necessary to do so for fish fooling reasons, you can always do it streamside. :)

Loopwing Thorax Spinner, Callibaetis #16


Loopwing Paraquill, Egg Laying Baetis #20

Diving Baetis Egg layer #20


Spent Loopwing Thorax Spinner, brown #16


It doesn't show because of the angle, but the hackle is trimmed underneath to float flush. The only reason for the hackle is visibility, though I guess imitating the legs isn't a bad idea.

Spent Loopwing Thorax Spinner, clear body #14
"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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