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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.

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: 560
Sayfu on Mar 28, 2013March 28th, 2013, 2:26 pm EDT
Off fly fishing tomorrow for the first time this year, and will be fishing the SF canyon stretch on the Snake The fly shop was showing a float the owner, and his wife made recently, and great video of fish rising to midges on a wide tailout flat. They were fishing an adult, and sinking it, and swinging it fly first to fish 20-30' below them, and did very well. I have tied up some soft hackle midge patterns on a #18 caddis pupa hook make them # 20's on the short shanked hook. The wider gape will give me more hooking power. I used a small amount of gray EP fibers for a trailing shuck, and thread abdomen,(green & black thread) bumped up the thorax with a strand of peacock herl, or black dubbing, added a pinch of white synthetic fibers for a wing, and several wraps of starling for the soft hackle. We will be swinging them tomorrow.
Martinlf's profile picture
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Mar 29, 2013March 29th, 2013, 5:25 am EDT
Good luck and tight lines.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Posts: 560
Sayfu on Mar 29, 2013March 29th, 2013, 4:37 pm EDT
Wish everyone could have seen our luck today. We caught Westslope Cutthroats, and Brown Trout on virtually every cast with fish dimpling taking midges within close proximity to our driftboat from 10 AM until about noon. The gray shuck fibers, and a short, white emerging wing on my soft hackles seemed to be a good addition. I would guess we hooked, and landed 25 fish, with many more hookups that came off.....then the storm hit with lightening, hail, wind, and rain while I fought the upriver wind in slower flow to get 3 miles down river to the boat ramp.
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Mar 29, 2013March 29th, 2013, 4:50 pm EDT
Sounds like a great day, Jere. Were you fishing those SH's in the film?

Your pattern really cracked the code but I'm having a little trouble picturing it. I know you don't do macro photos so could you describe it a little more in depth?

"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
Posts: 560
Sayfu on Mar 30, 2013March 30th, 2013, 6:25 am EDT
The flyshop owner only used midge #20 dries on standard dry fly hooks, and many of their fish were never landed, and they fished them wet. I told him what I tend to do...tie on the caddis/pupa hooks, get the shorter shank, and bigger gape, and land more fish. I'm a fly first angler whenever I can, and that is virtually all the time fishing out of the boat. When I get out in a riffle, I often fish up and out into the riffle using a dry, but even then I often swing soft hackles. Once the fly gets soaked up, even with no wt., just a very small plastic bead head, the fly sinks some, I mend, and most fish are then caught near, or in the surface. Whether they take it for a midge pupa, or a stillborn I don't know. I've sat in a lake, and viewed those shiny cellophane shucks so I tied a few of my crinkly, gray EP fibers for the trailing shuck, then just a thread body, bump up the thorax, then a pinch of white, parachute cord center fibers that hold form better than the EP fibers. I just luv the bead, as you know, because it is so easy to pinch in material behind the bead. Hackle comes up, and over, one wrap, and it is pinched in behind the artificial bug head I will call it. Then the starling wrap finishes it off. My wife captured a midge adult, about a size # 24 with an olive body. I had some tied up in olive with a few turns of peacock for the thorax, but the black worked great, so I never went to olive, and our size was way off. #18's also worked. But I often use the same theme without the wing for BWO's, and I use an amber shuck for BWO's. Maybe the hackle creates a "cluster" appearance. I just luv swinging flies, and the swing yesterday, was minimal in the slow water, more like just a drift. Brings back my steelhead days on the West Coast.

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