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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 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.
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.

Catskilljon
Upstate NY

Posts: 160
Catskilljon on Mar 3, 2014March 3rd, 2014, 6:51 pm EST
Here are a few oldies tied in a more modern style. Atherton's impressionistic series of nymphs, dark, medium and light. He preferred to not give them names so to speak but instead simply referred to them by their shades. I added a brass bead to get them to where the fish are!

Atherton was big on color and the way light hit it, many of his flies used seals fur and gold oval tinsel to make them look more alive and translucent. His patterns were meant to suggest life rather than directly imitate it, something I feel works better than directly matching the hatch, at least on freestone water.

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CJ
Entoman
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Mar 3, 2014March 3rd, 2014, 7:02 pm EST
Beautiful flies, John! Can you remind us of Atherton's rationale for the blue wing case? A similar nymph is the Black Martinez with its bright green wingcase. These flies really work!
"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
Al514
Al514's profile picture
Central New York

Posts: 142
Al514 on Mar 4, 2014March 4th, 2014, 2:41 am EST
I'll take the far right one for steelhead ALLL day! Nice flies.
Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Mar 4, 2014March 4th, 2014, 10:07 am EST
I agree Kurt...Very nicely tied flies. On my computer it is difficult to tell, but what are you using for the wingcase? What are your favorite sizes for your "freestones".

Thanks for sharing.

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
JOHNW
JOHNW's profile picture
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
JOHNW on Mar 4, 2014March 4th, 2014, 2:14 pm EST
Spence I will venture a guess that it is blue deer hair. I like the JC nails on #3 definitely a different application (to me) for that material.
"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 Mar 4, 2014March 4th, 2014, 2:48 pm EST
Actually, it's usually white quill from a duck or goose dyed Kingfisher blue. My guess is Atherton had some swan (or genuine kingfisher) in his kit for full dressed salmon flies and figured it would go with his theory. I used them in 12 to 16.
"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
Catskilljon
Upstate NY

Posts: 160
Catskilljon on Mar 4, 2014March 4th, 2014, 2:55 pm EST
Beautiful flies, John! Can you remind us of Atherton's rationale for the blue wing case? A similar nymph is the Black Martinez with its bright green wingcase. These flies really work!


Atherton doesn't give a lengthy discussion on why he uses blue for the wing case, he just states that it "is the perfect feather to suggest color or light". These impressionistic artists think a little different than most fly tiers, but I have always been a fan of his patterns.

The wing case material is Kingfisher, a slip from the secondary wing quill. The curious thing about Kingfisher is, the blue feathers when left under water for a period of time actually turn gray. After they are removed from the water and left to dry, they return to their original color. I always coat them with varnish both as a waterproofer and to make them more durable, as these feathers are quite fragile.

Thanks guys, I will dig up some Atherton dry flys that I tied and post them here. CJ

Catskilljon
Upstate NY

Posts: 160
Catskilljon on Mar 4, 2014March 4th, 2014, 3:01 pm EST
I agree Kurt...Very nicely tied flies. On my computer it is difficult to tell, but what are you using for the wingcase? What are your favorite sizes for your "freestones".

Thanks for sharing.

Spence


Spence,

Kingfisher wing quill slips. These are #12's, I use them in 12 and 14. I would like them bigger, but the Kingfisher quills are short and I run out of length on anything longer than a #12! Thanks, CJ
Catskilljon
Upstate NY

Posts: 160
Catskilljon on Mar 4, 2014March 4th, 2014, 3:19 pm EST
A few without beads...
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CJ

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