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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.

Case view of a Pycnopsyche guttifera (Limnephilidae) (Great Autumn Brown Sedge) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
It's only barely visible in one of my pictures, but I confirmed under the microscope that this one has a prosternal horn and the antennae are mid-way between the eyes and front of the head capsule.

I'm calling this one Pycnopsyche, but it's a bit perplexing. It seems to key definitively to at least Couplet 8 of the Key to Genera of Limnephilidae Larvae. That narrows it down to three genera, and the case seems wrong for the other two. The case looks right for Pycnopsyche, and it fits one of the key characteristics: "Abdominal sternum II without chloride epithelium and abdominal segment IX with only single seta on each side of dorsal sclerite." However, the characteristic "metanotal sa1 sclerites not fused, although often contiguous" does not seem to fit well. Those sclerites sure look fused to me, although I can make out a thin groove in the touching halves in the anterior half under the microscope. Perhaps this is a regional variation.

The only species of Pycnopsyche documented in Washington state is Pycnopsyche guttifera, and the colors and markings around the head of this specimen seem to match very well a specimen of that species from Massachusetts on Bugguide. So I am placing it in that species for now.

Whatever species this is, I photographed another specimen of seemingly the same species from the same spot a couple months later.
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.

Lateral view of a Female Hexagenia limbata (Ephemeridae) (Hex) Mayfly Dun from the White River in Wisconsin

Posts: 6
Waxsmith on Feb 9, 2015February 9th, 2015, 5:19 am EST
Looking at the above pics of hexagenia duns and having seen millions of them on the water live, it strikes me again and again that the great majority of all the mayfly type duns sit there (perhaps not long)not with their wings spread but with them resting upright against each other. The Brit Oliver Edwards acknowledges this in his "cut-wing dun" pattern stating that it is a very sturdy fly which also cuts down on the nasty propellering habits of the partially spread wing tied dun pattern. So why is the traditional dun wing tying position so strongly adhered to?

Jason's hexagenia dun photos are excellent examples, also see Oliver Edwards' "FLYTYERS MASTERCLASS".
What is this supposed to look like, example please.

Posts: 278
TNEAL on Feb 9, 2015February 9th, 2015, 7:02 am EST
Old habits die hard. 60 years later I still use barrel knots and clinch knots.
Roguerat's profile picture
Posts: 456
Roguerat on Feb 9, 2015February 9th, 2015, 7:23 am EST
There are a lot of patterns that use a single-wing profile....Thorax-types, Harrop's Hair-wing-duns to name just a couple. I refer (often!) to an article in the Sept/Oct '95 issue of American Angler, 'One Wing Duns' by Art Scheck, which gives an attractive, sturdy, and simple tie for the titled fly.

Truthfully I've rarely tied Adirondack-style flies; they're elegant, historic, and catch trout like crazy but the split-wing thing puzzled me. No difficulty in tying them, just why split the wings and even cant them forward a bit...?

Tim- it's time you advanced to the IMPROVED clinch knot! I should talk, I use the Trilene knot a lot!

Roguerat's profile picture
Posts: 456
Roguerat on Feb 9, 2015February 9th, 2015, 7:27 am EST
I need to correct myself, I named 'Adirondack' instead of Catskill flies.


Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Feb 9, 2015February 9th, 2015, 8:34 am EST
I think out of my 5000 or so dry flies there are two divided wing Quill Gordons and I bought those about twenty years ago. I prefer the single wing approach and have used deer and elk hair, CDC, Woodduck, turkey flats, and floating poly yarn for my single upright wings.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Martinlf's profile picture
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Feb 9, 2015February 9th, 2015, 8:35 am EST
When mayflies emerge, their wings show a split before they extend and dry. Mayflies may also wave their wings before getting airborne. I tie a few split wing fly styles because they seem to work at times when others don't. But who knows exactly what the trout sees in split wing flies, given variations of hackle density and placement, much less what a trout may think about what it sees. I do know this; trout eat these flies.

As for knots, the Trilene is generally considered stronger than the improved clinch. If you want a really fast strong knot, try the double Davy.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Roguerat's profile picture
Posts: 456
Roguerat on Feb 9, 2015February 9th, 2015, 9:30 am EST
I'll risk my wife's ire and practice the double Davy knot then, best done in a recliner while watching the boob-tube and burning through an old spool of Stren or something left from my bait-casting days...the mono clippings seem to find their way into the vacuum, the dogs' paws, and other places they shouldn't be...just like the hair and feather bits under my tying table.

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