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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.
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Posts: 14
Leakyboots on Jan 12, 2017January 12th, 2017, 11:37 pm EST
Would like to see some of your own paterns that have worked.
Will Shaver
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Jan 13, 2017January 13th, 2017, 12:49 pm EST
You show me yours first.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.

Posts: 14
Leakyboots on Jan 13, 2017January 13th, 2017, 11:44 pm EST
having technical difficulties. Can't get a clear picture
Will Shaver
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Jan 14, 2017January 14th, 2017, 5:26 am EST
I don't have any specific patterns that are better than others but in more general terms I would say I have very good success with thorax dun and comparadun style dry flies. I believe sparseness is better than heavily hackled. Presentation and size is much more important than the fly.

There are dozens of Hendicksons, BWO's, Sulfurs, Cahills, etc but all of the really good flies are going to incorporate certain features that make them good fish catchers.

Put the fly within a few inches of the rise form, not too far above the fish, get a perfect drag free drift and the fish will most likely eat your fly.

Regarding subsurface flies it is hard to go wrong with Hare's Ear, Pheasant Tails, Prince, Some Baetis and Sulfur imitations and round it out with some caddis larvae and pupa and a few generic stonefly patterns.

For streamers a white marabou, a couple of Wooly Buggers in black and brown, a Black Nose Dace, and a couple of Clouser minnows.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
PaulRoberts's profile picture

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on Jan 15, 2017January 15th, 2017, 12:57 am EST
I have many, and hyperbolic descriptions for each. They are -most of them- un-tested beyond my own traipsing around.
Martinlf's profile picture
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Jan 15, 2017January 15th, 2017, 1:17 am EST
A thorough search of this forum's past threads will yield some interesting samples.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Jan 15, 2017January 15th, 2017, 5:50 am EST
Here's one: http://www.troutnut.com/topic/8016/KBF-photos-for-Kyle-and-others#37132

What does it catch? http://www.troutnut.com/topic/9234/What-is-it-with-my-biggest-trout-coming-in-NOVEMBER#47053

There's a few for you, Will.

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...

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