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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 Ephemerella mucronata (Ephemerellidae) Mayfly Nymph from the Yakima River in Washington
This is an interesting one. Following the keys in Merritt R.W., Cummins, K.W., and Berg, M.B. (2019) and Jacobus et al. (2014), it keys clearly to Ephemerella. Jacobus et al provide a key to species, but some of the characteristics are tricky to interpret without illustrations. If I didn't make any mistakes, this one keys to Ephemerella mucronata, which has not previously been reported any closer to here than Montana and Alberta. The main character seems to fit well: "Abdominal terga with prominent, paired, subparallel, spiculate ridges." Several illustrations or descriptions of this holarctic species from the US and Europe seem to match, including the body length, tarsal claws and denticles, labial palp, and gill shapes. These sources include including Richard Allen's original description of this species in North America under the now-defunct name E. moffatae in Allen RK (1977) and the figures in this description of the species in Italy.
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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Adirman
Adirman's profile picture
Monticello, NY

Posts: 479
Adirman on Mar 29, 2018March 29th, 2018, 8:46 am EDT
So what is the strategy for opening day/ early season fishing to hook into some nice trout? They’re usually sitting on the bottom and hardly moving thisntime of year. I guess nymphs would be the best approach, certainly not dries correct?
Jmd123
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Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Mar 29, 2018March 29th, 2018, 2:20 pm EDT
Depends on the season and your waters. I have hit the Rifle as early as April 13th and have both seen a few flies (early brown stones) and had hits on imitations (no hook-ups though). That was 2012 however, which was a freaky dry short winter and early spring...by the opener there were lots of hatches in progress and the next two mons were incredible. Some years, though, early season is dead, insect- and fish-wise. Nymphs would probably be the ticket, though I also like to swing streamers early in the season. That same crazy early April day that I saw a few dries ended up with me popping a beautiful 14-inch brown on a POG Bugger on the way back down. (I like to dry up and then streamer down.)

Depends on what the next few weeks bring. Our waters are not warm, but they're not high right now either...and lower waters warm faster! Just need the warmth to do so...

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Wbranch
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York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Mar 29, 2018March 29th, 2018, 2:49 pm EDT
Adirman,

I guess nymphs would be the best approach


Hi there, I know you live reasonably close to the Beaverkill and back when I was a younger guy full of excitement about Opening Day I would go to Cairns Pool and fish a Montana nymph with as many BB's as it took to keep the fly bouncing along the bottom. I liked brown with an orange thorax or black with a yellow thorax.

The Montana nymph used to be a very popular fly but I rarely see I offered in fly catalogs anymore. It is very easy to tie. I used to use a Mustad 9672 wet fly hook. The tail can either be black or brown hackle fibers dependent on what the body color is. Tie in the tail, tie in a piece of black or brown chenille about 4" long. Wind the chenille about 2/3 of the shank and tie it off (don't cut off the excess) Tie in a brown or black wet fly hackle, tie in a piece of orange or yellow chenille and wind to eye and cut off the excess. Palmer the hackle to eye and cut off excess. Take the remainder of the body color chenille and pull over the thorax and hackle like a wing case and tie down and cut off excess. Lacquer the head. Once you get the hang of it they take only about five minutes to tie.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Mar 29, 2018March 29th, 2018, 3:00 pm EDT
"The Montana nymph used to be a very popular fly but I rarely see I offered in fly catalogs anymore. It is very easy to tie."

Found that one in John Merwin's Fly-Tying guide, a book I bought back in 1990 I think. And Matt is correct, very easy to tie! One variant I have made is to use peacock herl for the body in place of the black or brown chenille (try this one a Woolly Bugger!), and if you really want some flash, use chartreuse chenille in place of the orange or yellow. And use peacock sword for the tails, like on a Zug Bug...make the body with 4-6 strands of herl wrapped together, which will build a nice fat body much easier than with one or two strands. Hackle color of your choice but I like to use olive on this one.

Give it a try!

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Adirman
Adirman's profile picture
Monticello, NY

Posts: 479
Adirman on Mar 29, 2018March 29th, 2018, 3:47 pm EDT
Sounds good guys, gonna look this fly up to see what it looks like, thanks 😊
Partsman
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bancroft michigan

Posts: 321
Partsman on Mar 30, 2018March 30th, 2018, 10:16 am EDT
What method of nymph fishing do you guys prefer? upstream with or without indicators? Wet fly type swinging, euro, or all the above. I'm going Tuesday probably the s.b. ausable river, I don't care what the weather is going to do I have to get out, its been way to long of a winter.

Mike.
Adirman
Adirman's profile picture
Monticello, NY

Posts: 479
Adirman on Mar 30, 2018March 30th, 2018, 10:33 am EDT
I do a lot of euro style lately but find that the older methods are more enjoyable, whatever is effective at the time works for me!
Summer_doug
Detroit, MI

Posts: 46
Summer_doug on Mar 30, 2018March 30th, 2018, 11:07 am EDT
What method of nymph fishing do you guys prefer? upstream with or without indicators? Wet fly type swinging, euro, or all the above. I'm going Tuesday probably the s.b. ausable river, I don't care what the weather is going to do I have to get out, its been way to long of a winter.

Mike.


Way too long! I feel the same way.

Enjoy the beautiful south branch!
From Michigan
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Mar 30, 2018March 30th, 2018, 1:01 pm EDT
Partsman,

When I do nymph it is usually casting slightly up stream, old school, and let it drift below me on a tight line. No bobbers.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Martinlf
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Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Mar 30, 2018March 30th, 2018, 1:28 pm EDT
Picked up a nice brown a week or so ago on a chilly day using a rubber leg stone tied a lot like a Montana nymph. They certainly do work.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Adirman
Adirman's profile picture
Monticello, NY

Posts: 479
Adirman on Mar 31, 2018March 31st, 2018, 1:16 am EDT
If I can get a chance to go out tomorrow, I’ll definitely be hugging the bottom and trying to sight fish as much as possible. Fish are so sluggish this time of year and hardly move
Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Mar 31, 2018March 31st, 2018, 9:58 am EDT
Best of luck.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell

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