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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.

Lateral view of a Female Sweltsa borealis (Chloroperlidae) (Boreal Sallfly) Stonefly Adult from Harris Creek in Washington
I was not fishing, but happened to be at an unrelated social event on a hill above this tiny creek (which I never even saw) when this stonefly flew by me. I assume it came from there. Some key characteristics are tricky to follow, but process of elimination ultimately led me to Sweltsa borealis. It is reassuringly similar to this specimen posted by Bob Newell years ago. It is also so strikingly similar to this nymph from the same river system that I'm comfortable identifying that nymph from this adult. I was especially pleased with the closeup photo of four mites parasitizing this one.
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 31, 2018March 31st, 2018, 10:48 am EDT
So I fish the salmon river in the fall during the salmon run butbhave never fished it in the spring or summer. Anybody have any idea/ personal experience with the dominant hatches up there/ aquatic bug life up there? I’ve seen a few stone shucks upnthere here and there but that’s about it.
Thanks
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Mar 31, 2018March 31st, 2018, 4:08 pm EDT
The Salmon River in Pulaski does not fish very well for trout other than during the salmon and steelhead season. I've heard it gets very good smallmouth in late April and early May when they run the river to spawn. Big 18" - 20" smallmouth. I have though caught steelhead into late April both drop backs and fresh fish.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Adirman
Adirman's profile picture
Monticello, NY

Posts: 479
Adirman on Apr 1, 2018April 1st, 2018, 12:40 am EDT
Yes, the Steelhead is what I would target , do you know what they would be feeding on mostly up there?
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Apr 1, 2018April 1st, 2018, 7:56 am EDT
You can never go wrong with salmon egg imitations and big stoneflies. Steelhead are predisposed to eat an egg. If they see one in front of their face they will eat it! They just can't ignore them. You can use Blood Dots, Sucker Spawn - blue, chartreuse, and pink is always good on the SR, Krystal Meth, various colors of Estaz makes a very good egg attractor fly. For Stones I would use large #8 & #6 brown and black patterns with lighter bellies.

I don't know if you would do this (I do and have no qualms doing so) is to use trout beads. They are plastic eggs with a 1/16" hole going through the center. They come in 6mm, 8m, and 10mm diameters. There is a special way to rig than and you can find many YouTube videos "How to rig a Trout Bead".
I fish them under an indicator with a couple split shot based on the flow volume. It might not be fly fishing in the truest sense but you are still using a fly rod, reel, line, and leader. They are deadly and 100% legal in NY.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Adirman
Adirman's profile picture
Monticello, NY

Posts: 479
Adirman on Apr 1, 2018April 1st, 2018, 1:01 pm EDT
Sounds good, what kind of indicator do you like for for fishing the beads up there?
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Apr 2, 2018April 2nd, 2018, 6:33 am EDT
I love the new "Air-Lock" indicator. It beats the heck out of the "Thingamabobbeer" and most any other indicator on the market. No more leaders butts that look like corkscrews. The Air-Lock has a little split and threaded shaft on it and a threaded nut. You remove the threaded nut (do it on land because it is easy to drop!) and insert the leader into the slot. When you screw on the nut it squeezes the leader in place and it WILL NOT move. It will hold tight even on 5X.

https://www.fishusa.com/product/Air-Lock-Strike-Indicators?msclkid=11cbc333d70315b68c1599f1a0ab7127&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=NX_Shopping_PLA&utm_term=4585032207337407&utm_content=All%20Products&msclkid=11cbc333d70315b68c1599f1a0ab7127&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=NX_Shopping_PLA&utm_term=4585032207337407&utm_content=All%20Products
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Adirman
Adirman's profile picture
Monticello, NY

Posts: 479
Adirman on Apr 2, 2018April 2nd, 2018, 10:13 am EDT
Very nice, thank you Sir 😊

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