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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.

Dorsal view of a Setvena wahkeena (Perlodidae) (Wahkeena Springfly) Stonefly Nymph from Mystery Creek #199 in Washington
As far as I can tell, this species has only previously been reported from one site in Oregon along the Columbia gorge. However, the key characteristics are fairly unmistakable in all except for one minor detail:
— 4 small yellow spots on frons visible in photos
— Narrow occipital spinule row curves forward (but doesn’t quite meet on stem of ecdysial suture, as it's supposed to in this species)
— Short spinules on anterior margin of front legs
— Short rposterior row of blunt spinules on abdominal tergae, rather than elongated spinules dorsally
I caught several of these mature nymphs in the fishless, tiny headwaters of a creek high in the Wenatchee Mountains.
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.

Lawrenceburg, IN

Posts: 1
Pjs84 on Oct 25, 2018October 25th, 2018, 2:54 pm EDT
Hey guys I am brand new to this website and need some help. I would like to know what length and weight rod would be best to get for fishing small creeks for smaller bass and Brookville lake tailwaters for browns and rainbows. Most the fish are smaller but there are some bigger ones in there as well. The creeks I fish have alot of trees so i am thinking a shorter rod would be better? Also what rod and reel combo do you suggest in the $200 range. Would prefer it come complete with line and leader. Thanks guys.
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 398
RleeP on Oct 26, 2018October 26th, 2018, 1:13 am EDT
I'd go to the Redington rod company site and take a look at their combos in your stated price range. Their "Path" combo is right up around $200 and their "Crosswater" combo is 60-70 bucks less. While they changed hands a while ago, Redington has been around a while and has a pretty good reputation for quality and service, etc. Additionally, their product is pretty widely available at retail so you if you wanted to go to a Dicks or Field & Stream and look at it and then buy it elsewhere online to get the best price, you could most likely do it that way.

For the waters and fish you've mentioned, you probably want to start out with a 9' 6 weight outfit. This is a good bridge or compromise for a rod that is to be used for both trout and stream bass. Don't worry about rod length. The nine footer will actually help you with your casting and strike detection and you'll be surprised at how little space you really need to wave it around...:)

Good Luck!
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Oct 26, 2018October 26th, 2018, 2:54 pm EDT
Well, the "classic beginner flyrod" has always been the 8-foot six-inch 5-weight. Others may disagree - and feel free to, fellow Troutnuts - but this combo of weight and length is an excellent "all-purpose" flyrod for someone who is going after trout, panfish, and bass. It has enough length for you to learn effective casting techniques, and for you to throw some decent distance and decent-sized flies (including smaller bass bugs). Yet, it's not so long and heavy as to be impractical for situations requiring more delicacy (smaller waters, pickier trout). A six might hit the water too hard for smaller creeks, spooking the fish in clear waters; a four might not throw a big enough Woolly Bugger (especially weighed), nymph (again weighted or with additional weight) or fluffy dry fly (a big Wulff pattern or Hex imitation). Also, a nine-footer will put you in more trees than an 8 and a halfer, depending on how much tree cover you have to deal with (it's always there for me!). You'd be surprised how much difference six inches makes in this regard.

I would start with the 8 1/2' 5, and then as you find situations that would be matched by a larger or smaller rod, you can invest in those. I use a 9' 5-er for lake fishing out of a kayak (no trees!); an 8'6" 5-er for larger river waters (>25-30' wide with trees); and a nice little 7'6" 3-weight for smaller ponds and streams (TIGHT with brush and shallow clear waters). Oh, and an 8-weight nine-footer for big stuff (pike, steelhead, etc.).

As far as shopping: check out Cabelas. I have owned several of their less expensive rods over the years and have been very satisfied with them, same with their reels. As an environmental consultant and part-time college teacher, I haven't exactly had the budget for expensive gear, and the stuff I have purchased from Cabelas has stood up to some frequent and serious fishing. They've recently changed their lineup and I haven't tried any of the new models, but all past experiences with their fly tackle have been positive, as well as shopping both instore and online.

But...there's lots of companies making fly tackle these days (I've owned Redington and they make good stuff too). Feel free to ask this bunch all the questions you want, there's lots of experience with lots of fly tackle on this site! Best of luck with your shopping and fishing!

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

Posts: 148
Iasgair on Oct 27, 2018October 27th, 2018, 12:01 pm EDT
Pjs84, I'm going to send you a PM. It's a fly rod formula that I use and it has not failed me yet. It will certainly help you I bet for what you want to fish for.

As a combo rod & reel, Redington has some good deals like that, and I like Jmd123's idea about the 8'6" 5wt. But for $200, you can find some things, but you will be limited I think.

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