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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.

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.

Fenton, MI.

Posts: 28
Brian314 on Jul 7, 2019July 7th, 2019, 2:54 am EDT
One summer (years ago) on the Au Sable South Branch (at Truettner's, to be exact) I kept running into these weird-but-beautiful flies - took me forver just to figure out what they were - was wondering if anyone has ever seen a trout take one ??
Falsifly's profile picture
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 660
Falsifly on Jul 8, 2019July 8th, 2019, 2:20 am EDT
Yes I have but they were females ovipositing. The technique required would be dapping. Unfortunately they were laying their eggs under a thick very low hanging willow through which it was impossible to gain access. It was interesting to watch and I gave it some thought but had to move on.
When asked what I just caught that monster on I showed him. He put on his magnifiers and said, "I can't believe they can see that."
Troutnut's profile picture
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Jul 11, 2019July 11th, 2019, 3:53 am EDT
The larvae are found more often in still water than running water, although that can include still-water sloughs connected to a river. I wouldn't be surprised if trout take a few, although I've never seen them in numbers that would make a trout selective enough to require an imitation.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Jul 12, 2019July 12th, 2019, 12:38 am EDT
Their larvae like iron seeps - places where Iron-rich groundwater comes to the surface, and makes that funky orange-yellow looking flocculent stuff called "yellowboy" (an iron oxide-hydroxide mixture). Find this, dig around in it, and you will find the larvae, and probably a few adults flying around too. They're cool and pretty!

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

Posts: 28
Brian314 on Sep 1, 2019September 1st, 2019, 9:34 pm EDT
Been fishing the HW and the SB a lot - haven't seen one in years - very cool though :-)

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