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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 Limnephilidae (Giant Sedges) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
This specimen resembled several others of around the same size and perhaps the same species, which were pretty common in my February sample from the upper Yakima. Unfortunately, I misplaced the specimen before I could get it under a microscope for a definitive ID.
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.

JOHNW
JOHNW's profile picture
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
JOHNW on Aug 30, 2007August 30th, 2007, 10:32 am EDT
So I'm heading West next summer to chase westslopes and hopefully a bull trout or two. I have been told the river we'll be on (South Fork Flathead) has a fair population of golden stones. What Patterns do you all reccomend?
I'm not necessarily looking for ties that will try to crawl away with the fly box, just hose that will leave some cutt's with aching jaws.
Thanks in advance,
JW
"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn
Softhackle
Softhackle's profile picture
Wellsville, NY

Posts: 540
Softhackle on Aug 30, 2007August 30th, 2007, 12:00 pm EDT
Hi John,
It has always been my contention that stoneflies are difficult to fish as dry flies unless they are laying eggs or there's a good wind blowing. Underwater imitations have always worked better for me. For surface fishing, I like this style of fly tied in the appropriate color of course. While it's called a sedge, in the right size, it easily passes for a stonefly adult:

http://www.danica.com/flytier/rwyatt/deer_hair_sedge.htm

For underwater use, again, tied in the correct size and color this has taken fish for me: PS you could add biot tails if you like:


http://troutnut.com/libstudio/FS&S/html/blk__stone.html

Good fishing on your trip,
Mark
"I have the highest respect for the skilled wet-fly fisherman, as he has mastered an art of very great difficulty." Edward R. Hewitt

Flymphs, Soft-hackles and Spiders: http://www.troutnut.com/libstudio/FS&S/index.html
Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Aug 31, 2007August 31st, 2007, 8:04 am EDT
For a dry, try this:

http://www.westfly.com/patterns/dry/clarks.shtml

It worked for me on the Firehole.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Shawnny3
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on Aug 31, 2007August 31st, 2007, 8:40 am EDT
Nice pattern suggestions, guys.

Louis, I found it a bit ironic that the link you posted shows beautiful pictures from three different angles of that dry fly... and none of them were from underneath. I guess we're to presume that it looks so good from every other angle that it's inconsequential how it looks from the point of view of an actual fish.

Thank goodness for Jason's site.

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
JOHNW
JOHNW's profile picture
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
JOHNW on Aug 31, 2007August 31st, 2007, 10:30 am EDT
Me thinks I should have been a little clearer. I'm a "fat little kid" so my interest was directed more toward subsurface patterns. My personal favorite is Clayton Peters wooven Perla but at close to 45 minutes per tie you can see where it may be a bit daunting and definatly not in the realm of "easy" ties.

As an aside has anyone ever given LaFontaines natural drift stone a try?
JW
"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn
Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Sep 1, 2007September 1st, 2007, 4:23 am EDT
OK John, try this; take a look at

http://www.westfly.com/patterns/patterns.shtml

Go to the second pull down menu, select Golden Stonefly and hit go. That should give you plenty to consider, just click on the patterns you want to check out, and I'm sure you will pick something that fits the bill.

And your waders don't make you look fat. :)
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Sayfu
Posts: 560
Sayfu on Sep 2, 2012September 2nd, 2012, 10:46 am EDT

What I call my Golden Stone dry is my go to searching pattern all Summer long on the SF of the Snake. A stimulator style downwing without a palmered hackle through the body, in a tanish yellow I will call it in a #10 2xl hook. I use Mustad 94831's. Being exact doesn't seem to matter that much. It's what I throw along the bank runs. My thinking is...fish see two goldens throughout the Summer if you include Classenia as a late golden. Then there are yellow bodied PMD's, and PED's throughout the Summer so a yellow predominates the color. Even the hoppers are a tan body. When I float with my wife she has to have on one of those down wing goldens, or she has little confidence. The forward hackle?..Can be a medium dun, barred Ginger I often use, and I trim it under to sit it low in the water.

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