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Lateral view of a Male Baetis (Baetidae) (Blue-Winged Olive) Mayfly Dun from Mystery Creek #43 in New York
Blue-winged Olives

Tiny Baetis mayflies are perhaps the most commonly encountered and imitated by anglers on all American trout streams due to their great abundance, widespread distribution, and trout-friendly emergence habits.

Dorsal view of a Pycnopsyche guttifera (Limnephilidae) (Great Autumn Brown Sedge) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
This specimen appears to be of the same species as this one collected in the same spot two months earlier. The identification of both is tentative. This one suffered some physical damage before being photographed, too, so the colors aren't totally natural. I was mostly photographing it to test out some new camera setting idea, which worked really well for a couple of closeups.
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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This topic is about the Amphibian Order Caudata

Salamanders and their larvae share some of our streams with trout and occasionally become their prey.
franklin nc

Posts: 4
Warren on Sep 3, 2007September 3rd, 2007, 7:13 am EDT
the trout here in the smokies love the little black salamanders. i find alot of them in the stomachs of the little native brookies we have around here. when ever im bait fishing(Lord, forgive me of my sins)i always look for a salamander to put on my hook because they do catch fish. im hoping to get away from that, but i havent succeeded in tying a fly that replicates one but i hope to figure it out or find an already existent pattern.
Taxon's profile picture
Site Editor
Plano, TX

Posts: 1311
Taxon on Sep 3, 2007September 3rd, 2007, 9:13 am EDT

Ask and yee shall receive. Here is a pattern called a Waterdog. Just substitute material colors to correspond to your local salamanders.
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on Sep 3, 2007September 3rd, 2007, 9:29 am EDT
I developed one for bass fishing awhile back, but I wasn't thrilled with its performance, so that's all I'll say about that ill-fated pattern. Probably the most important feature is the swimming motion, which would probably be best imitated with either maribou or zonker strips. My first inclination would be to try a single zonker strip, tied in at both head an bend on the top of the hook, with a small clump of trimmed maribou on either side of the hook at front and rear for legs that would pulse as you stripped it. If the body profile is not wide enough, perhaps spinning some maribou around the shank under the zonker strip or even tying it in lengthwise only on the sides might build it up enough (or you could just dub a body).

Another idea would be to use two zonker strips, tied again at the front and the bend, but on the sides of the hook to give the fly a flatter appearance. When done tying, get the thing wet and trim a little hair off in the right places to give the abdomen a little definition. Now for the part that may be either ingenious or stupid, depending on how well it works - trim one zonker strip short so the salamander only has one tail. I'm thinking that having a single tail that comes off the side of the hook might make the fly jitter side to side in the water and cause it to really wriggle. This principle might also apply well to other streamer patterns, especially ones imitating fish floating or swimming on their sides.

The zonker strips may be too bulky for what I presume is a pattern for small streams (maybe the above ideas would be better for a bass bug), but maribou can be used in similar ways to those I've described and its degree of bulk is easily managed. I would also bet that a lot of the techniques used for sculpin imitations could be altered slightly to make a pretty nice salamander. If I ever find cause to fish such a pattern, I might work at it a bit more, but I don't even have the time right now for all the flies I already have swirling around in my head (that feels more literal than figurative most of the time).

Best of luck,
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
franklin nc

Posts: 4
Warren on Sep 4, 2007September 4th, 2007, 7:39 am EDT
thanks Roger but i think that fly is a little big for the brookies im goin after. Shawn those seem like great ideas i tie one of each and see how they work in the bath tub and the hopefully take em to the stream next time i go.
State College, PA

Posts: 103
Smallstream on Sep 4, 2007September 4th, 2007, 9:34 am EDT
Are you near the smokies, thats one of my favorite places, it seems that there is a real bad drought going on down there though, my parents just got back from there from a week vacation about a week and a half ago and they said the little river is sadly extremely low, lower than they have ever seen it actually. i hope conditions improve, but it is a beautiful place nevertheless.
western NC

Posts: 29
BxRxTxK on Sep 4, 2007September 4th, 2007, 9:55 am EDT
it's been real dry down here...thats for sure....
franklin nc

Posts: 4
Warren on Sep 16, 2007September 16th, 2007, 11:12 am EDT
yep its the dryest its ever been acording to the coweeta hydrologic lab in franklin. the TVA is keeping all of the lakes at winter levels

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