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CrepuscularApril 17th, 2013, 4:36 pm
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 923
Collected this morning


SayfuApril 17th, 2013, 5:29 pm
Posts: 560I've wore a few of those beauties. Not easy to continue casting when one is latched onto your face, but it is something I've been happy to put up with.
EntomanApril 17th, 2013, 7:24 pm
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
I dont think that's a perlid, Eric. Looks like a species of Pteronarcys (Salmonfly) to me. With that bright orange banding it looks like our P. californica, but that can't be...:) Without a closer look, I'm guessing it's probably P. dorsata (Giant Stonefly), but there are other possibilities.
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
SayfuApril 17th, 2013, 7:46 pm
Posts: 560Upps, I sure thought it was Pteronarcys Californica. Funny story on that bug. A crazy kid I worked with in the flyshop took two of his buddies fishing on the bank during the height of the salmonfly hatch. His buddies were fishing far down the bank, and this kid saw his buddies coming towards him. He grabbed several three of the big bugs out of the bushes behind him, and shoved them in his mouth. When they reached him his buddies asked "how ya doin?"..And he responds, "Oh, pretty good" as the bugs came crawling out his mouth.
Jmd123April 17th, 2013, 11:26 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2530
WOW, see many of those out? That's way early, I usually see our giant stone flies in late May and June. You can't miss 'em, they're HUGE and fly very slowly. BEAUTIFUL insect too, the bright orange and the delicate veining in the wings.

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
CrepuscularApril 18th, 2013, 8:25 am
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 923
Kurt you are absolutely right. and I knew that too. for some reason I was thinking Acroneuria biloba instead of Pteronarcys biloba. I have collected them in the same spot before. And am pretty sure that this is what this one is too. But I'll have to run it through the key when I get a chance.Not sure what I was thinking...Anyway its a cool stonefly. I have had other males and nymphs from the same spot that have been confirmed by an PA Plecoptera expert.


OldredbarnApril 18th, 2013, 12:23 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
When these big egg layers hit the water they move fish...Nice ones. :)

On nice clear days you look up in to the sky and see nothing...They seem to fall out of thin air and plop! they hit the water to dislodge their egg sac...Some actually make it off the water again...

I've seen little guys leave the water to intercept them in mid-air...

A great searching fly.
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
GearTheoryApril 18th, 2013, 12:43 pm
Indianapolis

Posts: 12
Spence,

This is bigger than our Thrasher isn't it ?
Gear & Theory
SayfuApril 18th, 2013, 1:13 pm
Posts: 560A very high percentage of our egg layers drop their eggs while in the air. Very few ride the water with an egg sac attached. And early on when these females come back to the water in the later part of the day, fish are intimidated by them at first. I have done better with a size smaller golden stone than by matching the size of the natural..say a # 10, or #8 2xl golden vs. a size #6 2xl salmon fly. And good sized fish have taken my small pattern dead drifted while a large natural was fluttering on the water right next to my fly.
OldredbarnApril 18th, 2013, 1:24 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
This is bigger than our Thrasher isn't it ?


Mike...Yep...We get them though...We get P dorsata...Same general deal 45mm or so...Think a Mattress Thrasher with orange highlights. :) They are mostly a night time emergence...We find empty shucks the next morning stuck to sticks etc coming out of the river...Sometimes multiple shucks on top of each other.

Willy used to call it the "Orange Throated-Stone" and our Mattress Thrasher was originally called, by him, the "Amber Throated Stone".

The Thrasher was given to Craiger by Willy the first year he guided and he told Bill that it saved his ass on many occasions...Rusty linked the fly to Craig and when he (Craig) passed it somehow became his fly...It is a morph (like Kaufmann's Stimulator) of the old Sofa Pillow, Improved Sofa-Pillow, Mattress Thrasher...

Mikey...You need to straighten those guys out in the shops up in Grayling...They put so much deer hair on for the wing it looks like one of them old barber brushes they used to put shaving cream on a client! It has changed into more of an attractor/pound the fish up fly than the hatch matcher the master hatch matcher intended it to be...:) Hows that sir?!

See you in May brother! I'm excited that you are excited about whats coming off your vice again! You and I are going to put a serious hurt on those Crawford County brutes...No need for a room really at Gates'...We'll fish none-stop and Jimmy will have to put out an APB out on our sorry, trout-bum, asses!!! Yahoo!

Since you have "finally" posted here...you need to connect with Eric here on this site...He's the one that posted the Stonefly here and one of "those PA Boys" that burnt me out over there last week! He ties some nice bugs and gave me some for May I'll show you...Maybe I should ask him first. ;)

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
EntomanApril 18th, 2013, 3:03 pm
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Typos... The good news is they usually lead to excellent discussions as nobody around here lets us get away with them!:) I can't quite make out the 10th sterna and genitalia and a lateral of them would really help. The nymphs are easier. If you can find some husks around where you found this guy, look for lateral projections on the abdomen. If they are present that eliminates dorsata. There are at least three species I think that have them and their degree is a way to differentiate them. Grab some nymphs that match the husks for some photos. We'd all love to see them. While I'm asking, a good lateral of this specimen's important parts would be interesting too. I'm pretty confident I could come up with a species that would be better than a guess. :) Their genitalia are fairly distinctive. Not that I doubt your expert, it's just fun if we can do it ourselves.

Edit: BTW - The yellow in your follow-up photo surprised me. That's not like californica.

"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
EntomanApril 18th, 2013, 7:18 pm
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Jere -

A very high percentage of our egg layers drop their eggs while in the air. Very few ride the water with an egg sac attached. And early on when these females come back to the water in the later part of the day, fish are intimidated by them at first.

I've noticed the same thing and don't put the black peas on my flies for this hatch. On the waters I fish (OR & NorCal), the trout aren't intimidated in the least by the bugs (the extra bushy, foamy, sparkly stuff some guys throw is a different matter). I worry more about the fish becoming stuffed so quickly that the window to catch 'em is greatly reduced. Landing bloated pigs burping up bugs while being handled is a common occurrence. With the exception of the Hex, I've never seen a critter that can bring out the glutton like these guys.

Eric & Spence - Here's a nymph & adult imitation I have had good luck with... Though it's hit or miss, this hatch is a big deal out here and every successful angler seems to have his pets. The dry is for the softer margins or runs where large picky fish seem to hang. The nymph is just a modified classic Montana Nymph. Easy and quick to tie, cheap materials; no biggie losing them to the rocks. I only get upset when losing them to fish.:) I fall back on this one when the fish want something a little more accurate than the simple rubber-legged all chenille types often used. I've never done all that well with the anatomically perfect ones that look like they can crawl away on their own. Those are too precious of my time to risk in the rocks anyway.:)

Mod. Montana Nymph #4


Mod. Sofa Pillow #2

"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
CrepuscularApril 18th, 2013, 10:13 pm
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 923
Typos... The good news is they usually lead to excellent discussions as nobody around here lets us get away with them!:)

No typo, brain fart. Maybe Spence wore me out!
GearTheoryApril 19th, 2013, 8:30 am
Indianapolis

Posts: 12
You know I ran into WIlly one day at Lower TU "Mikey's Pool" as Craig called after those guides saw me there nearly every evening once the Henny's started.

He showed me his version of the stone which was a lot more of a "bussy most" that the cleaner looking tie they have now.

And it is in neither one of our best interest's, not Jimmy's desire to inform the shop(s) about fly improvement. It has long been a Gear & Theory hypothesis that effective flies on the Holy Waters need to be a one-off from whatever the shop are selling.

I always chuckle when I see those anemic bobby-d ties all the local convenience store - gas station - fly shop (s) sell.

But yeah on the fishing... I am particularly interested in pounding the south and maybe some other areas like the lower north. Between Jimmy's hook ups and our two cars we should be able to fish some relatively uncharted waters like my cousins down to Rudy's...

Gear & Theory
SayfuApril 19th, 2013, 9:39 am
Posts: 560Kurt...Your observation is the same as mine. They can get stuffed very quickly on the SF as well, and most of the time they will take the big bug, but on occasion, and it must relate to timing early on, the golden stone works better than the big stone. A mistake that can be made is to use a standard 9ft. leader that makes it hard to throw a big, air resistant pattern accurately. I go no longer than 7 ft. with a 2x tippet, and get the fly down on the water where I want it much better. Bob Jacklin tied me one of his now popular patterns, and I have it displayed. He ties a bullet head using moose body hair, and makes it a very small head. Bob says other patterns that form a bullet head look more like muddler minnows than a stone fly. The best day I ever had on dries I got a tip from a local guru to fish DOWN behind the crowd that was chasing the hatch up river through the canyon. My wife and I had a fabulous day on dries.
DUBBNApril 20th, 2013, 8:40 pm
Colorado

Posts: 47
When these bad boys and girls are out and about on the Gunnison, the stomach samples are usually all baetis nymphs/emergers. Love it when I hear fishermen swear that the fish are so stuffed with Stones, they can't eat any more.


Just an opinion and observation for the past 30 years. Silly stomach pumps have settled a lot of arguments and made me a buck or two.
It's OK to disagree with me. I can not force you to be right.
EntomanApril 20th, 2013, 9:50 pm
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Mack - the body is orange craft foam highlighted with permanent marker. There are lots of similar patterns so I can't claim originality, but most have large bullet heads and are bulkier. I haven't seen any others that have the combination of thin head, segmented thorax, and segmented hackle trimmed top & bottom, so in that sense it's a little unique, I suppose. I also tie a similar version with a packing foam wing under the sparse moose I call the Flush Stone. I think I've posted it before.

Dubbin - I've never had much luck using a stomach pump on bugs this large. They are OK for flushing little stuff out of the throat, but are awful hard on the trout any deeper, even for the little critters. Even so, I'm not doubting your experience. I have found the behavior you describe on many waters, especially for the large October Caddis at times. I have no explanation for why this is so, I just know it is. Sorry to hear that's the reaction on the Gunnison as it's a fun hatch when the fish are dialed in.
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
WillyApril 23rd, 2013, 3:16 pm
Chicago, IL

Posts: 47
Funny... my name is Willy and I fish mattress thrashers a lot on the Au Sable. Gates ties them smaller than they used to. A few years ago I had one of the guys in the shop tie me some in a bigger size. Even still, they're smaller than they could be.

I can second the dropping eggs from above thing. I see it all the time in mid-June.
Check out my fishing pictures on Instagram.
EntomanApril 23rd, 2013, 3:58 pm
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Another characteristic of western Salmonfly hatches that should be mentioned is their cyclic nature. In my experience, banner years aren't all that common and they have been on a down cycle for awhile now (back in the '80's there were years when the hatches were awesome). Also, as Dubbin mentioned they are unimportant on many watersheds, even though they are present. They seem to be most important on larger rivers where their populations are optimal. Rivers like the Madison in MT or the Deschutes and Rogue in OR are famous examples. In good years, these hatches can be prodigious, but they move upstream fairly fast and the fish follow them upstream like we do (except they're better at it). The fish do the same thing with the Hex. Another thing I've noticed is the flies that were deadly 20 odd years ago no longer work all that well. I remember reading somewhere a guide quote, "Try one of those different patterns of yours. They've been 'stimulated' enough already." How true...:)
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman

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