Re: Pteronarcys californica...
Oh don't get me wrong me Ted, I've had good days on the salmonfly. When I moved here 14 years ago I was still a pretty novice fly fisherman, I had a couple years under my belt in Michigan but didn't know squat about fishing the West. Salmonfly hatch obviously became a big deal fast. The first great hatch was 2003, the beginning of the drought so the bugs were there but the Blackfoot was so low in June it was wadeable. I had a broken wrist that spring and had lots of time on my hand(s) and it was really frustrating. I'd cast left handed, hook a big rainbow and be completely lost. There was the summer when I was a student and had the summer off without a job...damn those were the days!...and I fished the hatch about as well as anyone could. I went every other day from pre-hatch till the bugs were crawling all over everything, moving upstream with the hatch, or so I thought, and couldn't do anything! Then another year I'd just go up to Rock Creek once and have a frenzy. It's just so hit and miss, day by day. Which is fine, but the reason I get down on it isn't because sometimes the fish don't respond. It's that I don't like fishing with people all around everywhere AND not be able to move fish. The salmonfly hatch on Rock Creek was super this year and when I was there there were wade fisherman everywhere (on a stretch of a couple miles without public access) and boats flying by every 15 minutes. Rock Creek isn't very big. The whole thing is kind of a circus.
But by next June I'm sure I'll be tying new patterns and chomping at the bit to try it again, against my better judgement!
Good luck if you get to the Gunny.