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Entomology Basic entomology for the fly fisher to help identify insects that one might encounter on the stream or in a stillwater.

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Old 06-24-2013, 11:07 AM
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Default Pteronarcys californica...

Ok...thats about as technical as Im going to get....you folks are starting to rub off on me...but I sure felt smarter typing that out!

reports from friends in Colorado and Oregon are that the monster salmon fly hatch is bigger than ever...this is a newer version of one I tried before...to try and get the colors better...

of course it uses some of my favorite "homegrown" materials too...its not perfect...but it has worked OK...if you tie some foam into the body it floats a lot more effectively...however there are advantages to the semi-submerged presentation too. It floats well for a while then starts to go down...a few false casts can give it some life, but the wax wears off after a while.Even with a HD ginks job on it...but hopefully it will get gobbled up long before its shelf life is reached!

Click the image to open in full size.

Big Gunny 1

size 2-6 nymph or salmon hook...
natural mallard flanks for wings...
amber dyed mallard flanks for under body...
amber or brown synthetic sinew for legs...
wild turkey fan for over body...
black mallard tail feather for shoulder shroud...

I like to tie up a half dozen at a time and even prep them with a 24" piece of size 4 flouro for the tippet...makes it easier with the antennae etc. I twist them onto a piece of the gray foam pipe insulation to keep them ready and out of the way in my pocket...I like a 6 foot leader on a 5-6 weight rod...this is a big bug and works well regardless of which side lands up, thats why I put some attention as to what the underside looks like to(the amber color), the wings facing down are very realistic. The waxed malllard flanks have a great look!


Click the image to open in full size.

this is a real fun bug to pitch with my 11ft 7wt switch rod too...a little better control and distance is possible...with a standard rod like a 6wt 9 footer stack mends are a great way to fish it (a downstream drift)

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

here is a link for an SBS for those that are interested...
wandering monks fly of the month 4 | tales of a wandering monk

all the best...ted
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Breac à linne, slat à coille is fiadh à f́reach - mèirle às nach do ghabh gàidheal riamh nàire.
a fish from the river, a rod from the woods and a stag from the mountain , thefts ne'er a Gael was ashamed
...and old gaelic proverb...

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Old 06-24-2013, 11:16 AM
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Default Re: Pteronarcys californica...

Ted
That is one sweet looking fly pattern! I'm too busy fishing this time of year, but that one is definitely going to be on my winter list of flies to tie! Now to do some research on salmon fly waters. My on my bucket list is to float the Gunnison Gorge sometime, just need to find the time to make it happen.
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Old 06-24-2013, 02:57 PM
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Default Re: Pteronarcys californica...

Compadre...I will twist oars with you anytime!...I would love to hit the gunny w/ you for the hatch...I am working on a new drift boat right now...but if yours is better for the deal we will take it...


all the best...t
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ted...trout bum/wandering monk
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Breac à linne, slat à coille is fiadh à f́reach - mèirle às nach do ghabh gàidheal riamh nàire.
a fish from the river, a rod from the woods and a stag from the mountain , thefts ne'er a Gael was ashamed
...and old gaelic proverb...

my blog & website
http://wmflyrodco.com/
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Old 06-24-2013, 04:17 PM
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Default Re: Pteronarcys californica...

Ted
If we float the Gunny it is best in a raft as those rapids are rated at class III so there is a good opportunity to bump into a few rocks along the way.

Larry
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Old 06-24-2013, 05:28 PM
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Default Re: Pteronarcys californica...

That is a great looking pattern Ted. Great job with the natural materials, and personally I like the lack of hackle. All the Salmonfly patterns are fluorescent orange foam bodied things which I've never liked. I tie them sans hackle as well with CDC for an over-wing, adds flotation and nice movement. But anyway, I think they fish better down in the water.

But then again I haven't had any luck with this hatch for a few years. My buddy told me it's a once every five years odds that you hit it just right. I was on Rock Creek a few weeks ago...everything was supposed to be perfect; tons of huge bugs, early enough that the fish hadn't been completely pounded into submission, great water conditions, blah blah blah...no a single fish rose to the fly. Or any of the naturals I kicked into the water. It is an incredibly fickle hatch to fish.

Larry, the Big Hole and Madison hatch is much later than the Rock Creek hatch, I think it's right around the corner...you could hit that one!
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Old 06-24-2013, 06:52 PM
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Default Re: Pteronarcys californica...

thanks Dean...we have been talking about different spots and times...

the gunnison in SW Colorado is pretty predictable...most do best there with big nymphs...that hatch started about two weeks ago...this year is pretty out of control...I was trying to get there to fish with a friend between grand junction and paonia..., but so far it hasnt happened.

this is a big year in the cycle I think...another friend in Oregon said it was pretty big there too...on the eastern slope ...

I have drys, semi drys, nymphs all tied up and ready to ...I will post whatever comes around...

I did tie up a few w/ no legs and a hackle on them...it is an easier tie...but so far this one has worked well...especially after it is slightly submerged...long stack mends are the best...oh well...I love to hear other strategys...and stories...dont give up...it is insane when they get hungry for these...
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ted...trout bum/wandering monk
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Breac à linne, slat à coille is fiadh à f́reach - mèirle às nach do ghabh gàidheal riamh nàire.
a fish from the river, a rod from the woods and a stag from the mountain , thefts ne'er a Gael was ashamed
...and old gaelic proverb...

my blog & website
http://wmflyrodco.com/
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Old 06-24-2013, 10:43 PM
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Default 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.
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Old 06-28-2013, 09:40 AM
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Default Re: Pteronarcys californica...

Ted

Checkout the photos on this Gunny fishing report (we need to float this next year):
Photos of the Day: Salmonflies and Trout in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison | orvis.com/news
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Old 06-28-2013, 12:36 PM
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Default Re: Pteronarcys californica...

It legit took me about a minute to realize that your fly wasn't an actual bug.
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Old 06-28-2013, 12:39 PM
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Default Re: Pteronarcys californica...

Great patterncongrats Ted
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