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Thread: Stoneflies

  1. #1
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Stoneflies

    Not sure what others' experiences have been, but until lately, I agreed with my buddy, Steve. Tying stone fly patterns seemed to turn out a cool fly, but not much good.

    Last Spring, I had a fine, chunky Grayling eat a stone fly pattern.
    Last Fall, I hooked (but did not land) the biggest steelhead of my short career on a large stonefly pattern.

    Last week, I saw stone fly larvae clinging to a piece of cloth pulled from the Gulkana. The larvae were big, 3/4 inch long and fat, just like the stone fly patterns I was carrying. My daughter tied one on and caught the best Grayling of the trip. They're a large enough morsel to appeal to trout too I bet.

    S'pose I'll tie a few more. Some flies I keep for when nothing else is workin. I'll be trying this pattern more often.

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    Talking Global Warming = AK Pteronarcys californica??

    Ok, maybe giant salmonflies aren't in our future, but I also recently saw stoneflies hatching on the lower stretches (above mouth, below weir) of the Deskha. Elkhair caddis pattern is a fair representation for the smaller flies. Only fish chasing them were smolt, no grayling or trout.



    Quote Originally Posted by 6XLeech View Post
    Not sure what others' experiences have been, but until lately, I agreed with my buddy, Steve. Tying stone fly patterns seemed to turn out a cool fly, but not much good.

    Last Spring, I had a fine, chunky Grayling eat a stone fly pattern.
    Last Fall, I hooked (but did not land) the biggest steelhead of my short career on a large stonefly pattern.

    Last week, I saw stone fly larvae clinging to a piece of cloth pulled from the Gulkana. The larvae were big, 3/4 inch long and fat, just like the stone fly patterns I was carrying. My daughter tied one on and caught the best Grayling of the trip. They're a large enough morsel to appeal to trout too I bet.

    S'pose I'll tie a few more. Some flies I keep for when nothing else is workin. I'll be trying this pattern more often.
    Jim Creek - Home of the burning car hook cast!

  3. #3
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Smile AK Pteronarcys californica??

    Here's photo I'll try to upload-not a great image, but the nymph measured 3/4" long. There were maybe 2 dozen, fat, lively nymphs on this fleece shirt someone pulled out of the river.

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    Default Underrated to the extreme

    So many anglers focus on salmon flesh and eggs that we often forget that these streams in AK are suprisingly productive as far as bugs go due to those salmon as well. Out in southwest, before the salmon show up, I always carry a few decent sized stones and other nymph patterns, these creatures are always available but are often trumped by the mass of protein once the salmon arrive. I was fishing grayling this past weekend and even through some grayling were rising, most were not and it was sporadic. Dry fly fishing was iffy but fun but once I threw on the ol copper jon it was officially on, I got more than twenty grayling out of one sweet little hole using that same copper jon, while my fishin partner pounded his head against the bank using a couple dry flies....silly purist.

    Many of the streams I target for grayling are also strong spawning tribs for rainbows in spring, so I often get a few bonus bows on stones as well, and landing 24 inch bow on a number 12 is pretty fun.

    I think these flies should be in any prepared anglers flybox.

  5. #5

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    6X, that pic you posted only needs to have the matching fly in the picture with the larva and the reel for it to be an Orvis ad...

    I caught my first steelie swinging a stone. I hadn't found any stone larva in that river on that day, it was just one of those "nothing else is working, so why the heck not?" fly choices...

  6. #6
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    Default Stone flies and other...

    Catch It: Just tried Copper John for first time on Upper Gulkana, but what a fine fish finder it was for us when my trusty Beadhead Prince Nymph and other flies weren't working. Could have been the CJ was much smaller (#12 CJ vs #8 PN). I'll keep a few small CJs too from now on.

    Scrivz: Budget (buying reels for whole family) dictated the Orvis choice and I haven't been disappointed with the Battenkill LA overall.

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 6XLeech View Post
    Catch It: Just tried Copper John for first time on Upper Gulkana, but what a fine fish finder it was for us when my trusty Beadhead Prince Nymph and other flies weren't working. Could have been the CJ was much smaller (#12 CJ vs #8 PN). I'll keep a few small CJs too from now on.

    Scrivz: Budget (buying reels for whole family) dictated the Orvis choice and I haven't been disappointed with the Battenkill LA overall.
    Something I really like about the copper jons is the variation of colors from red to black or um, er...copper. But even more than that is all the wire used to make the body keeps them down down down down and makes up for my lazy and often cruddy dead drifting abilities...and keeps the split shot off my line (I never did dig lead).

    Definitely, they are a fish finder....a "comfort lure" if you will, I don't think "confidence lure" sums it up well enough.

    Another fun one is the two beaded black stone in a number ten or twelve, another great dredger/finder

  8. #8
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    Default two beaded black stone ??


  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by 6XLeech View Post
    Scrivz: Budget (buying reels for whole family) dictated the Orvis choice and I haven't been disappointed with the Battenkill LA overall.
    I wasn't ragging on your reel choice, I just thought it was a nice picture--nice enough for an Orvis ad. I'm glad you like it; my only orvis product is a battenkill mid-arbor and I'm still on the fence about it.

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    Default That's the general idea

    IOn the double beaded stone...one is incorporated into the thorax and the other is at the head.

    The ones I have are all black, number tens, with a couple of biots flared out along the thorax and some sort of tubing to segment the body...I usually prefer black, green or a gold color and ones wiht plenty of segmentation.

    They really get down there and it stays down on the swing which suprisingly works well, I wonder what those grayling are thinking as a drifting stone suddenly whips by their face at 55 mph...probably "Fast Food"

  11. #11
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    Default Stone fly photo

    Quote Originally Posted by scrivz View Post
    I wasn't ragging on your reel choice, I just thought it was a nice picture--nice enough for an Orvis ad. I'm glad you like it; my only orvis product is a battenkill mid-arbor and I'm still on the fence about it.
    No worries, man. You're right. A better photo, a good tied stone fly, or even better add a 20" Rainbow to the pic... Next time !

    A lot of good reels out there, even the Teton Tioga under $200 would be tempting if I had it to do over. I've heard good things about Okumas too.

    Main thing is just get out there. Good luck on-stream this year!

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