Its Almost Skwala Time

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Simplebugger, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. Brad I would love to see a step by step on some general rubber band flies too. Bass season will be here soon.
  2. I am often surprised that many Skwala imitations bear so little resemblance to to the actual insect. I suppose that part of the reason is that many imitations of the Skwala adult are tied primarily as strike indicators to float a heavily-weighted nymph imitation. Here are some pictures of Yakima River Skwalas, (nymphs and adults). The colors of the nymphs are olive with lighter markings ranging into yellow, and the adults are, for the most part, dark browns and blacks. Some, but by no means all, adults have yellow markings on the ventral surface of the thorax and abdomen.

    The nymphs, when washed away from the substrate while moving ashore to molt into the adult stage and while floating with the current, curve their bodies while hoping to catch hold of something secure to anchor themselves. This would seem to suggest the use of a curved rather than a straight hook for a nymph imitation.

    Moreso even than some other stoneflies, one of the adult Skwala's main defensive maneuvers is to let go of whatever he/she is perched on and drop. Since they usually mate and hang out in the grass and brush alongside the river this means that they frequently fall into the water and become available to the fish, this occurs throughout the day so they can be found there at any time during the day and not just when the females return to the water to lay their eggs. Males have shorter wings than females, no longer than the abdomen while the female's wings are about the length of the abdomen and ahlf the length of the tails (once the male has fertilized the female he has no further reason to fly. The last picture is of an adult emerging from the nymphal shuck.

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    tkww, Tacoma Red, Mikey_Mac and 2 others like this.
  3. Derek:

    Yeah I need to tie less and fish more this year. Orvis dropped the ball and I lost interest in picking it back up. A step by step video is probably next. It's not all that hard to tie...
  4. Preston, I think the variability comes from experimentation, and adaptation. Sure, the same brown Pat's Stone that gets fished basically year-round on the Yakima (skwala, golden, salmon, summer stones) is fished for a reason - a reasonable imitation that people are confident in. Over time, learning little tricks, like shortening the legs (if you use store-bought patterns) or putting a bend in the hook (yes, just buy them on a straight hook and bend it!) ends up as habit. I've found different colors to be more effective early versus later during the stonefly hatches on the Yakima - thus, I tie them in shades of the natural. Mostly, because I like to do the research... :)

    Good discussion, and I really like seeing people's variations on the theme. Limiting yourself to what can be bought in the store means you're fishing what everyone else is too...

    It's close, guys and gals - the snow is melting slowly and the days below freezing are fewer and fewer.

    Yakima Sign.jpg
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  5. Another great thread! I have never been in one of these hatches but now on the Owyhee river in Oregon people love fishing this hatch early for very big willing browns. Thanks for posting the naturals. I had researched them as a much darker dry than most patterns I have seen. It's also nice to see how light the under belly of the nymph is, making a two tone a must (for me anyway) to match it correctly like most nymphs.

    What hook size do you guys use?
    8 2x long?
    curved caddis hook in a 6?
    scud hook?
    thanks for any info!
  6. Heck my friend Derec has been staying one week at my place in Portland and one week home - BOISE - for work this winter. You guys with this thread just got a trip going, me going home with him and fishing the Owyhee river (which is right at the Oregon - Idaho border) for a week during this early hatch. I BLAME YOU ALL :D
    Jeff Dodd and McNasty like this.
  7. Well then this one is for you then preston, your post sounded like a challenge to me.
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  8. Nice Pat!
  9. Almost time to do some field research with that one!
  10. yes Pat another good one
  11. P5120468.JPG Like Johnny Cash said...Da trout'll get fat come Skwala time
    Derek Young, Pat Lat and McNasty like this.
  12. [​IMG]

    Need to get a black marker for the egg sac.

  13. P5140477.JPG

    one tied for the profile
    McNasty likes this.
  14. Hmmm, I wonder if that large egg sac as pictured in Preston's photos would work as a trigger?
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  15. Gettin' ready for Skwala Madness 2013.

    Here are some dries I've been tying up for the coming weekends...
    Derek Young likes this.
  16. Used ScottP's hopper SBS to come up with this. Thanks for that Scott!

    Patrick Gould likes this.
  17. Nice tie Mcnasty, and thanks for the great pics Preston. I am going to spend some time at the vise this winter to tie adults and nymphs for the early and late hatches. Thanks again guys, super thread.
    McNasty likes this.
  18. I have my own set of adult stonefly patterns called the Supernatural Stones. I only have Salmonfly and golden stone, but I look forward to making a Skwala adult. I'll have one tied up within a few months.
  19. It takes a few months to tie the fly? Sounds a bit too complicated for me. :D

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