Skwala Color Question

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Thom Collins, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. Thom Collins

    Thom Collins Active Member

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    I know the same family of bugs can be different colors, so what color are the ones on the Yakima and for that matter western WA? I thought they are black on top, yellow and black underneath with a translucent smokey grey wing (like my avatar). All the patterns I find on the net are olive. It is very possible what I thought was a skwala is something else.
     
  2. kelvin

    kelvin Active Member

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    look at your avatar
     
    dryflylarry and Mark Juranek like this.
  3. WABOWMAN

    WABOWMAN Active Member

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    A little more olive than yellow
     
  4. kelvin

    kelvin Active Member

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    Olive green
     
  5. Mark Juranek

    Mark Juranek Member

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    Olive Yellow. Check the videos from Red's, You Tube search on Skwala and Red's will bring them up or hit their website. The Skwala I have purchased are surprisingly yellow, though my local shop recommended making sure they were dark.

    I tied a bunch of King Kong Skwala (google search, or Vimeo) I like the pattern, untested as of yet, but it looked pretty good to me. Peacock hurl body, I tied a view with a little yellow dubbing mixed in to the hurl to mix it up.
     
  6. Thom Collins

    Thom Collins Active Member

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    Like the King Kong Skwala! Betting the yellow dubbing adds a bunch to that fly. Thanks.
     
  7. Preston

    Preston Active Member

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    Yakima Skwalas are quite dark and not all of them exhibit yellow markings under under the thorax. Here's a picture.
     

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  8. Derek Young

    Derek Young 2011 Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide Of The Year

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    I tie my Skwala dries with a dark olive body and olive/yellow thorax mix, in size 8-10.
     
  9. Preston

    Preston Active Member

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    Here are some more pictures. The first is of the underside of a well-marked bug, the second is of a female with egg sac, the third is of a nymph, the fourth is of a male (note the male's wings are shorter than his abdomen while the female's are about the length of her abdomen plus about half the length of her tails). The last is my Skwala pattern, which a friend of mine has dubbed the "Slackwater Black" (the yellow foam is just a visual aid, for my old eyes a dark bug on dark water gets harder to see every year).
     

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  10. Mark Juranek

    Mark Juranek Member

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    The first shows some good olive/yellow body, dark thorax and that last tied fly looks really good to me
     
  11. Mark Juranek

    Mark Juranek Member

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    King Kong Skwala river tested 3/23, on what appears to be a pretty slow day, with water temps at 40, the King Kong Skwala did the trick! Had 4 good takes, fly is super easy to see, the Elk Hair wing is so easy on my eyes, but from the underside this fly is nice and dark.

    Also tried two flies that are commonly recommended, didn't have a take (not that means much as it was a tough day), but they were way more difficult for me to see.
     
  12. Patrick Gould

    Patrick Gould Active Member

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    Preston, I like your "Slackwater Black", but I'm a rookie fly tier, and I'm not sure I can get it right just by looking at the image. If you get a chance could you post a recipe or a few more images?
     
  13. Preston

    Preston Active Member

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    It's pretty straightforward. The tails are paintbrush fibers (a little larger in diameter than Microfibbets), the body is black dubbing spun in a dubbing loop, the wing is moose body hair, the hackle is dark dun, placed ahead of the wing (Trude-style) and the antennae are paintbrush fibers. The yellow foam is a small strip tied atop the head just for a visual aid. I do have some step-by-step pictures and, if I have the time, I may post them later today.

    I tie it on a size 8 or 10 2x long dry fly hook.
     
  14. Olive bugger

    Olive bugger Active Member

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    There is a saying that there is no fool, like an old fool. Well, I guess I qualify. I have never fished the skwala fly and only fished the Yak on one occasion. I am not that familiar with the insect and it's habits. So I ask a question here. I presume that you are fishing the adult fly and it is a surface fly? What about the nymph pattern? Is that also fished with success? Also how long are they active on the calendar and how active are they?

    I am anxious to see your pictures, Preston. Thank you.
     
  15. Mark Juranek

    Mark Juranek Member

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    Little off topic, but ... yes, adult fly and it is surface. Yes, nymphs are very successful, same as any other hatch that I am aware of. For nymph patterns I have yet to have someone recommend much different than a Pat's stone fly as a good general stone fly immitation for the Yak. I also picked up some good golden stone fly nymphs and darkened them up with a black marker a bit.

    What was interesting last Friday, most of the conversation I had with a couple of guides floating by was that the nymph action was slow, I think it sort of ebbs and flows, and the dries were working a little better. I ended up switching from nymphs to dries an hour early than I planned and it was a pretty cool day, so it wasn't temperature driven. I didn't have any luck until I switched to dries. Now I am way off topic.

    When you are bored with my rookie advise, check out Red's Fly Shop, they have plenty of videos and recommended flies for this hatch.
     
  16. Patrick Gould

    Patrick Gould Active Member

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    Most of the local guides that I've talked to have recommended standard stonefly nymphs - tan/olive pat's stone or kaufmans type. The same guides advised me to throw the dries in the slower sections of the pools and even backwater areas. I've had luck in very slow, soft seam lines, but I think that has more to do with the time of year than the particular bug.
     
  17. Preston

    Preston Active Member

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    Off to the Yakima this morning but here's a picture of my modified Pat's Rubberlegs. Skwalas can begin to hatch as early as late-January/early-February and are usually over by mid-April. There are, however, stonefly hatches of one species or another emerging throughout the spring and summer.
     

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  18. Olive bugger

    Olive bugger Active Member

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    Good luck and tight lines. Thank you for the information on the river and fly. Just a question about the pattern above, Pat's rubberlegs. Could this not also represent a bee? From my mind's eye I would think a stone fly would have a wing added. But then what the heck do I know. If it works, fish it. Thanks again for all your help and informaiton.
     
  19. Patrick Gould

    Patrick Gould Active Member

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    The rubberlegs type represents the nymph so no wings. They work well most of the year on the Yakima.
     
  20. Mark Juranek

    Mark Juranek Member

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    I find that color combination unusual. Might work, but generally the recommendations and what I tie are black, brown, and coffee (brown with black fleck) using chennille, olive would work as well.

    There are so many good stone fly flies, I love the Kauffman (which has a triple wing case!!!), which is about 10x harder to tie, but I swear each time I mention it at my local fly shop they smile and point to the pat's. Probably good to have seveal choices to mix it up.
     

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