Skwala Color Question

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

  1. 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.
     
  2. 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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  3. 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.
     
  4. 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.
     
  5. 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.
     
  6. pittendrigh

    pittendrigh Active Member

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    That looks a lot like a Claasenia Sabulosa golden stonefly. They are about the same size. If that is a Skwala, then there's no point in attempting a specific imitation. Because your current best Golden bug would be essentially the same.
     
  7. Preston

    Preston Active Member

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    I assume you are referring to the nymph. That is a Skwala, Golden Stones are rarely found in the shallows in February when the picture was taken. Typically, stoneflies crawl ashore when they near the time for molting into their adult forms and turning over a few rocks in the shallows alongshore will reveal large numbers of whatever species happens to be emerging at the time. This is also the time when they are most vulnerable to the fish; stonefly nymphs are not capable of swimming very well and crawling over and around the rocks to the shore exposes them to currents which are liable to wash them into the current. When floating free, the nymph curves its body and goes with the flow, hoping to find a rock to catch hold of. That is why I tie my version of Pat's Rubberlegs on a deeply curved hook (what we used to call an English-style bait hook) to to represent the curved body of the drifting nymph.

    Ralph Cutter notes, in his DVD, Bugs of the Underworld, that free-floating stonefly nymphs don't bump along the bottom, but rise and fall with the flow of the current. I weight my stonefly nymph lightly (with strips of lead foil from wine bottle seals, which adds a small amount of weight and almost no bulk) near the bend of the hook and fish them Joe Brooks-style.

    Yesterday on the Yakima was almost a repeat of the trip I made a couple of weeks ago. In spite of the forecast, winds were brutal all day with occasional gusts actually ripping spume of the surface of the water. Through most of the day it was damned near impossible to row and control the raft, let alone cast, We rose a couple of fish during the day but it wasn't until near the end of the float when we were actually able to hook and land a few. Between us we only landed four fish, three rainbows and one cutthroat; the biggest was a rainbow just shy of eighteen inches, all taken on dry Skwalas.
     
  8. Preston

    Preston Active Member

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    As promised, here are some step-by-step pictures of tying my Slackwater Black dry Skwala pattern.
     

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  9. troutdopemagic

    troutdopemagic Active Member

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    I was in the Cle Elum fly shop the other day and the guide I talked to mentioned that he prefers his Skwala dries darker, thinner and smaller then most of the commercial patterns. Just something to consider when constructing you imitation.
     
  10. Thom Collins

    Thom Collins Active Member

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    Got back from a 3 day trip on the Yakima lastnight. The female skwalas looked to be a #8 3X long, maybe a #10. They were as close to black as to being a super dark olive and had plenty of yellow along their undersides. They were thinner than the paterns I've seen in shops. From what I saw and just going by proportions my avitar would have been a male, add about half again as much abdomin for a female.
     
  11. Preston

    Preston Active Member

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    I'd say your avatar is a female. Males typically have wings shorter than the abdomen while the wings of the female are longer than the abdomen and half the length of the tails.
     
  12. Preston

    Preston Active Member

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    Here, again, are pictures of female and male.
     

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  13. Thom Collins

    Thom Collins Active Member

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    You know your bugs. I'm just getting into this side of fly fishing. My statement did not take wing length into account, mearly body width to length ratio. Maybe I should have said if the bug in my avitar was 3/4 as wide it would resemble what I saw this week. So much to learn, but it's fun.