Skwala Color Question

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.
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.


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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).


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.
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?


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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.
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.
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.