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Sculpin Enterprises
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I've always had a difference of opinion regarding the colors for Skwala flies. More often than not, and this thread confirms it, the bodies of flies tied to mimic Skwalas are olive green. And yet the Skwalas that I have seen on the Yakima (including the ones sitting in a jar of alcohol by my tying desk) and the pictures of Skwalas that I've seen on the Yakima seem to have abdomens that are more dark gray or dark tan with dull yellow edges to each segment and a thorax that is dull black and yellow. It could be that my personal color standards are off, but I just don't see the green. Are the Skwalas in Montana greener?
Steve
 

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abdomens that are more dark gray or dark tan with dull yellow edges to each segment and a thorax that is dull black and yellow. It could be that my personal color standards are off, but I just don't see the green. Are the Skwalas in Montana greener?
Steve,

The ones I've seen in MT are more of a dirty motor oil color with yellow highlights (these pics don't really do justice to intact bugs, but they're all I have)





Since I can't find any foam that color, I just use olive; dark brown would probably work well, too but the fish don't seem to care. I don't fish That Stream during the hatch; they're not very picky where I go.

Regards,
Scott
 

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Sculpin Enterprises
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Hi Scott,
Even with the diversity of materials that we have at hand today, there just are some organisms (and Skwalas might be one of them) for which there is no close match for the natural. I have often wondered if the bugs in the Rockies have a different hue from those on the eastern slopes of the Cascades. Or if the bugs are largely the same color, that the preponderance of olive reflects a historical choice at some point that others have followed.
I use a yellow/black variegated chenille for the abdomens of the nymphs and a yellow dubbing on the thorax. For the adults, I use yellow foam and band it with black or brown Sharpie. I haven't fished the Skwala hatch enough to argue that a close color match is that important. They are the first large insect food source that will be readily available after a long winter of midges....
Steve
 

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It has always seemed to me that adult skwala stoneflies (at least those of the Yakima and other local rivers) are predominantly dark-colored; many almost black. Here are some pictures:

Arthropod Insect Finger Locust Pest
Hand Insect Arthropod Finger Thumb
Insect Arthropod Wood Organism Pest
Insect Arthropod Finger Pest Parasite
Hand Arthropod Insect Finger Terrestrial plant
Hand Insect Arthropod Organism Finger

Males are easily differentiated from females by their much shorter wings (shorter than his abdomen). Picture 3 is a female already extruding her sticky black egg mass. Picture 4 is that of an adult skwala struggling to escape from its nymphal shuck.
 

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Hand Finger Terrestrial plant Thumb Terrestrial animal
Arthropod Insect Finger Thumb Pest
Hand Finger Terrestrial plant Thumb Terrestrial animal
Many. but not all. Yakima skwalas exhibit some yellow markings on the underside of the thorax and/or abdomen. Like many aquatic insects the underside seems to be predominantly a grayish-olive tint but I suspect that the fish perceive it primarily as a dark silhouette. I've tied most of my adult imitations in black and they seem to have been effective.
 

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Sculpin Enterprises
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Hi Preston,
Very nice pics. Those are more along the lines of what I remember. Of course, as the fish are relatively unpressured so early in the season and the Skwalas are such a big food item, the fish may be less picky than we would find late in the summer for golden stones or even with BWOs in the fall.
Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Agree. A Royal Trude, Royal Stimi, or Black Chubby are good searching patterns too.

Hi Preston,
Very nice pics. Those are more along the lines of what I remember. Of course, as the fish are relatively unpressured so early in the season and the Skwalas are such a big food item, the fish may be less picky than we would find late in the summer for golden stones or even with BWOs in the fall.
Steve
 

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Coast to Coast
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Nice ties all. Agree that the Yakima bugs seem to be a blackish color with yellow highlights. I don't think color is that crucial. I've caught them on bugs tied with dark olive, light olive, black, brown, even blue foam.
 
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