Pteronarcys californica Newport

Giant Salmonfly

by David Nelson

First posted March 25, 2010 Last updated March 26, 2010

 

This is the giant of legends! The hatch of all stonefly hatches! Any aficionado of stoneflies needs to make the pilgramage to the mecca of stonefly land, Montana, and witness first hand the amazing hatch of the P. californica. The adults, 2-3 inches in length, hatch by the millions and the fish just go crazy. They are all over the place, and after a while even a plecopterologist can't stand them landing and crawling all over you. The fish gorge with vicious strikes until their bellies bulge and the flies are sticking out of their gills.

Two P. californica adults mating. The male is smaller than the female, locates her by drumming, and mounts her. He then bends his abdomen around to hers.

Photo by Colin (Sandy) Pittendrigh

Photo by Colin (Sandy) Pittendrigh

Photo by Colin (Sandy) Pittendrigh

Photo by Colin (Sandy) Pittendrigh

 

Photo by Colin (Sandy) Pittendrigh