Giant Salmonflies
.............................Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park

Salmonflies (Pteronarcyidae Family)

We are jumping from the smallest aquatic insects in Yellowstone National Park, or
midges, to the largest aquatic insects in the park, which are Salmonflies. Species of this
Pteronarcyidae family of stoneflies are called “Giant Stoneflies”. These are the largest
stoneflies there are. This family of stoneflies contains two genera,
Pieronarcys and
that are important to fly fishers.
Pieronarcys genus includes the californica species or the famous “Giant Salmon
Fly” and that is the species that you need to become familiar with. This is a very large
stonefly. Both the adults and nymphs can be up to three inches long. The nymphs live
from two to four years.

The salmonfly hatch can offer some of the best fly fishing action the park has to offer.
Both the nymphs and the adult salmonflies are eaten by trout. Most of the streams in
the park that have fast water, have these huge stoneflies. Even the Firehole River, a
spring like creek, has its canyon section that provides some excellent salmonfly fishing.
The warming effects of the geysers makes it the first stream the hatch occurs in.

Coming Up Next:
Giant Salmonflies (Pieronarcys californica) - Nymphs

Copyright 2008 James