Created by Al Troth


Imitates the adult form of the salmonfly (Pteronarcys californica), also known as the giant stonefly. The salmonfly hatch has inspired many fly patterns, and this is one of the most popular with both trout and fly anglers. If you don't tie it yourself, be sure to fill your fly box with the large sizes before the hatch begins. Once the hatch is underway, eager anglers will clean out the fly bins, and the shops won't restock until the next spring.


A Golden MacSalmon imitates the slightly smaller golden stoneflies. It uses yellow macrame cord for the body, and yellow-dyed elk hair for the head and overwing. Other stoneflies can be imitated by varying the size and colors.

How to Fish

Stoneflies emerge on land, so adults are not available to trout when the hatch. But they spend several weeks crawling aroun in bankside vegetation looking for a mate. As the day warms up, the adults become active, and in their search for love they are often blown or fall out of overhanging vegetation. Once on the water, they either drown or are eaten by trout (let this be a lesson to you). So the best places to cast a salmonfly imitation are near the bank just downstream or downwind from overhanging vegetation. The river should be 2-4 feet deep, and if it has a rocky, bouldery bottom, so much the better. Use standard dry fly presentations

Near dusk, females salmonflies often gather in hoards, then drop to the river to lay their eggs. This is another fishing opportunity that should not be missed.

Because the salmonfly hatch is so popular with anglers, trout get pounded and soon become wary. A downstream presentation often works best in these circumstances.

HOOK: 5263 or 200R, sizes 4-6

THREAD: Black to construct fly, but use fire orange floss to tie in legs at the end.

ABDOMEN: Orange braided macrame cord. Thread onto hook, leaving some extending past the hook bend. Melt the end with a lighter.

UNDERWING: A few strands of Krystal Flash (black and orange), then a No. 11 Shamazaki Fly Wing that extends beyond the abdomen.

OVERWING: Light elk hair and orange-dyed elk hair

HEAD: Dark moose tied bullet style. Ends make a collar.

LEGS: Black round rubber