This Week's View
by Deanna L. Birkholm
November 23rd, 1998
Under the Bridge
Bridges have a little more interest to fishermen
than the average person. Usually they indicate
access of some sort to the water where fish are!
So we tend to remember various bridges.
Sometimes they can be very neat old structures
with lots of interesting features. Or simple rustic
affairs, still noteworthy of course, because of the
This is a bridge story - or
rather about something under the bridge.
Some years ago, my husband
Castwell and another couple traveled from Michigan
to Montana to fish. We camped at the KOA campground
a few miles south of Livingston. The campground was
right next to the Yellowstone River.
We fished the area, and the famous
waters in Yellowstone National Park, and returned to our
camp each evening. Cooking, dinner, and chores done, we
would wander down to the river, either to fish some more,
or just to watch the river.
One evening we were witness to the
largest caddis hatch any of us had ever seen. Just incredible.
Catching a trout in this 'blanket' hatch was an exercise in
frustration. There were just too many flies on the water.
Later the same week, Castwell and
his friend Trav found shucks from large stoneflies clinging
to some streamside bushes. A plan developed.
After dark we would take the camera
and sneak quietly to the water. Capture the stoneflies in the
process of emerging. We checked along the river, checked
the brush and bushes. Searching with the flashlights,
Until we got under the bridge. There
they were! These huge bugs, looking like something out
of a Japanese horror film. Very prehistoric.
With a Miranda 35mm camera, a
flashlight, and a little patience, Castwell captured the
photos that follow.
This is the beginning. Look for the
start of the split at the top of the thorax. The insect has
crawled out of the water and found a sheltered place to
do his transformation.
A real miracle. The wings begin to
leave the case, double folded and accordian pleated!
Note the splash of salmon color,
it is where the Salmon Fly got it's name. The wings here
are still folded.
Archive of Ladyfisher Articles
The unfold is now complete,
the stonefly will continue to crawl out of it's former
body. The new fresh, lighter color tail section shows
to the left.
It really is a miracle. Wings now
fully pumped with venial fluid, a breathtaking insect. One,
by the way, that big brown trout and rainbows find irresistible.
We all have mental pictures we can
pretty much call up at will. When the Yellowstone River,
the Pine Creek Bridge or the KOA are mentioned, I can see
the miracle of the Salmon Fly!
~ Deanna Birkholm
[ HOME ]
[ Search ]
[ Contact FAOL ]
[ Media Kit ]
FlyAnglersOnline.com © Notice