Stoneflies are often categorized by color and size. The smaller sized stoneflies (Size 14 – 18) are known as Little Brown & Black Stones, Little Green Stones (Little Olive Sallies), and Little Yellow Stones (Little Yellow Sallies).
The larger stoneflies include the Skwalas, Salmonflies and Golden Stoneflies.
Stonefly Nymph: Stonefly nymphs are present year around in rivers with clean, cold water, and are effective searching patterns that can be fished when there are no fly hatches. Many species take 3 years to mature, and trout are accustomed to seeing them, and rarely ignore the opportunity to grab a big stonefly meal. Nymphs spend nearly all of their time living under rocks. Turn some rocks over, and check them out. ...but don't grab a golden stonefly nymph...they bite!
Occasionally, they lose their cling on a rock, and drift down river with their bodies arched. Try bending the shank of the hook to imitate the natural insect using a dead drift.
A Few of the Stonefly Nymphs we offer at DiscountFlies:
Stonefly Emerger: During spring or early summer, stoneflies migrate toward shore. During this migration, opportunistic fish will also be found close to shore, and dead-drifting a matching stonefly nymph close to the bank can be very effective. Eventually, these nymphs crawl out of the river to a blade of grass, a rock, or a branch, where the exoskeleton breaks open, and the adult stonefly dries off and flies away. Clinging exoskeletons are evidence of this emergence.
Stonefly Adult: Adult stoneflies typically live for 1 to 4 weeks, drinking only water or nectar. During this period, they mate, the female returns to the water to lay eggs, then die.
Imitate this part of the lifecycle with a dead drifted adult stonefly matching the color of the natural. If dead drifting doesn’t produce, try skittering or hopping the fly.
A Few of the Adult Stoneflies we offer at DiscountFlies: