What is the Stonefly Hatch? Entomology of Stoneflies (Order Plecoptera).

by in Fly Hatches


Stoneflies: 

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).  

Little Black Stonefly Nymph (aka Early Black Stonefly)
Little Black Stonefly Nymph (aka Early Black Stonefly). Photo by Jason Neuswanger from TroutNut
Little Green Stonefly Nymph
Little Green Stonefly Nymph. Photo by Bob Henricks
Little Yellow Stonefly Nymph (aka Little Yellow Sally)
Little Yellow Stonefly Nymph (aka Little Yellow Sally). Photo by Jason Neuswanger from TroutNut
Little Black Stonefly Adult
Little Black Stonefly Adult. Photo by Jason Neuswanger from TroutNut
Little Green Stonefly Adult
Little Green Stonefly Adult. Photo by Bob Henricks
Little Yellow Stonefly Nymph (aka Little Yellow Sally)
Little Yellow Stonefly Nymph (aka Little Yellow Sally). Photo by Jason Neuswanger from TroutNut



The larger stoneflies include the Skwalas, Salmonflies and Golden Stoneflies.

Skwala Stonefly Nymph
Skwala Stonefly Nymph. Photo by Bob Henricks
Salmonfly Nymph
Salmonfly Nymph. Photo by Bob Henricks
Golden Stonefly Nymph
Golden Stonefly Nymph. Photo by Bob Henricks
Adult Skwala Stonefly
Adult Skwala Stonefly. Photo by Dan LeCount
Adult Salmonfly
Adult Salmonfly
Golden Stonefly Adult
Golden Stonefly Adult. Photo by Jason Neuswanger from TroutNut


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:

Stinger Golden Stonefly Nymph
Stinger Golden Stonefly Nymph
Gummy Stonefly - Golden
Gummy Stonefly - Golden
Micro Golden Stonefly
Micro Golden Stonefly
Yellow Sally Nymph
Yellow Sally Nymph
Stonefly - Brown Beadhead Rubberleg
Stonefly - Brown Beadhead Rubberleg
Phony Stony
Phony Stony
Pat's Rubberleg Stonefly - Coffee
Pat's Rubberleg Stonefly - Coffee
Twenty Incher - Conehead Rubberleg
Twenty Incher - Conehead Rubberleg
Panty Dropper Nymph - Yellow Sally
Panty Dropper Nymph - Yellow Sally

See All Stonefly Nymphs

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.  

Female Adult Salmonfly Returning to Lay Eggs
Female Adult Salmonfly Returning to Lay Eggs

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:

Bjorn's Kamikaze Salmonfly
Bjorn's Kamikaze Salmonfly
Britten's Skwala
Britten's Skwala
Golden Stinger Stonefly
Golden Stinger Stonefly
Rogue Giant Foam Stonefly
Rogue Giant Foam Stonefly
Gypsy King Variant - Golden Stone
Gypsy King Variant - Golden Stone
DF Skwala
DF Skwala
Britten's Salmon Fly
Britten's Salmon Fly
Britten's Golden Stone
Britten's Golden Stone
Stacked Sally
Stacked Sally

See All Adult Stoneflies

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