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Stoneflies..... The Other White Meat

As I kid, I learned early on that trout just love these bugs. I learned that I could find them in the broken sections of the stream where the habitat best suited them, and that there were streams where I couldn’t find any. I later learned streams that didn’t have stonefly populations usually had water quality problems. I would find a nymph, impale it on a hook and fish it on a tight line drift and nearly always hook a hungry trout in short order. Continued success would require finding another stonefly nymph and repeating the process. It was tough as a kid to make the transition from using live stoneflies as bait to fishing an artificial imitation of one, and it took years to gain the confidence to stop carrying bait hooks in my vest. I’ve spent a lot of time over the years since then, tying and trying and testing stonefly patterns, and I enjoy tying them nearly as much as I enjoy fishing them. A bigger bug presents a unique opportunity to impart details and features into a fly design and at the end of the day trout seem to enjoy simple and complex stonefly patterns equally well. After years of experimenting with a variety of materials, this is the one I tie on most often. The variation shown here imitates the eastern Golden Stonefly “Paragnetina immarginata”. This pattern and other specie variations are found in my book “Matching Major Eastern Hatches”. Till next week …..


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