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Fishing Early Stoneflies

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2009/6/5 8:38
From Schuylkill County
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Last March I recall seeing a pretty good emergence of what I believed to be Stoneflies on a freestone stream in my area. The flies were visible running across the surface. I saw a few fish attempting to take the bugs from the surface. Would you fish a dry in this case or something sub-surface? What patterns do you like?

Posted on: 2010/2/18 15:05


Re: Fishing Early Stoneflies

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2007/1/2 11:55
From Bozeman
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Quote:

Upstream wrote:
Last March I recall seeing a pretty good emergence of what I believed to be Stoneflies on a freestone stream in my area. The flies were visible running across the surface. I saw a few fish attempting to take the bugs from the surface. Would you fish a dry in this case or something sub-surface? What patterns do you like?


I tie an all black elk hair caddis and skitter it over feeding fish, but have found anything that's about the right size and dark colored works. The key is to skitter it.

Stoneflies emerge on dry land, so fishing a nymph near the banks can be effective. Little blacks may be different, but it works for all other stoneflies, and I think they are the same.

Posted on: 2010/2/18 15:08


Re: Fishing Early Stoneflies

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2007/1/25 5:24
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What Jay said. Subsurface, a good pattern in these parts is a Gallegher, which is just another name for a Gray Hackle Peacock. Put a shiny black bead on it. Works great.

Posted on: 2010/2/18 15:29
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Re: Fishing Early Stoneflies
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Posted on: 2010/2/18 16:13


Re: Fishing Early Stoneflies

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Some gems there, Afish.

Posted on: 2010/2/18 16:25


Re: Fishing Early Stoneflies

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2009/8/19 17:22
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the ones i been seeing this year look like about an 18 and there were ALOT of them on the snow cover banks , fish were laying right against the banks waiting for them to plop in the water

Posted on: 2010/2/18 20:26


Re: Fishing Early Stoneflies
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2006/9/9 19:16
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Quote:

troutslammer wrote:
the ones i been seeing this year look like about an 18 and there were ALOT of them on the snow cover banks , fish were laying right against the banks waiting for them to plop in the water


Or rather probably waiting for the nymphs to get to the edges to crawl up onto the snow.

Posted on: 2010/2/18 20:48
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Re: Fishing Early Stoneflies

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yeah that too maurice ,

Posted on: 2010/2/21 20:01


Re: Fishing Early Stoneflies

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2006/9/10 7:44
From Enola, Pa.
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Maurice ties a very good dry black stone, maybe he'll share!

PaulG

Posted on: 2010/2/22 7:43


Re: Fishing Early Stoneflies
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At Mo's seminar, he spoke of his snowfly technique. He makes a double reverse Belgian cast, 3/4 sidearm to the opposite bank and lands 3/5 of the leader onto the bank. The fly lands hanging by the tippet half in and half out the water. It rocks back and forth in the current and the trouts hammer the fly. Just sayin......

Posted on: 2010/2/22 8:54


Re: Fishing Early Stoneflies

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2006/9/9 22:43
From Delaware Co.
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Quote:

afishinado wrote:
At Mo's seminar, he spoke of his snowfly technique. He makes a double reverse Belgian cast, 3/4 sidearm to the opposite bank and lands 3/5 of the leader onto the bank. The fly lands hanging by the tippet half in and half out the water. It rocks back and forth in the current and the trouts hammer the fly. Just sayin......

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Posted on: 2010/2/22 20:13
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Re: Fishing Early Stoneflies

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2009/4/1 21:52
From Johnstown, PA
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The trout just go nuts when those babies whack down on the water and when they are "motorboating" accross the surface , just about any downwing pattern 14 and down will work if you bang it down and skate/skitter/move it , surface fly.

Posted on: 2010/3/15 7:22


Re: Fishing Early Stoneflies

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2009/2/17 21:02
From Landisville
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what time of day do they hit the water? I was recently on a small wild stream and looked up to see hundreds of stones flying. I caught fish on buggers b/c I didn't see the stones on the surface. Are they there all day or do they hit the surface at particular times?

Posted on: 2010/3/25 21:42
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Re: Fishing Early Stoneflies

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2008/1/21 13:28
From South Central PA
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Little Black Stones, Early Black Stones and Early Brown Stones are very hit or miss, usually miss, as far as hatch matching action goes.

The best action I have had has been in lowland, northern MD freestones for the Early Brown Stones. The Gunpowder has a reputation for the Little Blacks and Early Blacks, but I have never hit those right. The Early Browns there I have hit once.

To hit these right, the hatch and egg laying needs to be concentrated. It usually has to be a very nice day and the water temperature ideally goes at least to 50F. This can be very difficult to find in mid-March to early April, and in my mind does more to explain the hit or miss aspect than anything else. We had a good stretch of nice weather the last few weeks where the odds of hitting these were about as good as you are likely to get.

That is not to say you can't catch trout when it is colder to the smaller black stones. Nor does it mean you can't catch trout by skittering an EHC or similar pattern in the absence of visible hatching or egg laying at this time of year. It's just that the odds are not as good.

There is sometimes confusion about sizes. I was puzzled about this until academics started publishing articles and lists on the the internet and some streams of interest had stream wader sampling data published. Not only are there different species within each of the three general categories, there are different genera and even families. So even though they may look basically alike except size, you could often be looking at completely different bugs. To see what I mean, check this:

Plecoptera of PA link

The rule of thumb for hatching is that they migrate to shore. I presume that is the case accross the board, but since there are so many different families, genera and species, I leave open the possibility that hatching may occur instream in some cases. Preston Jennings, as I recall, thought early brown stones were instream emergers.

On the day I had my best Early Brown stone action, I did not catch a single trout (all wild browns) on a dry dead drifted or skated. A swung soft hackle, however, was great. Backing up that notion was the fact that all of the rise forms were bulges, with no part of a trout breaking surface, and the only bugs I saw were the early brown stones. Correction, I did see a very splashy take of an adult stone that fell to the stream from the concrete wall of a bridge. I switched to a dry to try and duplicate that "off the wall" plop, to no avail.

The Susquehanna at Harrisburg one of the Early Black Stone ermergences/egg laying can be very heavy, almost like a blizzard. I think this happens in April. Clouser's shop had a dry Black Stone pattern for sale of the appropriate size, I think a # 14, but typically the river is too high to wade at the time. I never tried the lower Swatara, which is nearby. On another little black stone emergence, I noticed that many of the adults crawling up trees along Front Street were wingless--strange stuff. These were smaller, more like a # 18.

Posted on: 2010/3/26 12:20


Re: Fishing Early Stoneflies

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2009/8/19 17:22
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early brown stones this year came off when water temps were arround 40 , i fished a brown stone nymph and hares ear when i lost the stone in a size 12 and freaking smashed em , never saw a fish rise all day and the duns were sometimes floating too , never saw fish rise to stones but then again i am usually too busy nymphing to really pay attention , most strikes were near the banks and at the end of the drift like it was ready to crawl out of the water and the strikes were fierce to say the least !

Posted on: 2010/3/26 19:44






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