Driftless Trout Anglers

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OTC_MN  
#1 Posted : Monday, November 26, 2018 9:14:35 PM(UTC)
OTC_MN
Rank: Caddis Fly

Joined: 3/18/2016(UTC)
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Location: St Paul MN

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A few times during the last couple winters, both in the Driftless, and on my spring trips to the Black hills, I've run into hatches of little black stoneflies. Along with midges and BWOs, they're about the only thing that hatches mid to late winter. I've had a couple really good days fishing dries when they've been around, but got lucky both times in that I happened to have a couple dark brown Elk Hair Caddis stuck in a box they didn't belong in. I've also done well on smaller dark nymphs like black Hare's Ear's and AP Nymphs on the same days, and suspect it was because they were a rough approximation of these little stoneflies.

Winter stoneflies are kind of interesting critters. They're little - usually between size 16 and 20 - and mottled brown and black. Adults don't actually fly. They just crawl around. They do flutter like mad on the water though when the females are laying eggs. I suspect they kind of get overlooked, but on warm non-overcast says in late winter they'll be crawling around on the snowbanks in pretty good numbers sometimes. 3 years ago in the Black Hills in early April the snowbanks looked like someone had dumped pepper on them - they were everywhere, and the fish were definitely on them.

So this winter I decided to fill the gaps and experiment with some LBS patterns...

LBS Dry

A size 18 adult LBS. Kind of hard to see the wing from this angle but it's a 'wonder wing' style wing using a hen Coq de Leon feather (grizzly or dark dun hackle works just as well) with slate gray CDC wrapped as legs. To my eyes at least the CDC should imitate the fluttering wings as well to some degree. Moose body tail and brown superfine dubbing for the body and head.

Jigged Up LBS

A jigged up LBS nymph with a hotspot. Barred Centipede legs for the tail and antenna, and black micro tubing body.

LBS Nymph

LBS Nymph on a size 16 TMC 200R. Barred Sexi Floss legs, black vinyl rib body, black PT wingcase and black rabbit thorax.


LBS Soft Hackle

I like soft hackles as a dropper fly, so I figured a soft hackle stonefly might work. Size 16 TMC 200R with moose body tail, black vinyl rib body, black ice dub thorax and starling soft hackle.

Still a couple more patterns I want to experiment with. Want to see if I can shrink down a North Fork Special enough to tie it on a size 18, but they're a pain to tie in a 14. Bloody biots are my nemesis sometimes...

But this should be a good start. Curios to see how they do come February or so.

Edited by user Tuesday, November 27, 2018 6:35:00 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

"Our tradition is that of the first man who sneaked away to the creek when the tribe did not really need fish."
- Roderick Haig-Brown
thanks 1 user thanked OTC_MN for this useful post.
William Schlafer on 11/26/2018(UTC)
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weiliwen  
#2 Posted : Monday, November 26, 2018 11:15:26 PM(UTC)
weiliwen
Rank: May Fly

Joined: 4/16/2014(UTC)
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There's a fly called the Slow Water Caddis fly that I used on Oregon's Deschutes River when I lived in Oregon, that I always felt would be a good LBS pattern.
Slow Water Caddis It's pretty simple to tie and should be a decent imitation.
Bob Williams, "Weiliwen"
thanks 1 user thanked weiliwen for this useful post.
OTC_MN on 11/27/2018(UTC)
rschmidt  
#3 Posted : Tuesday, November 27, 2018 3:35:34 AM(UTC)
rschmidt
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I don't fly fish, but the stone flies are the first real hatch I ever see in early season. The charts vary, but I have seen em in late Jan and Feb. Usually the peak hour of sun on a warmish still day. They are sometimes even prolific with piles of em coming up on rocks. Trout love em! And small black spinners!! R
OTC_MN  
#4 Posted : Tuesday, November 27, 2018 6:34:38 PM(UTC)
OTC_MN
Rank: Caddis Fly

Joined: 3/18/2016(UTC)
Posts: 218
Location: St Paul MN

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Originally Posted by: weiliwen Go to Quoted Post
There's a fly called the Slow Water Caddis fly that I used on Oregon's Deschutes River when I lived in Oregon, that I always felt would be a good LBS pattern.
Slow Water Caddis It's pretty simple to tie and should be a decent imitation.


That Slow Water Caddis does look good. Thanks for that heads up...

"Our tradition is that of the first man who sneaked away to the creek when the tribe did not really need fish."
- Roderick Haig-Brown
William Schlafer  
#5 Posted : Friday, November 30, 2018 6:34:53 PM(UTC)
William Schlafer
Rank: Super Fly

Joined: 7/24/2011(UTC)
Posts: 3,207
Location: Sussex Wisconsin

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Here's a couple Stonefly variants from the Fly Fiend YouTube channel that look interesting:






The author has tied these for Salmon Steelhead, but I bet they could easily be downsized and tweaked for our small spring DA creek Trout. The UV glue for the wing case really looks awesome and makes for some interesting light reflections in the water.


-Bill
“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
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