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Little Yellow Stonefly

Scientific Names: family Perlodidae, especially the genus Isoperla

Common Names: Early orange stonefly, western yellow stonefly, yellow sally

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NYMPH SIZE: 7-16 mm


NYMPH COLOR: Mottled tan/brown/light yellow.


ADULT SIZE: 7-16 mm


ADULT COLOR: Yellow to light brown body, head; yellows can be very bright, almost fluorescent. Wings light tan to yellow.


OTHER CHARACTERISTICS: Nymphs have no external gill filaments. Adults have well-developed tails.

 

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About Little Yellow Stoneflies

Some rivers have significant populations of little yellow stoneflies. Nymphs live in riffles and rocky runs with moderate to fast flows. They are often knocked loose and drift in the current, so a nymph imitation can be productive when dead-drifted through riffles and runs.

At maturity, nymphs migrate to slower water, then crawl onto shore. Migration times are another nymph-fishing opportunity, especially near dusk because that is the major "drive time" for the nymphs.

Adults emerge on out-of-the-water objects such as rocks and tree trunks. Adults are active in the warm part of the day. Some end up on the water, so it is worthwhile to cast a dry fly near bankside vegetation. Odds are, a trout will be close at hand waiting for errant little yellow stoneflies to stumble onto the water and drift to them.

Females return to the water to lay their eggs by dipping their abdomen in the riffles. Many are taken by trout at this time, and others end up spent on the water and drift into collecting areas, such as backeddies. This creates more dry fly fishing--one in the riffles with a heavily-hackled fly, and one in the quieter water where less hackle is needed.

While most little yellow stonefly adults hatch out on land, there is a species that emerges in the water like a mayfly.

nymph

Nymph. (photo © 2006 Arlen Thomason. Used by permission.)

adult

Adult. (photo © 2006 Arlen Thomason. Used by permission.)


Matching Little Yellow Stoneflies

Only standard fly patterns are shown. Click here for all matching flies in the database.

STAGE

PATTERN

SIZE/
COLOR

PRESENTATION

WHERE


Nymph

A. P. Nymph, Hares Ear

8-14/Pale yellow, brown

Indicator, Tight line

Riffles, runs; just below these

Adult

Stimulator, Elk Hair Caddis, Clarks Stonefly, Parachute Hares Ear

10-16/Yellow, brown, yellow-brown

Standard dry fly

Bankwater near foilage

Egg-layer

Stimulator

10-16/Yellow, brown, yellow-brown

Standard dry fly

Riffles, moderate-fast runs, backeddies, current seam

Egg-layer

Elk Hair Caddis, Clarks Stonefly, Parachute Hares Ear

10-16/Yellow, brown, yellow-brown

Standard dry fly

Riffles, moderate-fast runs, backeddies, current seams


Matching Salmonflies

Only standard fly patterns are shown. Click here for all matching flies in the database.

STAGE

PATTERN

SIZE/
COLOR

PRESENTATION

WHERE


Nymph

A. P. Nymph, Brooks Stone, Kaufmanns Stonefly, Rubber Legs

4-8/Black, chocolate brown

Indicator, Tight line

Riffles, moderate-fast runs; just below these

Adult

Clarks Stonefly

4-8/Dark brown and orange

Standard dry fly

Bankwater near foilage

MacSalmon, Madam X, Sofa Pillow, Stimulator

4-8/Dark brown and orange

Standard dry fly, Skating

Bankwater near foilage

Egg-layer

Clarks Stonefly

4-8/Darker brown, dark orange

Standard dry fly

Riffles, moderate-fast runs, backeddies, seams

Egg-layer

MacSalmon, Madam X, Sofa Pillow, Stimulator

4-8/Darker brown, dark orange

Standard dry fly, Skating

Riffles, moderate-fast runs, backeddies, seams


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