Re: Question about stoneflies
Stoneflies donít emerge in the water like most caddis and mayflies. The nymphs swim to shore, then molt into adults. Fishing nymphs is very effective, stripping into the shore line when theyíre due to ďhatchĒ.
For the little brown stones and other small winter stoneflies, Iíve never had too much luck on dries, but their bigger cousins that emerge later, like Golden Stones can be very effectively fished with stimulators, and the big nymphs have a multiyear lifecycle so the nymphs are available all year.
All stoneflies like highly oxygenated water, so a good place to look for them is in and just below riffles and itís always a good strategy when prospecting between hatches. Usually youíll find the nymphs about to hatch moving into slower glides just down stream from faster water.
For the smaller early black and brown winter stones here, I use a black caddis for the dries. Itís a good pattern to have anyway, because it imitates the darker caddis that pop later in the season.
For nymphs a Prince nymph can be effective, but I prefer a dark blackish brown dubbed nymph- tied like a Gold Ribbed Hareís Ear. I donít bother with two wingcases (as on real stoneflies) and just tie one., unless itís a beadhead, then I skip it altogether. Around here we get both early black and early brown stones, theyíre usually 14-16 and often crawling around by the 100ís in snow on the edge of the stream. I use the same patterns for both the brown and black early stones. The one you get out there may be a different species, but I bet itís a similar kind of deal to the ones we get here.