The Capniidae family of Little Brown Stoneflies is fairly easy
to recognize in their adult stage because they are the only
ones in the group of Little Browns that have long tails. Some
anglers call them “Little Black Stoneflies” but they are also
called “Winter Stoneflies” and "Snow Flies". They can be easily
spotted on the snow because of their contrasting shades of
color. Like all stoneflies, the nymphs crawl out of the water to
hatch. This can be one of the most important early season
hatches.  
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Nymph
Adult
Winter Stonefly
Winter Stonefly (Imitations)
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Winter stoneflies are the first stonefly species to
emerge in trout streams. This normally happens
during the early winter months but can emerge later
in the winter months and even the early Spring
months in very cold climates. Sometimes, they
emerge when the air temperature is too cold for them
to fly and in those cases, you will see them crawling
around on the banks. Other than midges, the winter
stoneflies are usually about the only aquatic insects
hatching when they first start hatching. These
stoneflies exist in cold water trout streams
throughout the U. S. and Canada. Like all stoneflies,
they crawl out of the water to emerge into adults.The
adult stoneflies don't return to the water until the
females deposit their eggs. Fishing the adult is only
effective during the egg laying process. Most trout
caught on winter stonefly imitations are caught on
the nymphs.