Like all stoneflies, the nymphs of the Little Winter Stoneflies crawl out of the
water to hatch. The stonefly nymph is always a good choice for early season,
cold water fishing. With the exception of midges and an ocassional hatch of
Blue-winged Olives, the Winter Stoneflies are about the only insect you will find
hatching in water that is very cold.
There is one rule you should always keep in mind when you are fishing an
imitation of the Winter Stonefly nymph. Keep it on the bottom (because they crawl
on the bottom to the bank) and bring it back to the bank (where they crawl out
and hatch). That is where the trout are looking for the nymphs.
The best area of the stream is probably very near the banks. They may travel
from out in the stream but one thing for sure is the fact that they are going to
crawl out on the banks to hatch. The only exception to this is that they also crawl
out on larger rocks and boulders.
If the water is rough water, such as pocket water, then the upstream presentation
usually works best. Add some split shot type weight to the fly a few inches above
it. You want to walk the banks staying back away from them a few feet, and cast
upstream near the banks. Start out and move the cast towards the bank on each
sequent cast ending up very near the bank as you move a step or two each cast
If the water is fairly smooth on the surface, you may want to use a downstream
presentation. Stay on the bank a few feet away from the bank (to keep from
spooking trout) and cast down and slightly out in the stream. Mend your line a
time or two the keep the fly down depending on the strength of the current.
Make sure your fly covers the bottom area that is very near the banks. That is
where the trout are looking for them.
Copyright 2013 James Marsh
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