|....................... .................... ...Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park
New KISS Bug Series - Part 50
You will usually begin to see the Golden Stonefly nymphal shucks on the banks and rocks of the faster
sections of the Yellowstone National Park streams before the final egg laying event of the giant Salmonflies
has ended. I have seen them both hatching at the same time but they usually follow the Salmonflies.
Golden Stonefly nymphs crawl on the bottom of the stream searching for food that consist mainly of other
small insects. They are predators. The Golden Stonefly nymphs, species of the Perlidae family, take from
two to three years to mature.
Like most all stonefly nymphs, they crawl out of the water to hatch. Usually they crawl out on the banks but
it can be a large rock protruding out of the water or even a limb or log. The move from the fast water riffles
and runs to slower,shallower water in pockets along the banks to crawl out. This means the trout have a
perfect opportunity to eat them when they are migrating to the banks. They tend to feed on them along the
banks when the hatch starts probably because that is the easiest place to intercept them. This means you
need to fish close in along the banks and be careful not to spook trout feeding on the nymphs in the
You can fish Golden Stonefly nymph imitations any time during the year when they are not hatching. The
big stoneflies fee mostly during the evenings and they are not usually found exposed to the trout on the
bottom during the day. It's very doubtful, except during a hatch, that the trout feed selectively on the
Golden Stonefly nymphs but the trout do get used to seeing them and the nymphs sometimes work
regardless of the time of year.
Fish the stonefly nymphs in the runs and riffles using the "high sticking" method. You want to make sure
you swing the fly out of the fast water along the banks when you do this. As I just stated, when the Golden
Stonefly nymphs begin to hatch, they will migrate to the shoreline to crawl out of the water. This starts
occurring very late in the day. I wouldn't start fishing the nymph imitation any earlier than mid-afternoon.
You want to simulate the migrating behavior with you fly or Perfect Fly imitation of the Golden Stonefly
If your fishing from the bank, cast the fly out into the runs and riffles and bring it back all the way to the
bank. You should stay away from the banks to cast when it is possible to do so to prevent spooking shallow
feeding trout along the banks.
If the trees prevent this, and you are wading, I suggest you use a down and across cast allowing the fly to
swing from the runs and riffles all the way to the bank. You accomplish this by making a reach cast,
reaching out towards the center of the stream, and then slowly swinging the fly across to the opposite side
all the way to the bank.
You will need to add a lot of weight to the fly to keep in on the bottom. If your fly stays in the very fast water
and there is no moderate to slow moving water near the banks, then you are fishing in the wrong type of
place. You want to select areas where there is at least a small area of moderate to slow moving water
along the bank and fast moving runs and riffles out in the stream. The fly should stay on the bottom, not
mid-depth or near the surface.
Availability to trout:
Type of water:
Duration of hatch period: