What Flies Should I Fish In April?

Hey y'all, welcome to Match the Hatch! For April's Match The Hatch we're going to be talking about Stoneflies!

Stoneflies are generally available all year as nymphs, but the beginning of May is when the nymphs become more active, migrate to the shore, and hatch into their adult stage. These are many different species of stoneflies, but the ones we care about the most in May are; Salmonflies, Golden Stones, and Yellow Sallies. Also known as Pteronarcys, Hesperoperla, and Isoperla.

The largest of the stoneflies are the darker Pteronarcys. Hesperoperla are the medium golden orange stoneflies. And Isoperla are the smaller of the three, in yellow or cream.

In early May the game is usually nymphing, either under indicators or as a dropper under large dry flies. This is to mimic the migration of nymphs as they head toward shore. As May progresses it'll still be mayflies or otherwise in the mornings, but once the hot afternoon comes around the stoneflies should be more active. While they are flying and falling into the river, you should hunt for trees and low branches. They are lousy climbers and often fall into the water.

Pay close attention to fish eating sunken patterns, sometimes you can see the fish flashing under water as it eats natural after natural. In the peak of the afternoons it can pay dividends letting your stonefly dry slowly swing back towards shore before making your next cast, a willing trout eating a skated dry is the ultimate!

The two nymphs I use for those stoneflies are weighted jimmy legs on jig hooks or a Pat's rubber legs. My normal dry fly selection is limited as well. My favorite is a Clarks Stonefly. It's a simple pattern that can be tied for all three species just by changing size and wing color. Others I'll switch to are Chubby Chernobyl's, Sofa Pillows, Norm Wood Specials, and Lairmers Yellow Sallies.

For some of you trout spey enthusiasts; nows a good time to practice those Scandi casts to enable you to reach mid river spots where most can't reach. An accurate three foot drift out in the middle is sometimes all you need to hook into those large trout. Also, for those with Skagit rigs, don't be afraid of tying on a Clarks Stonefly as a dropper to a larger sculpin on a sink tip. A hungry trout would be inclined to smash either pattern in May. 

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