Trout & Salmon (UK) - - Know How -

Stone­fly nymphs can be as big as the im­pres­sive Dinocras, which is an inch-anda-half long, or as small as the tiny nee­dle flies, Le­cuc­tra, which mea­sure less than half an inch. One char­ac­ter­is­tic they share is a dou­ble wing­case that houses hind- and forewings of al­most equal length. This strik­ing trait makes it sim­ple to sep­a­rate stone­flies from other nymphs – try to make it ob­vi­ous when ty­ing ar­ti­fi­cial flies. I al­ways in­clude a dou­ble-bar­relled wing­case on larger dress­ings, al­though I some­times don’t bother on size 14 hooks or smaller. Other ob­vi­ous fea­tures on the larger nymphs are the un­der­parts, which are cus­tard yel­low. Where pos­si­ble, I copy them be­cause I think they add au­then­tic­ity. Some fly-ty­ers will think this is an un­nec­es­sary em­bel­lish­ment, but pic­ture a dis­lodged nymph be­ing pulled along on tum­bling cur­rents to­wards a trout. It must flash dark-light-dark-light while strug­gling to gain a foothold. Rub­ber limbs are of­ten used to add move­ment on larger, more out­landish pat­terns. On smaller dress­ings, I use CDC for the tail fil­a­ments and legs. Larger stones and boul­ders, es­pe­cially those car­peted with moss are con­sid­ered pent­house ac­com­mo­da­tion by the nymphs and are less likely to shift in a thun­der­ing spate, pro­vid­ing the nymphs with safety. How­ever, enough in­sects are washed out, or lose their foothold, to be served to the wait­ing trout and grayling. You won’t go far wrong with a brace of stone­fly nymphs teth­ered to a 9 ft leader. They should be 18 in-24 in apart with the larger (heav­ier) pat­tern oc­cu­py­ing the drop­per and a smaller (lighter) fly on the point. If wad­ing, short-line nymph­ing meth­ods will al­low you to pre­cisely pre­sent your flies and takes will of­ten be con­fi­dent. Where deeper pools ex­ist, an in­di­ca­tor will help to de­ter­mine takes at long range, es­pe­cially when cast­ing up­stream and al­low­ing the nymphs to freefall as they drift back to­wards you.

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