THE TWO-TONE RIG
• Little black stoneflies hatch all winter across the country, providing reliable forage for wild fish. Slower riffles and tailouts are prime fish posting locations when these bugs are present, but even if they’re not, a little black stone rarely gets snubbed. To up the ante, a Green Weenie rigged above a stone provides a second target with a different color. If a trout doesn’t see one, it may see the other and take the shot. While this rig works in freestone rivers, it’s extrapotent on limestoners and in tailwaters.
LIGHT WEIGHT Add just enough split shot between the flies to get the stonefly ticking bottom. If you’re hanging up too often, try one shot lighter or ditch the weight entirely. MINI MITE Though you may be tempted to fish a large fly, winter stones are tiny. Opt for a size 18 or 20 to match the hatch. MEASURED OUT A 12-inch dropper between flies is ideal, as this length keeps the natural-looking black stone close to the bottom, while the Weenie wiggles away up higher, coaxing a reaction strike. THE SLOW LANE Soft riffles are ideal for winter foraging, as they don’t require fish to expend lots of energy. COLD SWING Swing this rig on a tight line from an upstream position. Recast after the line straightens.