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Stonefly Nymphs

Stonefly Nymph Patterns

One thing you can do to improve your chances of catching larger trout is to present them with a fly pattern that resembles a larger and more nutritious meal. The nymphs of some species of Stonefly can grow to two inches: an attractive proposition to a hungry fish. Furthermore, as they spend up to three years underwater, in the right habitat they will be present and active all year round.

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More about Stonefly Nymphs

With at least 650 different species documented in North America, Stonefly (or Plecoptera) make up a significant part of the diet of river trout. In their current form they have been on earth for over 250 million years. As one of the more older and more primitive orders of insects, they do not have well-developed gills, and require clean and well-oxygenated water. This means that, whilst they are widespread geographically, they are more common in swiftly-flowing, colder and unspoiled upland streams and rivers. Indeed, the presence or absence of Stonefly has become an easy way to monitor water pollution.

Stonefly Nymph behavior – and how to match

There are herbivorous nymphs that live on weed and algae, and carnivorous nymphs that hunt the larvae of other aquatic insects. Both will crawl around looking for food between the pebbles and stones that make up the bed of a stream or river and, because they favor faster-flowing waterways, occasionally they will be dislodged and end up drifting downstream. Then, before becoming adults, Stonefly Nymphs will migrate towards the edges of their water course; local trout are in tune with these seasonal migrations and will often lie in wait close to the river bank. Therefore, Stonefly Nymph patterns can be used to great effect in a variety of ways, whether that is slowly and deliberately along the bottom, dead drifting with the current, or slow stripping towards shore in the shallows.

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