Little yellow stone fishing can provide catch of a lifetime

Bruce Ajari

The little yellow stone, or “Yellow Sally” as it is commonly called, is a very common hatch on western freestone streams such as our own Truckee River.The adult insects typically live in the streamside vegetation and frequently drop into the river.In the nymphal stage the little yellow stone is found in the faster, highly oxygenated water. They mature as other stoneflies do. They will typically go through a process of shedding one exoskeleton for another, a process called an instar.Larval development in stoneflies typically take one year, with some of the larger stoneflies taking up to three years to mature.A stonefly nymph will go through between 12 and 22 instars during this stage.Stoneflies taking up to three years to develop can go through more than 22 instars.The mature nymphal stage of the stonefly in general can be pretty easily identified by the absence of gills along the abdomen, two tails, flat segmented body and two sets of wing pads. The little yellow stone is a golden or yellowish nymph.You can have some pretty good fishing with the nymphal version of the yellow stone, but the most exciting fishing comes with the adult or emergence stage. If nymphing, try a hares ear, birds nest or prince nymph.Trout line up along the seams created at the waters edge under the willows and alders. The adults are extremely active around the streamside vegetation and some drop into the water as mentioned above.It is during the period where the egg-laying females are depositing their eggs when the dry fly action becomes outstanding. Many large fish can be taken with a simple, yellow elk hair caddis in a size 14 to 16.The trick is to get the fly underneath the alders or willows and to the feeding trout. If you can do this, you may catch the largest fish of your career.The females carry their eggs in an exposed mass on their abdomen prior to ovipositing them somewhere in the environment.The females may oviposit by running on or flying over the water and dipping the tip of the abdomen onto the surface, by dropping them from the air, by depositing them along the bank, or by crawling into the water and depositing them on underwater substrate.Large fish are synonymous with this period. Many of the best anglers that I know have taken their largest fish with a dry during the little yellow stone hatch.The yellow stones typically appear from mid-May through early August in our local waters.With the high water this year, we are still seeing some decent numbers of these insects emerging. Though the hatch is waning on the Truckee, you can still have some pretty good fishing during the last hour of daylight.I recently fished the Yuba River drainage and found the little yellow stone to be the insect of choice during the last hour of daylight. I had some really outstanding fishing using the yellow elk hair caddis.It can be difficult at times to deliver the fly to the feeding fish because of their difficult position, streamside vegetation or mixed currents.What I have found to be the best formula for success is to put myself in the best and closest position that I can by aggressively wading.This is much tougher this year than in years past because of the volume of water still being carried in the Truckee River.By positioning yourself as close as you can to the fish, you can more easily control your cast and drift.Thus, your chances for success will be greatly enhanced. Give it a try next time.Be sure to plan your approach ahead of time and then go for it. Pay attention to anything that could allow you to get closer.Also keep in mind that a fish feeding on the surface has a pretty narrow window, and as long as you move quietly and keep a low profile, you will be able to approach a fish very closely.Don’t forget that your rod is part of that profile! Keep it low while wading and casting.A situation that I have frequently found on the Truckee when fishing these types of conditions is that I have faster water in between myself and the streamside trees. The fish were feeding in the eddies under the trees.Because of the faster water between myself and the fish, I was able to approach within a rod length of the working fish and dap the fly on the water. The subsequent take was subtle, but the explosion when I set the hook was not.You can have a great time during the emergence of the little yellow stone.Give it a try and you will be a believer.Fishing reportWith the warm weather, most lake fish have headed for the comfort of deeper water.As a result, anglers fishing early or late in the day, or those fishing deeper water have been most successful.Keep this in mind for your fishing outing.Boca – (38,310 ac. ft.) Boca has been fishing fair. Anglers fishing from shore near dam are having some success. Most anglers use nightcrawlers or Powerbait. Boaters are having fair success on Kokanee. Most are using a combination of flashers and a wedding ring or Kokanee Bug with a piece of white corn. Those trolling for trout are using a combination of flashers and a nightcrawler or minnow imitating lure. Flyfishermen near the inlet should have fair to good action using a variety of nymphs, streamers and emergers.Donner – Fishing has been fair to good. Most anglers fishing for rainbows on the west end and near the launch ramp have had some success. Nightcrawlers and Powerbait seem to be the main bait. Trollers using minnow imitating lures have had fair to good success. Kokanee fishing has also been fair to good. Most are trolling Kokanee Bugs or wedding rings with a piece of white corn behind a flasher.Lake Tahoe – Fishing has been good for mackinaw. Most fish are in the five- to seven-pound range. A guide is highly recommended if you are fishing for mackinaw for the first time. Toplining and shore fishing is fair. Remember tributaries to Tahoe opened July 1 and will close again on Sept. 30.Martis Lake – (Martis is restricted to artificial lures with barbless hooks. Zero fish may bagged or possessed) Fishing is fair. Most use nymphs such as the Hares Ear, Pheasant Tail, Damselfly imitations or the A.P. Small midge patterns have also been good at times. Streamers that imitate small fish, and woolly buggers are also good choices. For surface activity, patterns such as the Quiqley Cripple, Martis Midge, Parachute Adams, and Griffith’s Knat are good choices.Little Truckee River – Fishing has been fair to good. Most anglers are using nightcrawlers, powerbait or salmon eggs at the inlet of Boca reservoir. Flyfishermen are taking fish on nymphs, emergers and streamers.Prosser -Fishing has been fair to good. Bank fishermen are using nightcrawlers or Powerbait. Most trollers are pulling a combination of flashers and nightcrawlers or a minnow imitating lure. Flyfishermen near the inlets have taken a few fish mostly on nymphs and streamers.Stampede – (210,992 ac. ft.) Stampede is fair to good. Most shore anglers are taking a few fish. Most use the typical baits, nightcrawlers or Powerbait. Those throwing lures are also having some success. Topliners have fair to good success for kokanee salmon. With the warm weather, the fish are being found in deeper water. Most use a flasher of some sort and a kokanee bug or wedding ring with a piece of white corn.Truckee River – The release from the dam at Tahoe City is at 308 cubic per second. Fishing has been good on the river. Lots of pressure, though. Bait, lures or flies have been successful in the river between Tahoe City and Truckee. Caddis and yellow stone activity in the evenings is waning. In the wild trout section below Truckee, flyfishermen are using nymphs such as the caddis larva, prince, birds nest, hares ear or pheasant tail with good success.For dries, a humpy, elk hair caddis or a parachute adams are hard to beat.Other Waters – Frenchman fished fair this past week. The latest reports indicate that the fishing has slowed a bit.Davis Lake has been planted and fishing has been fair. Jackson Meadows is fishing fair.Milton Reservoir has been fishing fair to good for flyfishermen. Middle Fork of the Feather River & Portola Area – The Middle Fork of the Feather River and many of the smaller streams in the area have been heavily stocked and are fishing fair to good.Sierra Sun E-mail: sun@tahoe.comVisitors Guide | News | Diversions | Marketplace | Weather | CommunityCopyright, Materials contained within this site maynot be used without permission.About… 

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