Deschutes Golden Stonefly Nymphs
While steelhead fishing remains good on the North Coast and Willamette Valley, it is time for us to chase the wild rainbow trout in the Lower Deschutes. The past several days we have been settling in to the Maupin house, and already enjoying the warmth and sun shine. I managed to get out with my friend Marlon Rampy on Tuesday for my first Deschutes float of the season. Marlon is the guide to fish with on the Williamson River in Southern Oregon (Wildwest Fly Fishing). This day Marlon was behind the camera, taking photos for a new nymphing book. We found golden stonefly nymphs just inches from the bank, getting ready to climb out of the water and hatch.
My favorite nymph patterns just before the salmonfly hatch are inspired by my friend Ed, and can be traced back to the Blue Quill Angler Fly Shop in Colorado. Their effectiveness relies on both profile and movement. The key is the pheasant tail legs, resembling a nymph paddling like crazy. They aren't too fancy or realistic, but they catch fish.
Another note, I tie these guys with bright orange thread. The head on the fly might look like the red gills of the naturals.
I like to fish size 8 or 10 stone nymphs, mimicking the male golden stones. Golden stones actively hunt other nymphs, so they are out and about more than their larger vegetarian cousins. The males are the most active, as it is their job to find the females as adults. Plus they are an easier mouthful than a size 6. These bugs are unweighted and intended to be fished with a little split shot.
Thanks for checking in,