Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Missouri River Stone Fly Myth

She ain't pretty but you get a few of these girls in the water and oh boy, let's get the part started.
Most people don't think of the Missouri River as a big stone fly river so these golden stones often get overlooked. In fact, up until a few years ago, you never even heard of anyone throwing anything that remotely looked like a stone fly. However, a few guys started fishing them a while back and the word has slowly gotten out that fish do eat them as long as you are out there when they are out.
The four major stones we have are skwala's, golden stones, yellow sallies, and an occasional salmon fly. I've never seen a fish eat a salmon fly on the Missouri. (Maybe a salmon fly nymph in the form of a bugger or a rubber legs but not an adult.) I've definitely seen skwala action in the early spring and even though folks will tell you trout don't eat adult sallies on the Mo, it's not true. They absolutely do and after a few weeks of picky fish eating PMD's, getting a bunch of sallies on the water can brighten up your day.
As for the goldens, they are typically nocturnal on the Missouri so that limits the action for those folks that are the banker anglers. Getting out at 9am and fishing until 5 just won't get it done. Yes, they will eat the rubber legs and you'll get an occasional fish to come up to a chubby but if you want to go after big browns cruising for goldens skittering across the water, you better get up early.
Here's the deal. If you look at the wings of the golden stone in the pic, they are under-developed and it won't ever fly. That's what our goldens look like for the most part. Try and try as they might but they will not get off the water and as they skate around on the surface they become incredibly vulnerable and incredibly tempting for those two-foot browns. Strip a tan Morrish hopper as the sun's coming up and look out!
Keep 'em where they live...

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