A very recent trip into Stonefly country was much better than I had expected. The fish were in a eating frenzy. They were taking our dries and our nymphs at will. This is one heck of a stonefly hatch, that I am hoping will last for another couple of weeks as it makes it way up the Colorado thru Middle Park. We floated the lower section from Pumphouse to Radium recently. And to our surprise was the number of stones hatching.
The Rig is an easy rig to say the least. Size 10 or 12 Stimulator in various colors, from Olive, Orange and Rust dry trailed by a size 8, 10, and 12 nymph. The nymphs that were used was Barr's stone, Copper Johns, Stones of the Underworld and others of various tweeks of thread, materials and dubbing. The nymph I had used was my stones of the underworld, which must have been a great pattern for the fish to see, because they ate it up at will, like no fishes business or they haven’t eaten all winter long. Yeah Right! It was great to see this pattern work so effectively on the fish. It was a pattern that I came up with late last fall and really was the first time I got to put it to use and try it out in the perfect stonefly setting.
Recipe of the Stone of the Underworld.
Hook: Knapek Midge Pupa – size 8
Dubbing Ball @ Tail: Red Dubbing
Tail: Goose or Turkey Biots Split
Body: Nymph Skin Yellow and Ostrich
(Nymph Skin is colored on bottom with Brown Pantone marker and 3 Black Stripes one down the middle and two on the sides.)
Legs: Goose or Turkey Biots
Wingpads: Jungle Cock
Thorax: Golden Stone Dubbing Mix
Back To the fishing, the day started out on the slow side, every few cast one of us was getting hooked up and landing a fish. Around 10:00 am Mother Stonefly Hatch turned on a button and whew, she was on. Started seeing more and more stones around us and about every other cast we were getting hooked up or strikes. This lasted pretty much the entire day. We did very well from the boat as well as wading different sections were we could pull over and wade. Everyone did extremely well and had well into a 60+ fish day.
The fish were extremely healthy and sized very well. I think the smallest fish of the day was a wild cutthroat about 13” long, very beautiful. The largest rainbow was taped at 21”, but the girth was taped at 15” which made this fish an absolute pig. Catch of the Day was taped at 24.75” brown with a girth of 13.5” which was a real monster that took about 25 minutes to land. The fish was hooked in the boat and after a few runs and reels, we finally had to beach the boat and work the fish from the shore for about another 15 minutes or so before it tired out to land it. What a great time.
Sorry no photos from this trip, it was a very last minute thing, basically grab your gear and go. Camera and other things were forgotten, but not a worry in the boat, because we were fishing stones and having a blast.
I will be making another trip up to the raddy very soon, but further up stream and into the canyon for a bit of fun and excitement.