Yellow Sallies: Fly-fishing’s Bastard Stonefly

Slocan River rainbow falls for a Sally

An oft-overlooked fly on many Western rivers is the Little Yellow Stonefly — more commonly known as the Yellow Sally.
Its brethren the Little Green Stonefly, or Lime Sally, suffers the same fate: both tend to hatch sporadically and in localized clusters, and many fly fishers aren’t aware of their importance to feeding trout when the fish lock in on them.

Parachute Sallies modeled after the L.P. Caddis, left

Certainly neither fly garners the same attention as the more glamorous salmonflies or Golden Stones, but I’ve salvaged many a slow afternoon on B.C.’s Elk River by coming across a ‘micro’ hatch of Sallies along a sheltered, brushy bank. That seems to be their preferred habitat — the out-of-the-way spots where the nymphs crawl ashore, emerge, then mate in bankside foliage until the females return to the water to dip and lay their eggs. The most consistent dry-fly fishing tends to be from mid-afternoon to early evening.
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Author: Chris Dawson

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