Yellow Sally Stonefly
By Benjamin Hart

Previous Flies
Fly Tying Terms

While organizing my tying stuff I came across some beads that sparked my memory of a pattern created long ago, all lost to the willows or fish and totally forgotten, lucky for me and my clients I found my stash of glass beads and went to work on revamping this hot little number.

The yellow sally stonefly hatch isn't something that I chase around Montana, it's sparse at times and only predictable on a few rivers. I do know it when I see it and at times it can be as prolific as any caddis or mayfly hatch. The fish usually take notice of this phenomenon and I have been rewarded with some great afternoons by having a good selection of yellow sallies in my boxes.

Over the last few years I have really distanced myself from tying bead-head nymphs. Castwell would probably call this evolution of some sort. He probably thinks I'll give up nymphs all together sooner or later, though he would be wrong. Maybe it's because the fish have seen so many beads or that the beads render the fly more lifeless in the current, I don't know, but I do know that I have been having more success without them and my tying reflects that. This pattern fishes great under any modest size dry and really does a number on the fish when they push into shallow riffles to feed.

Ben Hart

This style can be adapted to any smaller stonefly and you're only limited by the color and size of the beads you can find. I found mine at a bead store.

Benjamin Hart has been guiding in and around Missoula, MT for 8 years. For questions, comments or booking information email him at:

Materials for the Yellow Sally Stonefly:

    Hook: Montana Fly Company 7009 Up-Eye Scud, Size 14

    Tail and Legs: Yellow Goose Biots

    Egg Sack/ Bead Holder: Quick Descent Dubbing.

    Body: Miyuki Delica Glass Crafting Beads

    Wingcase: Saltwater Flashabou coated with UV Knot Sense

    Thorax: Pale Yellow Hareline Dubbing

1. Put four glass beads on hook shank.

2. Start your thread behind the beads and wrap evenly to the bend.

3. Dub a very small ball of dubbing, this is going to split the tails as well as hold the beads on the hook so wrap firmly. Place one goose biot on either side of the dubbing ball, then wrap firmly and clip neatly. Create a smooth surface that the beads will slide over, then whip finish.

4. Slide beads over the thread.

5. Start thread again.

6. Tie in one strand of saltwater flashabou.

7. Put some dubbing on the thread and wrap part of the thorax. Add two more biots.

8. Dub a little more and then place two more biots for legs.

9. Add a tiny bit more dubbing then fold the flashabou forward locking it just behind the eye of the hook.

10. Carefully place a small drop of Loon UV Knot Sense on the wingcase, then either place it in sunlight or use a UV light to harden, you can also use epoxy or omit this step all together. ~ Ben Hart (Benjo)

For more great flies, check out: Beginning Fly Tying, Intermediate Fly Tying and Advanced Fly Tying.

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