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A few wingless species, such as the Lake Tahoe benthic stonefly ("Capnia" lacustra[Note 1]) or Baikaloperla, are the only known insects, perhaps with the exception of Halobates, that are exclusively aquatic from birth to death. Some true water bugs (Nepomorpha) may also be fully aquatic for their entire lives, but can leave the water to travel.
If we had a favorite fly, no question it would be the stonefly. Stoneflies, members of the order Plecoptera, are good-sized insects found in clean, fast-moving, gravel-lined streams around the world. Trout, steelhead, grayling, and whitefish find stoneflies irresistible.
These underwater creatures elude most predators by growing during the winter months when most fish are more sluggish. They live only in good quality streams so searching for them tells us about problems in the river and its streams. HRWC does stonefly searches to gauge the health of our streams.
The stonefly pattern proved so successful, I decided to release set of realistic foam body cutters to match our Stonefly Wing, Spent Stonefly Wing, and Universal Bug Wing cutters. With these cutters, you can tie anything from Salmon Flies to small Winter Stones!
The level of realism you can achieve depends on the level of your desire, but in any event, these patterns are really fun and fast to tie. Trust me, only a little practice is needed to crank out any type of stonefly you want to fish!
Stoneflies have incomplete metamorphosis: eggs are placed in masses on the water surface by adult stoneflies and hatch into naiads. Naiads may live underwater for a few years before moving to the water surface to molt into winged adults. Stonefly Naiad (B. Newton, 2004) Stonefly Naiad (B. Newton, 2004) ECOLOGY Stonefly naiads occur in fast moving streams where they are most commonly found clinging to the undersides of rocks. Many stonefly naiads are predators, feeding on other aquatic arthropods. Naiads of other species eat plants and algae. Although stonefly naiads were once very common in streams, they are very sensitive to pollution. These days, stonefly naiads are only common in very clean water. Stonefly adults can't fly very well, and are usually found sitting on rocks near the streams where they emerged. Many stonefly adults do not feed, others feed on algae, pollen, or other plant parts. Stoneflies are a very important food source for fish and birds, and they are also eaten by spiders and predatory insects. PEST STATUS Stoneflies are not considered pests.
FAMILIES: Perlidae, Pteronarcidae, and Taeniopterygidae We have several common stonefly species in Kentucky, but most are very similar in appearance and habits. Pictured below center is a stonefly adult which has just molted. Insects are soft and unable to fly for a short time just after they molt, and are said to be in a "teneral" state.
Unlike some other aquatic insects, stonefly naiads usually do not do well in home aquariums. Most stoneflies need running water with lots of oxygen - a condition that is difficult to maintain in an aquarium.
Like many aquatic insects, stonefly naiads need clean water to live. Because of this, scientists can tell if a stream is polluted or not based on whether stonefly naiads are present. Read more about using insects to determine water quality: -1167/ANR-1167.pdf
The Evolution Stonefly tungsten beadhead is molded after the common stonefly head profile -- broad with prominent eyes at the back where it meets the thorax, and a long, flat nose that tapers to the front.
A fine diameter variegated chenille perfect for tying rubberlegged stones with lead wire underneath while keeping the fly slim. This is the chenille requested in the recipe for Lance's stonefly pattern in the Confidence Flies section of our film Modern Nymphing.
Using the definition of Bybee et al. , stoneflies exhibit a hemimetabolous metamorphosis consisting of egg, nymph or naiad (their preferred term), and adult life stages. Most stonefly researchers use