Little Black Stoneflies

All about trout fishing in the great Garden State!
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BiggerThomas
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Little Black Stoneflies

Post by BiggerThomas » Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:00 pm

Saturday will mark the 1st of February. For me, the appearance of those little pod-looking creatures crawling on a white snowbank always marked the beginning of the fly fishing season. Has anyone seen any LBS this year? I've seen them as early as Valentine's Day.
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coaltrout
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Re: Little Black Stoneflies

Post by coaltrout » Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:31 pm

I got no idea what flies are what but ive been seeing black looking stone flies this month. I had one crawl on me yesterday.

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cappy
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Re: Little Black Stoneflies

Post by cappy » Tue Jan 28, 2020 9:51 am

I was out Sunday late morning on a small WTS, didn't see any.

garden hackle
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Re: Little Black Stoneflies

Post by garden hackle » Tue Jan 28, 2020 2:05 pm

What are the Hook size for LBS?

Jaybird
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Re: Little Black Stoneflies

Post by Jaybird » Tue Jan 28, 2020 2:43 pm

I would say a #14 , I've only seen it really thick as far as numbers once on the south branch like 18 yrs ago . It was a windy March day and they where blowing all over the surface .... The native brookies knew what they were .

barkeater
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Re: Little Black Stoneflies

Post by barkeater » Tue Jan 28, 2020 6:41 pm

I tie all my Little Black Stones in a size 18 and do well every year.

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Re: Little Black Stoneflies

Post by barkeater » Tue Jan 28, 2020 6:49 pm

I should have mentioned that you fish the lbs as a nymph as they crawl out on the bank instead of emerging through the water column. I do carry a few dries same size 18 and they work to rising trout fairly well. Most rises this time of year will be for midges.

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BiggerThomas
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Re: Little Black Stoneflies

Post by BiggerThomas » Wed Jan 29, 2020 8:04 am

The black stoneflies in this video are pretty big--maybe a 12 or bigger?

https://youtu.be/y8lCQqXEJKw
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Jaybird
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Re: Little Black Stoneflies

Post by Jaybird » Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:17 am

There are different Little black stones that hatch or crawl to the bank at different sizes . I believe the smaller ones start earlier .

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BiggerThomas
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Re: Little Black Stoneflies

Post by BiggerThomas » Wed Jan 29, 2020 2:41 pm

Jaybird wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:17 am
There are different Little black stones that hatch or crawl to the bank at different sizes . I believe the smaller ones start earlier .
Makes sense.

ps Would the adult ones float if they fell off a snowbank into the stream? I wonder if fishing them on top would be effective.
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barkeater
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Re: Little Black Stoneflies

Post by barkeater » Wed Jan 29, 2020 5:05 pm

The adult scitters along the surface as they lay their eggs. I suspect this is when the adults are fed on. I have seen them do this on the South Branch.

joe_panella
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Re: Little Black Stoneflies

Post by joe_panella » Wed Jan 29, 2020 5:09 pm

I forgot where i saw the local recipe but i think it was a 16-18 3x hook. I tied a bunch of lbs soft hackles.

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cappy
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Re: Little Black Stoneflies

Post by cappy » Wed Jan 29, 2020 6:48 pm

I've found that as long as the sub-surface or surface fly is black and size 18 to 16 the trout will happily take it. Simple black soft hackle or elk hair caddis does the trick.

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coaltrout
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Re: Little Black Stoneflies

Post by coaltrout » Thu Jan 30, 2020 8:43 am

cappy wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 6:48 pm
I've found that as long as the sub-surface or surface fly is black and size 18 to 16 the trout will happily take it. Simple black soft hackle or elk hair caddis does the trick.
True the trout go nuts over this crappy lil black jig i make with a tiny 1/80th oz jig. Dont need much material on it. I think the more minimalist the better

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Re: Little Black Stoneflies

Post by joe_panella » Thu Jan 30, 2020 12:16 pm

I would assume that if the weather is correct and we have mid 50's Mon and Tues the LBS's will be coming off. If all goes as plan i will be hitting the Pequannock in some old and new spots.

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BiggerThomas
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Re: Little Black Stoneflies

Post by BiggerThomas » Thu Jan 30, 2020 12:50 pm

joe_panella wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 12:16 pm
I would assume that if the weather is correct and we have mid 50's Mon and Tues the LBS's will be coming off. If all goes as plan i will be hitting the Pequannock in some old and new spots.
Got that right Joe. I hope to find some stream time next week as well. I haven't had spring fever like this in years. BT
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barkeater
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Re: Little Black Stoneflies

Post by barkeater » Thu Jan 30, 2020 12:55 pm

In 2018 my first catch on a lbs nymph was 1/22 and 2019 it was 1/27 so they should be starting any time if they have not already.

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Re: Little Black Stoneflies

Post by barkeater » Fri Jan 31, 2020 5:31 pm

They're here. Fished lbs nymph today for the first time this year. Trout were taking them with aggressive hits.

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Rusty Spinner
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Re: Little Black Stoneflies

Post by Rusty Spinner » Mon Feb 03, 2020 11:38 am

Our LBS gradually get larger as they spend more time in the rivers, but they are the same species. They start out as a skinny 18 and grow over time up to a long 14. We have both black and brown LBS here. About the only times I see trout rise are when they lay eggs and skitter along the surface. We did have one crazy hot winter maybe 10-12 years ago when we had good surface dry fly action from early January right into March. I tossed a black elk hair caddis for my dry fly imitation that year and it worked perfectly. But that is maybe a once in a lifetime event.

Focus on nymphing the lower ends of pools in mid afternoon when that hatch is at its most active of the day. We have had a very mild winter thus far, so they should be hatching in decent numbers already if not soon.
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Flyzlo
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Re: Little Black Stoneflies

Post by Flyzlo » Tue Feb 04, 2020 8:57 am

I enjoy the LBS hatches when I bump into them, seems like they've been a little inconsistent the past few years - at least on the Musky. Didn't realize the different size was the same bug only older (Thanks Brian) Besides skittering to risers, my favorite is slowly pulling the fly off an ice shelf and dead drifting it as it slowly sinks. I just dub a sparse black body on a 2x #14 nymph hook, I coat a dun hackle with head cement and pull it backward through thumb and forefinger to create a wing. Make a few up and let them dry, then just add a dun collar hackle. Not pretty, but they work. They'll float for a short time with some Gink. The LBS really sticks out on white snow, so finding them crawling on the snowbanks is the tell. Now we just need some snow.....and some ice....

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