Wisconsin Spring Creek Stoneflies


Stoneflies are generally unimportant in the spring creek region due to their affinity for swiftly flowing waters. However, there are a few hatches that will on occasion be fishable and locally important. The Yellow Sally is certainly the first one that comes to mind, and has, in recent years, become a reliable hatch on the West Fork. The early black and early brown stoneflies are two other hatches that will be important early in the fishing season. The huge Pteronarcys deserves at least a mention. This large stonefly has a two year life cyle and is actually larger than the famous western stoneflies, but very rarely hatches in sufficient numbers to fish it dry in Wisconsin. The nymph can be effective when drifted thru larger riffles, though is it probably less important in southwest Wisconsin when compared to the northern part of the state.


Insect Hatch Dates Pattern and Sizes Spring Creek
Early Black

(Capnia?)

March thru April Sizes 16-20
  • Elk Hair Caddis
  • Small Stimulators
  • CDC Stones
  • Blue River
  • Timber Coulee
Yellow Sallys

(Isoperla sp.)

June thru August Sizes 12-14
  • Stimulators
  • Yellow nymphs
  • Elk Hair Caddis
  • Down Wings
  • Trude styles
  • West Fork
  • Timber Coulee
  • Big Green
The Big Black One

(Pteronarcys)

Available as nymphs all year

Hatch is rather sparse

Sizes 2-8
  • Kaufmann Stone
  • Rubber Leg Stone
  • Black Wooly Buggers
Most spring creeks with a few larger riffles will hold a some of these mosters. Often an effective searching pattern for larger fish.

Jason Freund, 1998 for Bob Blumreich and Silver Doctor Fly Fishing