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Yellow Sally: Our July Bug of the Month

The Yellow Sally Stonefly, our July Bug of the Month, is a good companion and follow-up to our June bug of the month, the PMD. As we move into mid-July and into August, as the water temps rise, the hatch can become more prolific. Do you have some in your fly box?

The Low-Down on the Yellow Sally

Yellow Sallies have an incomplete lifecycle, evolving from egg, to nymph, to adult. There is no pupa state. They are smaller than other stoneflies and can be fished in a size #14-18.

Their behavior during their emergence is different, too. These slow moving nymphs are vulnerable and, once they reach the surface, they tend to linger on the water.

Adults are slimmer in comparison to other adult stones, too, and have a reddish abdomen.

How to Fish The Yellow Sally

Nymph in the morning. Riffles with very stony beds can be a prime spot as nymphs start to dislodge and make their way to the surface. The Little Yellow Sloan is a great pattern. While not technically a yellow sally nymph, light-colored Hare’s Ear can be productive. The Juju Sally and Iron Sally are great patterns for this stage of the lifecycle, too.

When adults begin to appear, drop a smaller nymph from a dry fly. Some of the larger adult pattens, like a Chubby Sally, can be a good pattern to drop a smaller nymph.   Switch it up to a dry fly Yellow Sally when the hatch becomes more prolific and adults appear on the surface.

How to Tie It

Hans Mylant, Guide and Floor Manager at Angler’s Covey, offers up his rendition of the Iron Sally.

Angler’s Covey Guide and fly tying legend, Neil Luehring, sits down and walks us through the fly tying steps for his personal yellow sally dry fly imitation! This is a genius little pattern that has proven effective on some of the toughest trout in the country. Check out the video below.

Final Thoughts

The Yellow Sally can often be overlooked by anglers as they fill their fly boxes for mid-summer trips to the river. As the water temps rise, we often turn our attention to terrestrials. The Yellow Sally, though, offers a great opportunity as we head into the “dog days of summer.”

1 Comment

  1. John Winters on July 19, 2023 at 7:11 am

    I didn’t know much about the yellow Sally, so this was very helpful! Thanks for the great information.

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