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Yellow Sally Fly Patterns

July 25th, 2009 · 5 Comments

It was a nymphing day, not a whole lot happening on the surface. On occasion, the little yellow stoneflies would drop to the water’s surface and bounce back into the air. No takers though.

Getting a bit bored with not catching fish with nymphs, I decided if I wasn’t catching fish, might was well do it with dries. A small yellow stimulator looked like it matched the bouncing flies. Casting to slicks and pockets, then: Wham! A foot-long rainbow nailed that fly.

Yellow Sally Adult. Photo from www.westfly.com

Yellow Sally Adult. Photo from www.westfly.com

If you speak Latin, you may call it the Isoperla, but most call it the Yellow Sally or Little Yellow Stonefly. For patterns to match the adult, I think a yellow Elk Hair Caddis is fine, or even a pale olive. A small yellow stimulator is ideal, in the 16 to 14 size range.

Yellow Stimulator

Yellow Stimulator

Small Yellow Stimulator

  • Hook: Tiemco 200R, size 16
  • Tail: Blonde Elk hair
  • Rib: Small copper wire
  • Palmered body hackle: Brown saddle
  • Body: Yellow Superfine
  • Wing: Blonde Elk hair
  • Front Hackle: Grizzly saddle
  • Front body: Peacock

The yellow stimulator is close enough in most situations to the Yellow Sally, especially considering these flies are usually appear in faster waters with pockets – where the fish don’t get a lot of inspection time.

Close works with horseshoes and hand-grenades, but not when you are not catching fish. When not catching fish, I tend to doubt my fly selection, and want to get something that more closely matches the naturals.  This is where Yellow Sally specific patterns come into play.

What makes a Yellow Sally pattern is the red egg sac.

Yellow Sally Adult Fly Pattern

Yellow Sally Adult Fly Pattern

Yellow Sally Adult

  • Hook: Timeco 100, size 14
  • Egg Sac: Red thread, built up in a taper to match the body
  • Tail: 3 fibers of dun hackle
  • Body: Yellow rabbit dubbing or dubbing of your choice
  • Wing: Blonde Elk Hair
  • Thorax: Same yellow dubbing used on the body
  • Hackle: Dun hackle, palmered stimulator style and clipped on the bottom
Yellow Sally Adult

Yellow Sally Adult

Head-Light Yellow Sally

  • Hook: Timeco 100R, size 14
  • Body: Yellow thread
  • Parachute: Calf hair (poly yarn would work also)
  • Extended body: Yellow small ultra chennile, tip colored red with red Sharpie
  • Underwing: few whips of long white CDC
  • Wing: Synthetic wing material or Yellow goose feather supported with fleximent
  • Hackle: Brown saddle
Elk Hair Yellow Sally

Elk Hair Yellow Sally

Elk Hair Yellow Sally

The Elk Hair Yellow Sally is essentially an Elk Hair Caddis, with an underbody/tag added of red 1mm craft foam. This gives a little more floatation & emulates the red egg sac.

  • Hook: Tiemco 101BL, size 14
  • Underbody/Tag: Red 1mm Craft Foam
  • Hackle: Brown hackle, palmered and trimmed
  • Body: Yellow Superfine
  • Wing: Blonde Elk Hair
  • Head: Yellow Superfine

Tags: Fly Fishing · Fly Tying

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