4 Tips for Fly Fishing the Nemoura Hatch

Photo by Les Korcala

-Tip #1 Skinny With Dark Wings

The first thing you notice about the Nemoura is its slender body and wing. For a stonefly, it’s not a very substantial fly. When you choose your imitation, make sure the fly exhibits those characteristics well. Additionally, the Nemoura fishes better as a low floating fly. Many of our Fly Fishing guides in Missoula will cut the botton hackles so the fly floats flush in the film. At other times, we only apply Floatant to the wing of the fly, not the body. This causes the fly to float lower in the film, which is more realistic as well as more tempting to the trout. But be ready, if you thought it was difficult to see before, now it’s even harder to see. All these imitation characteristics make a more effective fly.

-Tip #2 Drop It Off The Skwala

A skinny, dark low floating imitation is not the easiest fly to see on the water.  When the trout are coming up sporadically but refusing the Skwala, drop a dry Nemoura off the back of your dry Skwala. Use about 18” of tippet one size smaller than what you’re using for the Skwala. You can see the skwala, and even if you can’t see the Nemoura, strike if there’s a rise close to the skwala imitation. Might be you, might not, but hook sets are free!

-Tip #3 Be Smarter than Other Anglers, Pay Attention to Detail

This is a two pronged tip. So many anglers fly fishing in Montana get their information from buddies, or check out a website and say, “Hey, the Skwalas are on.” They buy Skwalas, they see Skwalas on the water, they catch a couple of fish on Skwalas, and they’re happy. If you just bear down a little bit, you’ll find your catch rate skyrockets. Very little additional research will let you know the Nemouras, BWO’s and WMB’s are also hatching. Make sure you’re ready for those hatches. Then, when you’re on the water, LOOK for the other hatches. Get your nose close to the water and look for those almost invisible Nemouras. If the rises go from random to consistent, get your nose down to the water and check for BWO’S or WMB’s. If you’re not looking for them, if you’re not paying attention to what’s happening on the river, you will miss many, many opportunities to take fish on flies that half the anglers in Missoula don’t even carry in their fly box.

-Tip #4 Sometimes It’s Cold!

In Montana, if you don’t like the weather, just wait 10 minutes. This is very evident in the Spring, when you can have temperature swings of up to 45 degrees. Early or late in the day, if the line starts to freeze to your guides, Mucilin or Gink on the guides will keep the line from freezing to them. Chapstick works as well. It’s not perfect, but it keeps you fishing!

Additional Nemoura Resources