Welcome to March, a month of the year that definitely has character. Some of our biggest snows happen in March while we may have other days when the sun is warm and stoneflies fill the air. We are certainly getting ready for what will likely be a busy spring. We could use some rain to bring the stream levels up a bit but there are some nice days if you can pick them to fish this month and often without a lot of crowds.
Certainly as the month begins, we are all looking for the Early Black and Early Brown Stoneflies to appear. And they will especially on warmer days. The key to success with the stones is to fish a nymph preferably close to the bank as they climb out of the water to hatch. There are any number of stonefly patterns, I like the Black Copper John in sizes 16-18. The adult females will return and a Black Elk Hair Caddis will do well or JC's Stimulator. Basically though there will be an abundance of nymphs beginning to emerge as the water warms in March. These Baetis, Hendrickson and Blue Quill nymphs are a size or so smaller than they will be just prior to hatching. Downsize your Pheasant Tail and Hare's Ear nymphs. The other bug active is the Early Black Caddis or Chimarra atarrima . The amber colored larva are commonly found feeding heavily before they enclose themselves in a cocoon and begin the transformation to an adult Black Caddis. JC's Chimarra Caddis in sizes 16-18 is a very good pattern.
Here is a cool stonefly pattern from Tim: