Best Yellow Sally Nymphs

Yellow Sally’s are a small yellow stonefly that hatch during the summer months. Available to trout in most watersheds, Yellow Sally’s are a very important part of a trouts diet. Since they only hatch for a short window of time, trout really key in on Sally’s when they are present.

Although fishing Yellow Sally dry flies can be a blast, it is important to have some nymph imitations as well. Throughout June and July, Yellow Sally nymphs are one of my most productive flies. I like to hang them under a larger dry fly like a Chubby Chernobyl.

After trying out many Sally nymphs over the years, I have found that some work a lot better than others. Below are my favorite Sally nymphs, and I highly recommend picking a few up for your next summer outing.

Iron Sally Nymph

This is one of the most well known Sally nymphs – it is heavy, realistic, and durable. The Iron Sally has been my go to pattern for years, and it makes a great dropper fly. With the wire body and tungsten bead, this fly sinks fast and gets in the zone. Although it is also available in a brass bead version, I really prefer the tungsten bead for extra weight.

Since this pattern is quite involved to tie, I usually just end up buying them. However, if you feel up for the challenge, you can certainly tie some up.

I like to fish them in a size #14 when the water is higher, and I will switch to a size #16 later in the summer. If I only got to fish 1 sally nymph for the rest of my days, I would pick the Iron Sally. This fly is from Umpqua Feather Merchants and is available at most fly shops.

Kyle’s Sally Nymph

This is another top producer, especially here on the western slope of Colorado. The chartreuse thorax really triggers a reaction from trout. For some reason, the Kyle’s Sally works better than the Iron Sally on some rivers like the Roaring Fork, and the lower Colorado River. I think that the color profile matches our Sally’s better, and it really produces lots of trout.

During higher water, I will fish this fly in a size #14. When the water drops and the summer progresses, I will size them down to a #16.

Similar to the Iron Sally, this fly can be a real pain to tie – so I usually just buy them. It is available through Montana Fly Company.

Gabriel’s Trumpet Nymph

The Trumpet is another top performing Sally nymph. This fly just looks awesome, and it certainly catches your eye when you first see it. I find that it works well whenever Yellow Sally’s are in the river system. The soft hackle adds a lot of life to this fly, and the gold tinsel and red wire add some flash to it.

When fishing a dry-dropper setup during the summer months, I will usually throw a trumpet on below the dry fly.

The Trumpet is available from Solitude Fly Co, and is available at most western fly shops.

Red Tag Sally Nymph

The Red Tag Sally is often an overlooked pattern, but it is super productive. This fly gets down fast, and the red butt really looks like a realistic Sally nymph. It makes a great dropper under a dry fly, or you can just nymph it under an indicator.

Although I usually opt for an Iron Sally or a Kyle’s Sally, I still carry a few Red Tags with me. They work on most western trout streams throughout the summer months. If you feel like mixing it up and trying a new pattern, check out the Red Tag Sally.

This fly is available from Montana Fly Company. It can be a little harder to find than the other patterns listed above.

Orange Julius Nymph

This is definitely a lesser known Sally nymph pattern, and it can be hard to find when visiting fly shops. However, I really like the profile of this fly – it has a soft hackle collar, an orange thorax, and a hidden bead.

Trout really go crazy for the Orange Julius when there are Sally’s hatching. Also, many anglers don’t know about this fly – so it’s nice to show the trout something they don’t see very often. Due to the soft hackle collar, trout will often take the Julius at the end of your drift – when the fly is rising up to the surface.

I usually fish this fly in a size #16. It is relatively easy to tie if you can’t find them at your local shop.