The yellow sally is a small stonefly that is fairly abundant on Colorado rivers and streams. Yellow sallies overlap with pale morning duns, green drakes and caddis on many freestone rivers; and the aforementioned insects tend to hatch in denser quantities. For this reason I opt for mayfly and caddis imitations more frequently than yellow sallies. It does seem, however, that the yellow sally hatch endures longer into the hot days of August, and it is during these times that I knot a small yellow down wing fly to my line.
I have experimented with various versions of yellow sally imitations including A.K. Best’s design with a yellow quill body and a yellow hackle tip wing. A couple winters ago I also whipped out some prototypes without hackle that utilized snowshoe rabbit foot hair as an under wing. None of these deviations seemed to outperform the basic style that mimics the deer hair caddis in a yellow color, so I decided to produce more of the old reliable.
During late January I positioned myself at the vice and cranked out sixteen additional yellow sallies. Eight were size 16 and an additional eight were size 14. For four of the size 14 versions I used green thread and began the abdomen with a small amount of bright green dubbing. I have seen some larger yellow sallies with a light green hue in the late July time frame, so the size 14’s are intended to cover the likelihood of encountering light green sallies in the future.