January Fly Salon - Stonefly Nymph

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Brian Thomas, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. One of my New Year`s Resolutions (which took almost two full days for me to violate) was that I was going to tie up my trout flies during steelhead/salmon season , and tie up my anadromous species flies during the heat of summer .
    So , trying to keep the resolution intact , and gain some inspiration from your ties , I`d like to see your stonefly nymphs . Feel free to wing it with a fly of your own design , or show us your take on an established pattern .
    And have some fun . I`ll post one of my own design later today if I can find the materials .
  2. good one. been focusing so much on stone dries i could use tyin up some nymphs.
  3. Heres one i tie for steelhead (Yellow and blue work well), but i've had success in smaller size 14 for brookies and rainbows in the peackock color.

    Senyo's Wiggle Stone Fly
    8's on the left, 14's on the right
    Colors are
    FL Shell Pink
    Steelie Blue
    All Hareline Ice Dub.
    Steve Knapp likes this.
  4. I use this design in black, orange and brown. ...size and color depends on what I'm attempting to imitate.

  5. I really like this one. Gene, do you have an unfiltered pic?
  6. I've been enjoying the "Salons" in recent months, but haven't felt like my skills are up to those of the regulars, but I'll give it a go this month.

    On the principle that sometimes a fly that is showier than the natural it is trying to imitate can attract the fishes attention, I tie the fly below, which has been very successful during winter/early spring on the Yakima as a Golden Stone nymph.


    flashy golden stone 2.jpg
    McNasty and Jeff Dodd like this.
  7. Unfiltered? I'm not sure what you mean.

  8. It could be the color of the light or something, but it looks like it was taken with a filter.

    In any case it's nice looking fly. I'm intrigued by the fuzzy strip.
  9. It's an old photo. I'll see if I can find one of the patterns for a new shot. Once I stopped fishing rivers I don't have a lot of use for stonefly nymphs but I must have them in a box somewhere with my gear... at least, in theory.

    The wing case is fuzzy foam.
  10. stonnefly.jpg

    couple I did playing around with galss beads
    they worked well
  11. Those dudes look like aliens!... no wonder they work :)
    Mark Mercer likes this.
  12. Patrick, I couldn't find my box of stonefly nymphs (I don't use them for stillwaters) so did a quickie tie of the Golden Stonefly pattern I use on The Metolius. This photo doesn't have the orange cast.

    I prefer Swannundaze but have none... so I had to use round ribbing instead -- that upset me so much I didn't evenly space the rib so the fish won't eat this fly :)

    I'm also out of the fuzzy foam because I have no use for it when tying stillwater patterns. So, I used turkey quill for the shell-back.

    I tied the pattern in the first photo a long time ago... before I had my bug aquarium. Once I could look at the real bug up close and personal, I found that Golden Stonefly nymphs have a thorax equal to the abdomen. So that's how I tied this one. The head is also intentionally large because, well, the genuine nymph has a big head.

    Hope this photo works better for you than the first one.

    Oh, almost forgot. Lead wire under-wraps are located at the lowest section of the hook shank. This keeps the hook point riding up so I don't hang up so often on the bottom. Because stonefly nymphs crawl to shore instead of swimming to the surface, they are available to the trout deep in the water column so I fish this guy as close to the bottom as I can.

  13. Okay, here's a serious question for folks who know stoneflies better than I do. I like the typical curved stonefly hooks (e.g., Tiemco 200R) and I use them to tie some adult stonefly patterns, but stonefly nymphs are not curved in nature when they are crawling along the bottom of the stream. (the Trapper Badovinac video on another thread shows some nicely)

    My question: why do people tie both adult and larval stonefly patterns on curved hooks? Maybe when they are dislodged into the current they will flex their body in an effort to contact something solid to hold onto? But I think most of the time they will be in a more linear configuration.

  14. Charlie Brooks did some underwater investigation of stonefly nymphs when he was alive and fishing primarily in YNP. What he found was that the stoneflies are really only available to the trout when the bug becomes dislodged and floats downstream. According to what he saw, the nymphs did not float in any specific orientation but pretty much were all over the place... right side up, upside down, sideways, etc.

    For this reason, Charlie never tied his stonefly nymphs with a shellback but what he called "in the round"... basically a hackle collar and no wing case.

    The only reason I use a curved hook is in an effort to make the pattern more likely to bounce on the bottom without hanging up. I've used both curved and straight shank hooks for stonefly nymph patterns and I neither one works better than the other so as far as the fish are concerned, I don't think it matters.

    The wing-case is added for me... I haven't found it makes a difference with or without a wing-case so I add one just to make the pattern more appealing to me... I'm allowed. :)
  15. Hey, I just remembered why we'd bend the hook shank for stonefly nymphs (before we started using English Bait hooks). We wanted the fly to tumble in the current like it was a dislodged and struggling stonefly nymph. The bent hook shank helped with that effect.

    It's been such a long time that I stopped fishing rivers for trout and switched to stillwaters, I forgot why we tied the patterns as we did.
  16. when they become dislodged they do curve
  17. Here's my RubberBandit stone fly In a couple of versions. It sinks fast, is durable and looks like the genuine article. For those who believe movement is key, substitute hen hackle or rubber legs for the biot legs.

    As for the curve, the jury is still out. I remember my dad and Eric Leiser arguing that one back in '79. Dad always said "curved nymphs are dead nymphs". But perhaps a dead nymph is just as tasty to a trout? Seems like they would squirm a bit if dislodged and drifting.

    Attached Files:

  18. Because I've caught fish with both curved and straight body stonefly nymph patterns, it makes no difference to me if it makes no difference to the fish.
  19. winner? anyone interested in keepin these goin?
  20. Lots of nice flies this time around , but I have to go with Brad Niemeyer`s submissions .
    Congrats , and apologies for being untimely .

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