Little Winter Stone (dry)
In January of 1995, while fishing the Yuba for steelhead with a couple of friends, we noticed the fish taking
adult stones off the surface. After capturing a specimen, I took it home and designed an imitation. The natural's
characteristics included a tan-ish body, a yellowish underbody, a black head and a dark wing. They seemed to average
about 1 1/8 inch in length, and were fairly slim of body. The result is the pattern depicted below. Because the
stonefly hatch is just beginning, it seemed appropriate to feature this fly for January of the new millennium.
1. Cover hook with thread. At a
point just above back of barb, tie in two biots, concave side out
(usual stonefly arrangement). At the same point, tie in rug thread
on top of hook, and yellow yarn on bottom of hook. Let these hang
out of the way for now.
2. Dub up a nice tapered body, leaving about 1/8 inch behind the eye
3. Turn the hook upside down (or rotate vise), and pull the yellow
yarn forward, tying it off at forward end of body, on underside.
This imitates the underbody.
4. Return the hook to normal position, and rib the body and
underbody with the black rug thread. You can find rug thread at the
yardage shop. Use a substitute if necessary.
5. Strip the fuzz from a large brown neck hackle. Put a drop of
flexament on the hackle, and stroke it backward until it is about
3/16 inch in width. Set it aside to dry. When dry, tie it in atop
the fly, right on top of the forward end of the body.
6. Trim the rear end of the hackle to a rounded shape, letting the
feather stick out over the back end of the body about 3/8 inch.
7. Tie in a nice, stiff neck hackle on the still-bare front 1/8 inch
of the hook, and wrap as a dry hackle. Trim the hackle top and
bottom, so that only the barbs which stick out to the sides remain.
8. Form a nice head, tie it on a 4X tippet (or 5X if the water is
low and clear), wade in quietly, observe what's going on, cast to a
rising fish, avoid all drag, visualize the take as it drifts, and